It was a rock ‘n’ roll weekend at Paramount Studios’ back lot as the Concern Foundation for Cancer Research hosted its 38th annual summer soir/e.
The theme, “Oh What a Night,” celebrated the 60th anniversary of the birth of rock and roll. The giant jam session brought people to their feet dancing to the tunes of the hip-swinging era, played by the Tom Nolan Band, The Wonderelles, DJ Dwayne and the local rock band House Fire. Dancers, singers, carhops and hula hoopers entertained throughout the evening.
This year’s honoree was Lance Freed, president of Rondor Music Publishing and son of the famous DJ Alan Freed. Freed senior is said to have coined the term “rock and roll” to describe the R&B records he played in 1951 on Cleveland’s WJW. Freed called himself “the Moondog,” and his 1952 Moondog Coronation Ball in Cleveland is cited by some rock historians as being the nation’s first rock and roll concert.
“We had over 3,500 people attend this year enjoying the vibe of the rock and roll era,” said Derek Alpert, president of Concern Foundation, who was a noted music industry executive before making Concern his full-time gig. “Over 50 restaurants, catering operations, cocktail, coffee, wine and dessert stations were serving their signature items. Once again, Le Spa at the Sofitel Hotel was booked all night for manicures and massages. Photo studios were filled with guests taking souvenir pics to remember the evening and the casino-style gambling tables were packed throughout the evening.”
A live auction presented by Mar Yvette of “Good Day LA” left lucky bidders walking off with great getaways and luxurious must-haves.
In addition to good old time rock and roll, the event was a foodie’s paradise, with a delectable assortment from Akasha, Bar Hayama, Blvd. 16, Breadbar, California Sushi Academy, The Capital Grille, Casablanca Restaurant, Chaya Restaurant Group, Factor’s Famous Deli, Fogo de Chao, The Glendon Bar & Kitchen, The Grill on the Alley, Herb Alpert’s Vibrato Grill & Jazz, Il Cielo, Johnny Rockets, Larchmont Grill, Lawry’s Catering, M Cafe, Maria’s Italian Kitchen, Marmalade, Pink’s Famous Hot Dogs, Rosti Tuscan Kitchen, Sadie Kitchen & Lounge, Samba Brazilian Steakhouse, Sammy’s Woodfire Pizza, Savore Cuisine and Events, Someone’s in the Kitchen, Tanino Ristorante & Via Alloro Restaurant, and Tavern.
There were also sweet treats from the likes of Dandy Don’s Homemade Ice Cream bar, Gluten Free Goddess and Z Confections.
Since its inception in 1968, Concern Foundation has raised more than $46 million for cancer research and has awarded funds to more than 650 promising cancer researchers throughout the United States and around the world. The nonprofit, primarily volunteer organization currently funds 63 cancer research projects for all cancers at leading institutions in the United States and abroad.
Thanks to thousands of concerned citizens, this year’s event raised an impressive $1.5 million. Now that rocks!