I’m a lucky gal. No question about it. This past Sunday I was fortunate enough to be one of the 300+ invited guests to attend the formal dedication of The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage. It’s true, I’ve been yacking about this place for months, but I promise you, when you finally get in and have your own looksee, you will know why I can’t stop talking about this world-class venue in the heart of the Palm Springs Valley.
As you probably know by now, the property formally owned by Ambassador Walter Annenberg and his wonderful wife Leonore has been transformed with a spectacular renovation into a conference center that will hold private retreats with the gargantuan goals of advancing world peace, facilitating international agreement, improving the functioning of government, and serving the public good. No small feats, for sure. The accommodations include the 22-bedroom, 25,000-square-foot home, joined by the gorgeous new 17,000-square-foot visitor’s center on the 200-acre property. Even the nine-hole golf course has been totally restored to its midcentury splendor.
The dedication ceremony took place in a huge tent whose orientation treated us to of the estate’s best feature—primo views of the San Jacinto Mountains. In attendance were Annenberg family members, Annenberg Foundation trustees, and dignitaries from far and wide. With remarks by California Congressman David Dreier and Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, guests were reminded of the Annenbergs’ legacy of fostering communication between those who may not necessarily have been friends. The festivities ended with a full-fledged musical fanfare finale by the USC Trojan Marching Band, which brought the crowd to its feet.
Sadly I still haven’t made it into the restored home, but I’ll be sure to report back on that as soon as I’ve had the opportunity to do so. And speaking of which, tickets are now on sale to tour this jewel. Visits to the Sunnylands Center and Gardens are—I love this word—free! www.Sunnylands.org