Hispanics for the Los Angeles Opera touches the lives of our vibrant Hispanic community. We were pleased to attend their 10th Annual Placido Domingo Awards following the zarzuela Luisa Fernanda, in which Domingo starred as Vidal Hernando. Since his parents were Zarzuela performers, this music is very close to his heart, and the event offered a Spanish spectacle of food, wines and entertainment. Among the prestigious guests were Edward and Alicia Clark (HLAO Founders), The Consul General of Spain, Inocencio Arias, Consul General of Mexico, Ruben Beltran, and prominent Hispanic artists like Mexican actress Angelica Maria, and renown actor Hector Elizondo.

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Mexican actress Angelica Maria with Placido Domingo

Others enjoying the strolling Spanish guitarist and the Los Angeles Harp Ensemble included Chairman of the Board Marc and Eva Stern, President, Carol Henry and husband, Warner, and Carlos and Haydee Mollura, who received the Corporate Award for their contributions to the cause. Proceeds from this event support the L.A. Opera community and education programs that reach over 155,000 children in the L.A. area. Mucho Gracias to Orlando Ortega, Chairman, Dolores Elena Richardson, President, and Dan Guerrero who produced an evening of elegance and grace.

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George Hamilton at Concern Block Party

Over $1.5 million was raised to support cancer research at the Concern Block Party, held at Paramount Studios. This year, the theme was "Exploring Ancient lands and Hidden Treasures, and featured Egyptian mummies, belly dancers, and Asian acrobats to name a few. There was a fabulous silent and live action, where. George Hamilton took over the stage, and purchased some auction items for himself. He even included dinner with him as part of some packages. Other celebs on hand included Fred Willard and James Cahn.

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Orlando Ortega,Chairman with actor Hector Elizondo

We enjoyed chatting with master impressionist Fred Travelina, and fellow writer, Dominick Dunne who is staying at the Chateau Marmount while in town covering the Phil Spector Trial. The evening featured food from over 56 L.A. restaurants including El Cholo. Chaya Brasserie and Lawry's Prime Rib - but the biggest line seemed to be in front of Pinks Famous Hot Dogs. The more than 3000 attendees also enjoyed three stages of dynamic live entertainment, as well as psychic and tarot card readings. Thanks go to Concern's honoree, Gene Rosenfeld, himself a cancer survivor, who helped raise an additional $300,000, and all the hard working members of this fine organization.

You are cordially invited to Party for the Pets at Carol Wior's Villa de Leonardi in Hancock Park, hosted by singer/songwriter Carol Connors, on Sunday, August 26. Several pet-related activities are planned - including pet adoptions and games like, "Whose Pet Am I ?" Do people really look like their pets?

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Dolores Elena Richardson, President, Director, Dan Guerrero, Patricia Barajas Tavera, Co-chair, and Val Zavala, KCET Honorary Chair

Connors will unveil her original song "Unconditional Love, Unconditionally" which is featured on the PetSmart charities 2007 fund-raising video. There will also be a host of other animal friendly celebs like Charlene Tilton, Barbi Benton, Valerie Harper, and Suzan Hughes in attendance. For info how you can support this great cause, and enjoy the camaraderie of people dedicated to improving animal welfare, please call Trish Spencer at 623-587-2776 Be a top dog, on the Hollywood Beat.

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