DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES — Hugh Hefner, among others, was named a "Treasure of Los Angeles" on Thursday at an annual awards luncheon in Downtown. The event recognizes prolific LA figures who have shaped the city's landscape in a momentous way.
Hefner -- awarded for his life as a cultural icon and importance in saving the Hollywood sign, twice -- was short but playful while accepting his award. After thanking the Central City Association for the honor, he gave his own to the CEO and president of the association, Carol Schatz.
"I would like to take this opportunity to present her with an authentic pair of Playboy bunny ears," Hefner told a cheering crowd as Schatz put them on and posed for photos.
Yang Ho Cho, CEO of the Hanjin Group, was also honored at the event for his work throughout the city. Cho, who owns Korean Airlines, was invited to this year's event for his most recent project developing hotel and office space in Downtown, at the site of what used to be the Wilshire Grand Hotel.
"We are demolishing to make way for the iconic new corner of Wilshire and Figueroa," Cho said. "It will take about six months to clear the site."
The man behind the recent renovation of Clifton's Cafeteria, Andrew Meieran, was highlighted for his continued loyalty to revitalizing Downtown.
Meieran, who was also involved in the purchase and restoration of the Golden Gopher in 2004 and The Edison in 2006, said he was honored to protect and preserve the legacy of Los Angeles.
"It's a place of unlimited potential, and unlimited possibility," Meieran said. "It changes people's lives, throughout the world and across generations which is someplace that doesn't exist almost anywhere else."
Also honored at the event were the L.A. Galaxy soccer team, the Granada Hills Charter High School academic decathlon team and the Good News Foundation.