By Jenny Peters
For 48 years, the Concern Foundation has been fighting the good fight against cancer, raising $58 million in funds since 1968 to support cancer scientists around the world in their search for a cure. And for 42 years, the foundation has hosted a wonderful Block Party every summer held at Paramount Pictures Studios in Hollywood.
This year’s theme was “Fields of Dreams for a Cancer Free World,” and the massive party on July 9, 2016, was jam packed with food, music and tons of fun. With over 60 popular restaurants, wineries, breweries and dessert purveyors, the Block Party had something to suit everyone’s palate, as well as live and silent auctions that helped power this 42nd annual event to new heights.
“Starting from a simple idea and watching that become a reality with thousands of moving parts coming together is a truly remarkable experience, one that sets Concern and our signature Block Party apart from most other organizations in this city,” commented Derek Alpert, the Concern Foundation’s president.
“The ultimate reward for all of our efforts is, of course, the money raised for cancer research. This year’s Block Party was one of our most successful fundraising events yet — we’ve raised over $1.7 million and counting.”
Some of those big bucks came from a single item, as box seat concert tickets to one of Adele’s upcoming shows sold for over $8,000. Generous giving was everywhere, as attendees enjoyed casino games like poker and craps, with all their winnings going to the cause.
And we all won by sampling some of the amazing dishes served up by local favorites, including a scrumptious steak sandwich from The Palm Beverly Hills, luscious coconut ceviche from Café del Rey, crunchy pizza made in a mobile pizza oven from The Urban Oven and crazy good pulled pork sliders paired with sweet-potato fries from Someone’s in the Kitchen (SITK) Catering.
Lines formed for Pink’s Hot Dogs as well as at the California Sushi Academy and Kabuki Japanese Restaurant, while Audrey’s Cookies, Chewys Rugulach and Hamentashen, and La Provence Patisserie and Café fabulously satisfied our sugar cravings.
Excellent wineries pouring their best included Heitz Wine Cellars (if you asked, you got a sip of their famed Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet), Parry Cellars, Beekeeper Cellars and Bernardus Winery, while beer lovers found Fireman’s Brew and Asahi Beer to quench their thirst.
The evening’s honorees included Dr. Peter and Rebecca Grossman and former Beverly Hills mayor Barry Brucker and his wife Sue, who have all given important support to the cause of fighting cancer along with the Concern Foundation over the years.