UCLA Neurosurgery 2010 fundraising gala honors luminaries, supports basic brain research

UCLA Health article

Composer Burt Bacharach, comedian Louie Anderson among honorees

The UCLA Department of Neurosurgery's Visionary Ball 2010 will take place on Thursday, October 14, 2010, at The Beverly Hilton. Proceeds from the annual event benefits neurosurgical research and education programs at UCLA. For example, "seed" grants support research into such areas as pediatric and adult traumatic brain injury, brain tumors, and "cognitive neurophysiology," the study of the function of brain cells in various forms of cognition.

This year's event (6:00 p.m. cocktail reception; 7:00 p.m. dinner, awards, and entertainment), will feature a short film, shot in 3-D, called "The Brain and Beyond: A Vision of Miracles."

Several luminaries in the fields of medicine, entertainment, and philanthropy will be honored for their contributions to their respective fields. Honorees will include:


Dr. Levey is a nationally recognized leader in both academic medicine and private sector medical affairs. In his 15 years at the helm of UCLA's medical enterprise, he held the dual position of Vice Chancellor for the UCLA Medical Sciences and Dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Among his many accomplishments, he helped bring to fruition the extraordinary $200-million endowment from David Geffen for the medical school and oversaw the creation of a world-class hospital-Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Levey now serves as Dean Emeritus, The Lincy Foundation Distinguished Service Chair, and Distinguished Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.


Josh and Beth Friedman are role models of excellence in their professional accomplishments and a major force in the Los Angeles philanthropic community. Josh is co-founder, co-chairman, and co-CEO of Canyon Partners LLC, a leading global alternative asset management firm. Beth earned an MBA at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. They share a deep commitment to making a difference. Beth and Josh have supported a host of institutions in the fields of education and medicine, and Beth is a member of the board of the Today's and Tomorrow's Children Fund, benefiting UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital. In August 2009, Beth and Josh experienced firsthand both the exceptional medical talent as well as the unusual human touch of the doctors and staff at UCLA's Department of Neurosurgery, when their son Wesley was seriously injured in a skiing accident. Wesley is well on the road to recovery, and Beth and Josh are determined to help UCLA continue the world-class work from which their family benefited.


For six decades, legendary composer Burt Bacharach has had one of songwriting's most successful and honored careers-marked by 48 Top 10 hits, nine #1 songs, more than 500 compositions, and a landmark 50+-year run on the charts. Burt had extensive and complicated spinal surgery at UCLA Neurosurgery last December. He is enjoying a complete recovery, including conducting orchestras and performing. Needless to say, he remains a devoted friend and admirer of the doctors and staff who so expertly and compassionately cared for him.


Comedian Louie Anderson will be honored as the 2010 recipient of the Rodney Respect Award. It recognizes comedians who embody the late actor and comedian Rodney Dangerfield's extraordinary professional legacy and devotion to making a difference in the lives of others. Anderson has been a stand-up comedian for more than 25 years. He created the successful cartoon series "Life with Louie," has written three books, and was the initial host of the second revival of the game show "Family Feud," from 1999 to 2002. He also has worked with numerous charities. Shortly after 9/11, Anderson did a show in New York City for the NYPD and FDNY Widows' Fund. He is also the co-founder of the H.E.R.O. organization, whose mission is to empower people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless to "attain maximum self-sufficiency." Previous Rodney Respect Award recipients are Jay Leno, Tim Allen, and Jim Carrey.

In addition, the evening's entertainment will include performances by jazz singer Steve Tyrell and singer-actress Dionne Warwick, both of whom have had extensive collaborations with Burt Bacharach over the years and are Grammy-Award winners. The evening will be hosted by actor Mario Lopez, host of the syndicated entertainment news magazine show "Extra."

To purchase tickets or make a donation, please contact Grant Associates at (323) 904-4400.
For all other inquiries, please contact Silviya Saad at [email protected].



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