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BEVERLY HILLS : A Team Effort to Fight Cancer


Traditional block parties mean barbecue and volleyball. The 20th Annual Rodeo Drive Block Party, scheduled for July 10 in Beverly Hills, will feature catered food, celebrities--and a soccer theme.

The goal: to raise $1 million for Concern Foundation for Cancer Research and its sister organization, Concern II.

World Cup USA '94 teamed up with Concern Foundation to make the party an official kickoff event for the final week of the monthlong World Cup soccer playoffs. Four blocks of Rodeo Drive will be closed to traffic for the evening party, a celebration of the games and the 24 countries involved in the World Cup.

"We're going to be transforming everyday Rodeo Drive into a glamorous, international Rodeo Drive street festival," said Bob Goldman, president of Concern Foundation. "It's sort of a soccerfest."

In keeping with the World Cup theme, the auction portion of the event will include some unique soccer balls. Twenty-seven Southern California artists volunteered to apply their artistry to soccer balls, "incorporating their feelings about (the) World Cup coming to Rodeo Drive," said Tim Yarger, director of Bowles-Sorokko Gallery in Beverly Hills, where the balls are displayed.

One artist, Amanda Watt, used the box that her soccer ball came in to create the image of watching soccer on television. Artist Laddie John Dill covered his soccer ball with asphalt.

"With all the commercial hype World Cup is generating, this is a very nice variation, as creative artists raise funds for cancer research," Yarger said.

Money collected during the event will be spent on cancer research around the world, said Derek Alpert, president of Concern II, which was started to bolster the fund-raising efforts of Concern Foundation. Over the past 26 years, the two organizations have raised more than $16 million, funding research in cancer immunology and immunotherapy.

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