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In the Mix

Colette Greenstein
Colette Greenstein has been a contributing arts & entertainment writer for the Banner since 2009. VIEW BIO
In the Mix
“The Story Behind Her Success” featuring Yolanda Celluci and her daugher Sondra Celli held on June 17 at the Westin Copley Place Hotel. (L-R):  Miss Yolanda Celluci and Magic 106.7’s Candy O’Terry. (Photo: (Katherine Hemond photos)

Bling It On …

Author: (Katherine Hemond photos)One of Sondra Celli’s (star of TLC’s “Bling It On” and “My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding”) designs — a massive Gypsy wedding dress.

Dubbed the “Goddess of Glitz,” Yolanda Cellucci told her inspiring story of starting her own wedding dress business at an intimate gathering at the Westin Copley Place Hotel on June 27. The event was the latest in the series of “The Story Behind Her Success” by Boston Women In Media & Entertainment.

Dressed in her signature white ensemble with rhinestones, the 70-something “Queen of all that Glitters” captivated her audience with her wit, charm and joie de vivre.

In between discussing her success and being interviewed by Magic 106.7’s Candy O’Terry, Cellucci peppered the audience with sayings such as “You have to make yourself beautiful” and “Where beautiful lifestyles begin” when discussing her business.

My personal favorite description was when she described how she often dresses down in just a T-shirt and pants but “of course my pants have rhinestones.”

Cellucci was joined by her daughter Sondra Celli, star of TLC’s Bling It On and My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding.

Celli grew up in her mother’s shops learning the fashion trade before leaving to go to Europe at the age of 16 to begin her formal education in such fashion houses as Emilio Pucci. Aside from all the fashion talk, Cellucci said her “biggest accomplishment was her family” and her daughter imparted that her definition of success “is using your success to help people.”

Zootopia …

Henry the Parrot greeting guests at “A Wild Affair” at the Stone Zoo, Saturday, June 22, 2013 in Stoneham.

The Green Gate Gala to benefit the Crispus Attucks Childrens Center, was held on June 20 at the Franklin Park Tropical Rainforest Pavilion in Dorchester. (L-R): Guests Pamela Laureta, Shaniqua Osgood and Monique Allen.

Author: (Colette Greenstein photos)The Green Gate Gala to benefit the Crispus Attucks Childrens Center celebrated the center’s history of educating thousands of Boston children. (L-R): Guests Bennie Wiley and her daughter B.J. Wiley.

The new fun thing in the “gala” world is to host your event at the zoo.

First up, on June 20, was the “Green Gate Gala” at the Franklin Park Tropical Rain Forest Pavilion, so named for the green gate that surrounds the Crispus Attucks Childrens Center in Dorchester.

The gala honored the recently departed CEO Leslie Christian and most importantly celebrated the center’s history of caring for and educating thousands of children from Boston communities.

Against the sounds of birds cawing and the peacock strutting across the grounds, the evening began with a ride on the zoo’s red train to the Tropical Rainforest Pavilion where guests were served wine and hors d’oeuvres.

The evening featured entertainment by jazz and R&B vocalist Vivian Male backed by students from the Berklee College of Music. After the awards presentation, guests made their way into the Rainforest Pavilion for an international array of dining selections from Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen and snaked through the pavilion from food station to food station.

Next up was “A Wild Affair” at the Stone Zoo in Stoneham, Mass., on June 22. The event was the ninth annual fund raiser for the zoo and it also showcased its exhibits and some of the zoo’s unforgettable animals, such as the brightly-hued Henry the Parrot and the massive bald eagle and owl who welcomed the guests at they entered the Stone Zoo.

There were over 25 local restaurants, bakeries and markets that provided the food. There were also wineries that provided samples for the crowd, such as Yellow Tail. And of course, not to be outdone, Friendly’s provided cups of ice cream to keep everyone cool.

Coming Up …

On June 27, the 15th Annual Roxbury International Film Festival kicks off at the Museum of Fine Arts with a screening of Things Never Said at 7 p.m. For a schedule of screenings, tickets and pass information, visit

The latest exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts is Samurai! Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection, which runs through August 4. The exhibit features the extraordinary artistry of the armor used by Samurai of Japan from the 12th Century to the 19th Century.

There is a fabulous exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum called In Conversation: Modern African American Art, which showcases paintings, photographs and sculptures by 43 prominent African American artists on display through September 2. For more information, go to

If you would like me to cover or write about your event, e-mail me at

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