Jewish Journal

The Circuit

by Michael Aushenker

Posted on Jul. 26, 2001 at 8:00 pm

Success and the City

It was a weekend full of hope -- the City of Hope, that is. The Duarte-based medical campus celebrated the 50th anniversary of its organized research program at its annual weekend-long convention. Some 1,500 delegates representing fundraising headquarters from almost every major American city converged on the Beverly Hilton. Honored were City of Hope's Director of Radioimmunotherapy Dr. Andrew Raubitshek and Division of Research/Immunology Chair Jack Shively. Comedian Norm Crosby, who is currently on his ninth two-year term as the organization's national ambassador of goodwill, joked, "City of Hope came up with a cure ... they haven't even developed the disease yet!"

At Monday's awards luncheon, the families of Ben and Beverly Horowitz and David and Denny Marks were honored for their collective commitment to the institute, which has pioneered major advances in oncology, diabetes treatment and hematology.

The Horowitz' son, Universal Music Group's President and COO Zach Horowitz, heads City of Hope's Music and Entertainment Industry Group, which plans the Rock for Hope fundraiser every year.

On Monday evening, an entire galaxy of television stars, including City of Hope spokeswoman and "Brady Bunch" mom Florence Henderson, Traci Bingham ("Baywatch"), Patrika Darbo ("Days of Our Lives") and Gervase ("Survivor"), all brought star power to the black-tie affair.

The weekend's emotional peak came on Saturday night, when Honey Nut Cheerios creator Stephen Hata told how City of Hope pulled him through his darkest moment, after being diagnosed with leukemia three years ago. The organization found a Hawaiian resident named Chris to be a blood marrow donor -- no easy task, since historically donors from the Asian community have been scarce.

Today, Hata has made a full recovery. Not only has he regained his faith, but he has formed an organization called Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches in an effort to give back. Hata has since developed a close bond with Chris, with whom he now shares the same DNA. He recalled a conversation they had, in which he joked, "Hey, Chris, if you ever commit a crime, don't leave any blood evidence."

Attack of the Killer B's

From Beverly Hills, it was on to the Santa Monica Airport, where the House of Justice entered the Love Shack at the Bet Tzedek Justice Ball. What better venue to see the B-52's than at the Museum of Flying, underneath actual British Spitfires suspended from the ceiling? On this Bastille Day evening, thousands of young professionals charged the hip fundraiser like an unruly Parisian mob storming the prison. Not hurting any was local favorite Boogie Knights, following the B-52's with their mega-'fros, white suits and arsenal of '70s covers. Seen at the scene were: Jason Kravits ("The Practice"), Noah Emmerich ("The Truman Show"), Timothy Busfield ("The West Wing"), Joshua Malina ("Sports Night"), and Byron Allen, who has a flashy cameo in the just-released "America's Sweethearts," with Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Justice Ball founder and Jump Investors CEO Randall Kaplan, who is stepping down from chairing the event he created, announced that Jennifer Kleinert will pick up the ball as of next summer, with Marc Linden. Kaplan added that this year's Ball raised $440,000 toward Bet Tzedek Legal Services, a beneficiary agency of The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles that provides free legal services for the poor.

"I really want to make sure that it remains a young professional event and an avenue to give them an opportunity to be involved in the charity," said Kleinert, the younger sister of Jewish Federation PR Director Michelle Kleinert. The real estate litigator used to clerk at Bet Tzedek's Valley offices, and has served on the fundraiser's planning committee all five years.

Stern's Earned It

Beverly Hills resident and active community member Arthur Stern, the retired vice chair of Magnavox and former president of Magnavox Advanced Products and Systems Company, received the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' Haraden Pratt Award. The ceremony was held at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, N.J.

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