Pasadena resident Debbie Lanni is serving as chair for the 2017 Operation Walk Gala on Saturday, Oct. 28, at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. A native Southern Californian, Lanni is a civic leader who is actively involved in both local and national civic, community and arts organizations. Operation Walk is a volunteer medical humanitarian organization that provides the gift of mobility through life-changing joint replacement surgeries at no cost for those in need in the U.S. and globally.
After graduating from the USC, Lanni was director of events for University Affairs at USC.
She currently serves on the USC Keck School of Medicine Board of Overseers, the Kennedy Center National Committee for the Performing Arts, the Communication and Fine Arts Council at Loyola Marymount University and was a member of LMU/L.A. Board of Trustees for nine years. Lanni currently is a member of the Colleagues of Children’s Institute, the Blue Ribbon of the Los Angeles Music Center and Cuisine a Roulette — Meals on Wheels of St. Vincent Senior Citizen Program.
Lanni has two married sons, one living in Macau, China, and one in Pasadena. She resides in Pasadena and enjoys traveling, playing golf, and owning and racing thoroughbreds.
Operation Walk was founded in 1996 by world-renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. Lawrence Dorr, also a Pasadena resident, who has led missions to 22 countries helping more than 10,000 patients walk again and return to productive lives.
During each international surgical mission, Operation Walk educates in-country orthopedic surgeons, nurses, physical therapists and other healthcare professionals on the most advanced treatments and surgical techniques for diseases of the hip and knee joints. This creates a lasting contribution to patient care in developing countries.
Lanni just recently became involved with Operation Walk, but as she said, “How does one say no to Larry Dorr?” Her family strongly believes in giving back to the community, helping in any way they can, and Operation Walk affords her an opportunity to do that in Los Angeles and around the globe. “What a life-changer it is for so many who would never have the opportunity to lead a normal life,” Lanni emphasized.
The Operation Walk Gala is honoring Dr. William Magee and Kathleen Magee, co-founders of Operation Smile, who inspired Dorr to found Operation Walk and to model its organization and missions after Operation Smile.
For more information, visit operationwalk.org.