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/ A W A R E N E S S M A G A Z I N E
N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 0 9
6
When you hear the word
"party,"mostpeoplethinkofan
of an out-of-control college
blow-out. Over the years, "par-
ty" has received a bad rap.
Webster'sdefinitionisthesocial
entertainment itself, such as a
cardparty,acocktailpartyora
birthdaybash.
LosAngeles-basedpartyplan-
ner extraordinaire Charlie Sco-
la takes a completely different
view.
"My definition of a party is
whentwoormorepeoplegather
tolifteachother'sspiritsandcel-
ebratelife."
Afterplanningpartiesforen-
tertainment superstars, motion
picture and television studios,
thousandsofcorporateexecutives
andgovernmentofficialsoverthe
past30years,Scolahaswitnessed
allsortsofeventsandoccasions.
"PartyCharlie," as he's affec-
tionately become known, has
taken copious notes to learn
plentyofvaluabletipsalongthe
way.He'sincorporatedtheyears
ofknowledgeintohisnewbook
Party Planning Secrets: The Ulti-
mate Guide to a Successful Party.
"BecauseI'vewitnesseditall
overtheyears,thebestadviceI
cangiveanyoneisparty,celebrate
andsocializeyourwaytohealth
andsuccess,"saystheauthorand
innovatorinthefoodandcater-
ingindustry.
Charliebelievesyoucan"party
hearty,"butyoushoulddoitwith
ahealthyattitude.Socializingis
very beneficial for health rea-
sons, he believes.
"Doctors suggest
to party, celebrate
and socialize to
boost your immune
system, and social
contact in a friend-
ly, upbeat environ-
ment is extremely
reinforcing to who
we are. By nature
wearesocialcrea-
tures."
Secondly, hap-
pierpeoplelivelonger."Studies
have revealed that people who
haveastrongsocialsupportsys-
temhaveagreatersenseofwell-
being,"hesaid."Andthosewho
are socially isolated are at in-
creasedriskforpoorhealthand
dying."
SaysCharlie,"Weneedtojump
intothegameoflife."
Meetingpeopleatsocialevents
isgoodforyourprofessionallife.
"Evenifyou'reaguestofaguest,
itautomaticallyvalidatesyouto
beontheguestlist.Thisbrings
youintothecircle."
Charlie offers a personal ap-
proach as well. "Want to be a
kindneighbor?"heasks."Ifyou
know somebody who's a little
downorlonely,nexttimeyou're
invitedtoaparty,dothemalife-
changingfavor--invitethem!"
Howdid"PartyCharlie"develop
hisuniqueapproachtobecome
sosuccessful?
Withhisfamily
rootsfromNaples,
Italy, Scola grew
upinNewark,New
Jerseyfromwhathe
recalls was a poor
but loving family.
RaisedbyhisMom
and Grandmoth-
er,Charlielearned
how to cook as a
youngster.
"Ourfamilyga-
thered ever y weekend, so I
watchedthemmakefreshpasta
mostaccioli,linguini,homemade
sausage,manicotti,giantmeat-
balls, neopolitan tomato sauce
andmuchmore."Itwasahuge
feastforeverybody--thefamily,
theneighbors,ourfriends,and
kidsintheneighborhood."That
background served to be the
perfectbeginningforCharlie's
career. "Food has the power to
bringpeopletogether,"hesays.
"Ireallylookedforwardtohelp-
ingpreparethemealsandshare
theenergyitbrought."
Afterworkingatbagelshops
andpeddlinghotdogsandchili
atsmallrestaurants,hemovedup
afewnotchestohonehisskills
at some of New York and New
Jersey'sfinestbanquetfacilities
including the Town & Campus
BanquetCenter.
His restaurant, Exclusively
Yours, was destroyed by a fire,
which prompted Charlie to
movetoLosAngelesintheearly
1980's.Heandapartnerformed
"Life's a Party," specializing in
themedpartieswhichputChar-
lieonthecelebrityradarscreen.
Over the next decade, Scola
planned parties for, with, and
inhonorof,alengthylistofce-
lebrities and personalities, in-
cludingA-listactors,rockstars,
sportsstars,politicaldignitaries
andhighlevelmilitary.
Working with such powerful
people seems to come easy for
Charlie."IfeelI'mjustafriendly
person,andtrytoseetheposi-
tivesideofeverybodybothper-
sonallyandprofessionally,"he
smiles.
There's a definite theatrical
side to his infectious personal-
ity,withhiswidesmileandhis
distinguishedbaldhead."It'smy
trademark,"hesayspointingto
acartoon-likecharacterofhim-
selfonhisbusinesscard.Infact,
Charlieutilizestheimageashis
signaturelogoonaprons,hisweb-
site,stationary,brochures,etc.
In addition to his catering
work,hisresumefeaturestheat-
ricalappearancesandguestroles
onnetworkandcabletelevision
shows. He's given back to the
communityviahischaritywork
includingtheLAFoodBankand
Make-A-WishFoundation.
Charlie'sfavoriteorganization
is the Jerry Lewis Telethon for
MuscularDystrophy,whereheap-
pearedseveralyearsagoperform-
ingaJerryLewisimpression.Two
yearsago,Charlieevendonated
hiscateringservicesfortwodays
for1,600peopleduringthetele-
thon.
Toworkinsuchahigh-pres-
sure business, Charlie says it
requirestremendousconcentra-
tionandhighenergy."Formany
years,Ineglectedallthestresses
onmybody,"hesays."ButnowI
practiceyogaatleastthreedaysa
week,whichhaschangedmylife
forthebetter.Whenmyguestsor
clientssay...`Charlie,youlook
great'that'sthebestcompliment
Icouldeverhear."
Asafinalsuggestiontoany-
oneseekingpartyadvice,Charles
says:
"Many people miss out on
great parties because of simple
excuses, and sometimes school
orworkaremoreimportant.But
thenexttimeapartyinvitation
arrivesinyouremailormailbox,"
Charliesays,"Replywithasmile
saying you'd be honored to at-
tendtheparty.Thatmakespeople
feelgreat."
Whoknows...maybe"Par-
tyCharlie"willbethepartyplan-
nerorcatererwhoispersonally
servingyou.Rememberhiswords
ofwisdom:"Ialwaystellpeople
toparty,celebrateandsocialize
yourwaytohealthandsuccess.
You'lllifteveryone'sspiritsand
your party will be successful."
PartyOn,Charlie!
Bob Mazza is a public rela-
tions consultant and freelance
writer based in Thousand Oaks,
CA. His clients include entertain-
ment companies, authors, sports,
lifestyle and corporate organiza-
tions nationally and interna-
tionally. Call (310) 994-4847 or
PARTY PLANNER EXTRAORDINAIRE `PARTY CHARLIE' SAYS...
Party, Celebrate and Socialize
Your Way to Health and Success
By Bob Mazza
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-- Mother teresa