ABC Boss Karey Burke Hosts Fundraiser for Children’s Hospital Transyouth Health Center

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The ABC Network President and 'Project Runway' creator honored the work of Dr. Johanna Olson-Kennedy, who has been treating patients at the center since 2006.

At first glance of the Bottega Lorenzetto Art Studio, visitors can see walls covered with abstract portraitures not only bold in shape and color, but also fluid in design. The colorful gallery located on Sunset in West Hollywood became the site for a fundraiser event Saturday aimed to benefit The Center for Transyouth Health and Development. 

The fundraiser was hosted by Project Runway creator Jane Cha Cutler and ABC Network President Karey Burke, who spent the night honoring the work of Dr. Johanna Olson-Kennedy, a longtime physician at the Transyouth center.

During the fundraiser, Cutler highlighted how difficult it is for young people to receive transition care, but acknowledged that the Transyouth center at the Children’s Hospital makes Los Angeles one of the better places to receive it.

"We are so fortunate here in this city. Transgendered youth face so many obstacles and the center offers support not only to its patients but to the entire community and patients' families," said Cutler. "It’s not something where you can just say 'here are some antibiotics, go on your way.' It’s a multilayered treatment."

Burke also praised the center, explaining that her son was cared for there after coming out as transgender. "When my son came out as transgender, I didn’t know what to do or who to call," said Burke. "My son has been a patient of Dr. Olson-Kennedy’s now for seven years…I can only say that her work has not only changed our lives, but perhaps saved my son’s life."

Dr. Olson-Kennedy has been working at the Transyouth center since 2006. The center used to only have about 40 patients, but now the the program has 1,600. "We put about 300 new young people into our clinic every year," said Olson-Kennedy. "If people are able to access services at a younger age they will have a longer period of time to live authentically, and that’s really important for all of us as human beings."

The artist and gallery owner, Marco Lorenzetto, told The Hollywood Reporter that for the event he chose to feature some of his "figurative art" because it felt appropriate to the subject of the night. "I thought it would be perfect for this cause, because working with figurative art in an abstract way there is definitely a transformation, a metamorphosis, a changing, an evolution and everyone can see something different," Lorenzetto explained. 

Prints and originals of Lorenzetto’s artwork were available for purchase, with 25 percent of prints and 40 percent of original work proceeds to be donated to the Transyouth center.