Padres Event

Padres Event

Padre Event

Family Style

Padres Contra el Cancer's benefit dinner featured communal dishes plucked from lazy Susans, as well as a casual, jokey live auction.

When the mission of a charity is to support families, it makes sense that the charity's biggest annual fund-raiser should conjure a casual, family feeling to the extent possible at a sit-down dinner. That was the idea Thursday night at the seventh annual fund-raising gala for Padres Contra el Cancer, a nonprofit org that supports Latino children with cancer and their families. The evening, presented by title sponsor Farmers Insurance Group, raised more than $830,000.

Working with Padres' Elvia Barboa, event production and design firm Angel City set the room at The Lot with alternating round and square tables to add some texture and hung its familiar fringed chandeliers overhead. "The Lot is a great location for events, because they don't shoot movies there--just commercials, pick-up shots, et cetera--so there's always the availability of soundstages," said Angel City's Mark Yumkas. "Last year [the event was held] on [the Desperate Housewives set for] Wisteria Lane, which was a good draw for ticket sales but hard to work with because it was a live set. Now this event is turning into one of the larger ones for the Hispanic community in town."

George Lopez, who initially struggled as M.C. to engage a phlegmatic crowd, eventually enlivened the mood by calling the live auction with host and national spokesperson Eva Longoria and actor-dancer Mario Lopez. The improvisational, casual auction (which felt more relaxed than any live auction we've seen) included a dance lesson with Mario Lopez, which sold to George Lopez's wife, who took the mic to say, "George, if you'd have taken me dancing more often, you could have just saved $6,000."

In addition to the live auction, an alfresco silent auction preceded dinner. Nearby, Kinetic Lighting bathed an outdoor cocktail area in deep lavender patterned lighting, contrasted against cool white-lit bars. Kinetic also projected the org's and sponsors' logos on the soundstage exterior and continued the purplish and amber lighting theme indoors.

Gary Arabia of Global Cuisine served the food family-style, with lazy Susans in the center of tabletops offering communal dishes with a vaguely Latin focus. After dinner, Ozomatli closed the evening with a lively set, while guests who'd made it through the speech-heavy night took to an impromptu dance floor near the stage.

---Alesandra Dubin

This article was originally posted by BizBash on 10/23/07

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Padres Contra El Cancer "El Sueno De Esperanza" Benefit
Rentals Town & Country Event Rentals
Catering Global Cuisine
Design, Production Angel City Designs
Draping Quest Drape Los Angeles
Fund-raising Coordination Levy, Pazanti & Associates
Lighting Kinetic Lighting
PR BNC (Bragman, Nyman, Cafarelli) Los Angeles
Staging SGPS Inc.
Venue The Lot
Video Production SweetwaterVideo Production

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