37th Annual Block Party fundraiser raises over one million dollars to support the careers of gifted young cancer researchers.
Parties abound in Los Angeles – fancy fundraisers, bodacious balls and star-studded soirees. I had the pleasure of attending one of the best on Saturday, July 9 at Paramount Studios in Hollywood: the Concern Foundation’s 37th Annual Block Party that raised over one million dollars to support cancer research.
The theme for this year’s event was “Dancing in the Streets” and was held in Paramount’s back lot that has served as the cityscape scenery for countless movies. Four different stages, each set like islands in a sea of delectable samplings from over 50 top LA-area restaurants, offered performances from professional dancers doing everything from ballroom, to tango, to Hawaiian, tap, hip hop and more. Open bars with busy bartenders made sure that there were plenty of libations to quench your thirst and “get the party started.”
Some of my favorite food offerings included the wickedly decadent chocolate soufflés courtesy of Bistro Garden in Studio City. The filet mignon with mashed potatoes, creamed spinach and green peppercorn sauce from Larsen’s Steakhouse in Encino was exquisite and demanded a return visit for a second sampling. La Provence provided an exquisite dessert table with colorful French macaroons, beautifully decorated cakes and luscious fruit tortes. And for a caffeine boost, a variety of gourmet coffees, including bottles of the new, organic, cold-brewed Wolfgang Puck’s Iced Coffee. Really, it was all delicious, and if I could remember all the little plates that I eagerly sampled, it would require writing a complete dictionary of culinary treats.
For those with a gambling streak, there were dozens of black jack tables and roulette tables for guests to try their luck, playing with poker chips that could be redeemed for a chance to win prizes.
Need a little tootsie massage after walking around and enjoying all the sights and samplings? Le Spa, located in the Sofitel Hotel on Beverly Blvd. was there to offer mini-spa treatments and manicures. And if that wasn’t enough diversion, there were over 150 great silent auction packages to bid on as well as a live auction that included temptations like two first class tickets to Maui and a week’s stay in a luxury condo for you and five of your friends.
The party was sold out to capacity, with over 3,500 friendly guests including many personalities from the entertainment industry as well as business and community leaders. Cancer survivors were the VIP guests and served as a testament to the importance of supporting cancer research.
Not counting what was raised at Saturday’s event, the Concern Foundation has raised over $43 million for cancer research and has awarded those funds to over 600 promising cancer researchers throughout the United States and around the world. The non-profit, primarily volunteer organization currently funds 63 cancer research projects at leading institutions in the United States and abroad. Over $.95 cents of every dollar they raise is used to provide salary funding to further the careers of gifted young cancer researchers whose work shows great promise but who are not sufficiently advanced to justify major funding from government sources.
So what could be better? Great eats, entertainment, games, and gorgeous guests enjoying a stellar event while serving such a wonderful cause. The Concern Foundation’s Annual Block Party is one of those annual Los Angeles events that shouldn’t be missed.
After Saturday night, I can see why they’ve been able to do this event for the last 37 years.
I can hardly wait for the 38th!
Copyright © Kim Calvert/2011 Singular Communications, LLC.