Wednesday, July 18, 2007

33rd Annual Concern Block Party Nets $1.5 Million for Cancer Research

Derek Alpert, President of Los Angeles-based Concern Foundation for Cancer Research, announced Monday that over $1.5 million, including $100,000 from the silent and live auction, was raised to support the work of young cancer researchers at the Concern Block Party held Saturday, July 14 at Paramount Studios. The money from this year pays for the salaries of 48 promising cancer researchers who otherwise would not be able to continue their work in this valuable field. This BeansTalk staffer, a six-year cancer survivor, had the great pleasure of attending this event and had a great time. Read on.

The evening featured food from over 56 LA area restaurants including La Provence, The Grill on the Alley, Lawry’s Prime Rib, Pink’s Famous Hot Dogs, El Cholo, Blue Velvet, Chaya Brasserie and Fogo de Chao. Upon entering, BeansTalk and family literally went into a food frenzy, sampling ribs and tostadas and crepes and topping it off with chocolate espresso cookies! To the delight of BeansTalk’s husband beverages and libations freely flowed courtesy of Reed’s Ginger Brew Products, Stockholm Krystal Vodka and El Charro Tequila. (He was feeling no pain!) The evening’s entertainment included Casino Style Gaming sponsored by Pechanga Casino, where we were quite lucky and won many raffle tickets, the Chinatown Acrobatic Group, Spa treatments sponsored by Paola Kirei Spa. There were three stages of dynamic live entertainment provided by the Tom Nolan Band, Party Layne DJ (where BeansTalk got our groove on!) and the Fresh Green Jazz Band. Psychic and Tarot Card readings drew hundreds of visitors to their booths.

BeansTalk got a real kick out of George Hamilton, who took the stage as co-auctioneer for the spirited live auction. His appearance even resonated with the kids who were charmed by his dancing talents on last season’s Dancing With the Stars. (You go, George!) Hamilton entertained the crowd with his humor, buying some auction items for himself and even including dinner with him as part of some packages. Other celebrities on hand included Fred Willard and James Cahn.

This year’s notable success would not have been possible without the generous support of the Concern Foundation annual donors and friends of this Concern’s honoree, Gene Rosenfeld, himself a Cancer survivor who helped raise an additional $300,000. Adding to the bottom line was support from the following corporate sponsors: American Airlines, Ahmanson Foundation, Cadillac, Los Angeles Magazine, Wells Fargo Bank, Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, Sara Lee, Jem Sportswear. The theme for this years event “Exploring Ancient Lands and Hidden Treasures, was created by the ingenious John Ferdenzi of John Ben Ventures, Classic Party Rentals, Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising and Hold the Date Events. JEM Sportswear donated Souvenir T-shirts, which were handed out to all of the guests. Guests also received advance copies of Los Angeles Magazine’s August “Best of LA” issue.

For more information about the Concern Foundation, please visit the website at or call 323.852.9844.