Cancer Center EventSabor Latino was the theme of the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center’s Epicurean Evening at the Four Seasons Hotel. Actors Andy Garcia and Edward James Olmos received awards for their commitment to humanitarian efforts. Standing in to accept the award for Olmos, who was in Canada filming, was Hector Elizando. To the delight of the 250 guests in attendance, for the evening’s finale, he and double Grammy Award-winner Garcia jumped on stage to sit in with an 11 piece Latin jazz band, and let it trip on congas and bongos. Garcia, best known for Godfather III, hasn’t forgotten his Hispanic heritage and Cuban roots, and is loyal to their culture. He directed the feature length documentary concert film Cachao como su ritmo no hay dos (like his rhythm there is no other) in honor of the Cuban musician and mambo artist Israel Lopez “Cachao”.

Five of Latin America’s most celebrated chefs from Argentina, Costa Rica, Mexico and Uruguay created regional dishes for the occasion, and over $397,000 was raised that evening for cancer research at UCLA.

Children's Choir at Teddy Bear PicnicAnother engaging actress Katey Sagal, proved that she, too, can sing a pretty tune, when she joined the Help Group Children’s choir at their Teddy Bear Picnic honoring Fox Film entertainment chairman Jim Gianopulos and his wife Ann. Katey, best known as Peg Bundy in Married with Children, and currently starring in the hit sitcom, Eight Simple Rules, was once the back up singer for Bob Dylan, Bette Midler, Gene Simmons and Tanya Tucker.

She also joined with American Idol’s Constantine Maroulis and actress Heather Thomas to sing “Put A Little Love In Your Heart”, which was the theme of the day. Help Group’s President, Dr. Barbara Firestone, announced the launch of their Capital Campaign to raise $10 million; and with supporters like these how can they miss?

And last, but not least, attended a reception to introduce a new book “Woman” by Richard Matheson at the Peninsula Hotel. Matheson is one of the most influential science fiction writers of our time, and among his novels and stories that have been made into films include The Incredible Shrinking Man, The Omega Man, and Somewhere in Time (starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour).

at UCLA Cancer Center EventAnother literary legend, Ray Bradbury was on hand to honor his colleague, and there was a message from Stephen King, who said that Matheson is “the author who influenced me most as a writer”. Haven’t had the chance yet to read Woman, which states “Men and women can no longer co-exist.” But you can bet one dark and dreary night on the Hollywood Beat, you will catch me under the covers exploring the wonderful and mysterious world of Richard Matheson.