Russian Nights Raises Funds for Professional Child Development Associates

Craig Watson, center, meets Dr. Diane Cullinane, left, and Warren WimmerCraig and Carolyn Watson, left, Dr. Diane Cullinane, and Warren WimmerMike Bernard and Greg McLemoreCraig and Carolyn WatsonChef Claud Beltran from Claud & Co.Lin and Alan VlacichKathy Wimmer, Olga Eysymontt, and Stephanie StroupJeanie Rushing and Leslie BernardMike Bernard sets up for the musiciansPianist Armen GuzelimianMusicians: Ruslan Biryukov, Roberto Cani, and Armen GuelimianGuests listen upstairs.Russian Nights, A black Tie Affair

Photography by JAMES CARBONE

12:13 pm | March 12, 2018

Professional Child Development Associates (PCDA) held its third annual “Russian Nights: A Black Tie Affair” benefit on Saturday evening, February 24, 2018 at the home of Carolyn and Craig Watson in South Pasadena. The full house was an intimate group of sixty, who were treated to world-class chamber music by Ruslan Biryukov, founder of the Los Angeles Cello Quartet and the Glendale Philharmonic Orchestra, violinist Roberto Cani, Concert Master of the Los Angeles Opera, and pianist Armen Guzelimian, an acclaimed soloist, collaborative artist and educator.

The concert, featuring works by Russian composer Dimitri Shostakovich and Armenian composer Arno Babadjanian, was enhanced by the trio’s lively banter with the audience. Guests were also delighted to enjoy dinner with the musicians catered by Chef Claud Beltran and to participate in an auction which included a limited edition print by artist Kenton Nelson, a private dinner party catered by Crossings Restaurant in Pasadena with music provided by Mr. Biryukov, and opportunities to contribute to PCDA’s Carolyn Watson Creative Arts Fund which supports access to the arts for children and teens with developmental challenges by underwriting music therapy, adapted music, dance and art lessons, an adaptive children’s choir, and Creative Arts Summer Camp.

Celebrating its 20th year of service in the community, PCDA improves the quality of life for children with autism and other developmental disabilities and their families in greater Pasadena, Los Angeles, and the San Gabriel Valley by providing therapies and services grounded in the DIR philosophy. Over 800 children, teens and young adults are helped every week by PCDA clinicians using a play-based therapeutic approach which helps children to reach developmental milestones, enjoy warm and loving relationships, and live more fulfilling lives. More information about PCDA’s services and future events is available online: