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Tickets available for local cancer benefit

Event includes music, auction

Posted: July 23, 2009 10:28 p.m.
Updated: July 24, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Three doctors, who have treated many patients throughout the community, will be honored Aug. 2 at Tournament Players Club in Valencia.

“Imagine ... La Bella Vida,” the American Cancer Society Santa Clarita Valley Unit’s inaugural tribute gala, will last from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at TPC. The event will pay homage to three hematologist/oncologists known to many within this community, particularly those affected by cancer.

Receiving the American Cancer Society’s Legacy of Hope awards that evening will be: Drs. John Barstis and Alexander Black, both of the UCLA Cancer Center-Santa Clarita; and Dr. Shamel Sanani, of the North Valley Hematology/Oncology Group.

La Bella Vida — “the beautiful life” in Italian — reflects the goal of the American Cancer Society to measurably improve the lives of cancer patients and their families.

A nationwide community-based voluntary health organization, the ACS is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem through research, educating the public about early detection and prevention, and advocating for responsible cancer legislation.

Proceeds from La Bella Vida go toward cutting-edge ACS cancer research, and providing free community programs and services.

Festivities will include live music and an auction and Italian food will be served.

“The auction list includes a training session with Olympic Gold Medalist Allyson Felix, a week at beautiful Big Bear, golf at Robinson Ranch and/or the Tournament Players Club, VIP tickets to Magic Mountain with VIP parking and front-of-line access, and a day of sailing for four on Ventura Harbor,” said ACS SCV Unit president Candy Spahr.

The Phil Parlapiano Trio — with Parlapiano on piano and vocals, Keith Karman on upright bass and Charles De Castro on trumpet — will perform jazz (and some blues) at La Bella Vida. Parlapiano has recorded numerous Grammy award-winning releases and works as a first-call accordionist and keyboardist with various artists works as a first call accordionist including The Dixie Chicks, The Jonas Brothers, Dave Koz, Rod Stewart and Jon Bon Jovi.

Also performing that evening will be classical flamenco guitarist Michael Lyn who will play during the VIP reception that starts at 5 p.m.

Community members unable to attend the event may wish to donate money to the ACS SCV Unit toward purchasing tickets for oncology patients who want to see their doctor honored, but require financial assistance to do so, Spahr said.

Tickets are available until Sunday. Tickets to La Bella Vida are $100 for general admission or $175 for the VIP reception (which provides an opportunity to meet the doctors).

To reserve seats, visit or e-mail Tameka Payne of the American Cancer Society at



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