When the Concern Foundation throws a party, they do not fool around. It’s been forty years since the cancer-fighting foundation held its first annual block party fundraiser, and this year’s extravaganza on July 12 just might have been the best one yet.
The “Fiesta Grande: Celebracion de Vida” took over the Paramount Studios “Main Street” areas, featuring a Latin theme and blocks of food booths manned by over 60 of the best restaurants and caterers in Los Angeles. There was a Stella Artois beer garden, a Tanqueray Gin casino gaming area, numerous stages with live music and dancing and even a Mercedes-Benz interactive lounge with hot cars to drool over.
The Concern Foundation is obviously doing something right, for with the silent and live auctions, ticket sales and donations, the group raised $1.7 million during the fiesta towards their continued goal, supporting cancer research worldwide.
One thing they did right was to honor actress and entrepreneur Jaclyn Smith, for her work toward finding a cure.
“I am a cancer survivor,” the 68-year-old Smith said proudly, “and I am honored to be a part of the Concern Foundation’s search for a cure.”
The org also feted the Partners Trust Real Estate Brokerage & Acquisitions partners – Nick Segal, F. Ron Smith, Richard Stearns and Hugh Evans III – for their fundraising efforts for the Concern Foundation, who gives 95 percent of all money donated directly to the researchers they fund.
Other familiar faces in the massive crowd included KNBC-TV’s Fred Roggin, who ran the live auction; KNX radio host Frank Mottek, who hosted the proceedings; and “Modern Family” star Fred Willard.
All who made the raucous scene enjoyed the wood-fired pizza from The Urban Oven, grilled meats from Samba Brazilian Steakhouse and other delicacies from The Grill on the Alley, Public School on Tap, M Café and much more; then when the food ran out, proceeded to dance the night away, all in the name of fighting cancer. What better way is there to spend a Saturday night in Los Angeles?
Follow Jenny Peters on Twitter at @jennpeters.