Text & photography: Anna Jönsson Connell

On Saturday May 1, some 250 guests gathered at Leana and Browne Greene’s country oasis; a sprawling home set right on the beach in Santa Monica. The balmy evening and golden sunset over the ocean waves provided the ideal backdrop for a perfect party.
As the guests arrived—all in white—smiling elves, serving blue and golden refreshments from silver trays, greeted beyond the discreet front door. Then legendary Näcken, alias actor Johannes Alfvén, seated by the fountain with his violin, beckoned the crowd to enjoy the evening’s performances and delicacies.

Guest of honor was five-time Swedish Grammy Award-winner Swedish singer-songwriter Eva Dahlgren; also this year’s Viking Award recipient. In 2001 Ms. Dahlgren debuted as a children’s book author and has three popular books to her credit. Also attending the event was her wife, renowned jewelry designer and artist Efva Attling.
Following Eva’s heavenly singing to an attentive and moved crowd, the live auction, hosted by comedian Brad Garrett, became animated as the audience roared with laughter. Former Laker star, USC Women of Troy coach Michael Cooper, donated a basketball camp, fetching $4,500, as well as UCS Trojan football tickets going for $1,500, some of the evenings big ticket items. Throughout the evening, with drinks and delicious buffet plates in hand, guests leisurely perused the ample silent auction tables surrounding the pool and lawn areas.

On an pedestal table two Swedish double Oscar-winners, both for sound, exhibited their respective trophies: Per Hallberg’s statuettes for Braveheart and Bourne Ultimatum, next to Paul Ottosson’s shiny ones from this year’s Hurt Locker. Very brave indeed to bring such treasures, even to a magic event in white, as anything could happen on a night like this…

If you’re in southern Cal. and missed this event in LA, make a note of June 4 when the Swedish School of Orange County is hosting a fundraising dinner. More info, www.svenskaskolan.org