November 19th is Larry King's 75th Birthday, Which Follows a Celebrity Filled Party Saturday That Raised $400,000 for the Larry King Cardiac Foundation

Los Angeles, CA, November 19, 2008 --( The Larry King Cardiac Foundation, in partnership with COPE Health Solutions (COPE) and LAC + USC Medical Center, hosted The King of Hearts Gala on Saturday, November 15th in Hollywood to celebrate both Larry King’s 75th birthday and the 20th anniversary of The Larry King Cardiac Foundation. The event raised $400,000 to provide much needed cardiac-related health services to the uninsured, underinsured and low income population of 1.2 million adults and children who live within the central region of Los Angeles Country. {Editors note: Email Valerie Zapanta at for a copy of a feature story highlighting some of the patients the Foundation has assisted, and their dramatic stories.)

This year’s event was hosted by Leeza Gibbons, and featured performances by singers Paulina Rubio and Colbie Caillat, and special appearances by Tony Robbins and Drew Carey.

Los Angeles resident Larry King presented the Larry King Heart Award to Dr. Richard Zapanta to honor him for his service to the residents of East Los Angeles since 1979. Supervisor Gloria Molina was presented with the Corazon de la Comunidad Award (Heart of the Community Award) for her commitment to championing policies that improve the health and well-being of communities in Los Angeles and across the country. The Camino de Salud Partner Award (Road to Health Award) was given to Dr. Alan Rothfeld.

Among the many highlights were speeches given by some of the people whose lives have been saved by The Larry King Cardiac Foundation. Chris Savas, a photographer, told gala attendees his moving story. "I'm here to tell you that miracles do happen. Because Larry said ‘yes,’ I’m alive and able to continue my work. I was able to see my son go off to college, and I’m looking forward to seeing my daughter graduate from college this June. From the bottom of my newly-repaired heart, thank you, Larry King. You are my hero."

Another highlight was the speech from Cliff Cabral, who received a pacemaker courtesy of the foundation. "This is my third pacemaker, which was made possible by the generosity of Mr. Larry King. Heart conditions run in my family on my father’s side. Every male before me has either had at least one heart attack or has died from one, including my father who had three and died from the third when he was only 53."

Golden State Warriors Center Ronny Turiaf, who learned he needed heart surgery during a routine team physical in 2005, acknowledged the importance of early screening using such technologies as echocardiogram. The King of Hearts Gala funds a mobile echocardiogram service and provides screenings to over 400 Los Angeles residents each year. Turiaf, who was recognized in the audience by Drew Carey, spoke of surviving an open heart surgery that could have ended his basketball career. "One of those machines saved my life,“ he stated.

“In these tough economic times, it is even harder on the underserved population in Los Angeles to get access to the medical care they need,” said Larry King, Jr., president, The Larry King Cardiac Foundation. “We are so grateful to have strong partnerships with COPE Health Solutions and LAC+USC that allow us to make access to quality health care a reality for those who are less fortunate in our communities. This celebration of my father's 75th birthday is will hopefully also raise awareness of the uninsured population, for whom healthcare is often a privilege, rather than a right. The Foundation is there for them in their time of need."

The Larry King Cardiac Foundation was established in 1988 to provide funding for life-saving treatment for individuals, who, due to limited means or no insurance, would be otherwise be unable to receive the critical treatment and medical attention they desperately need.

COPE, in partnership with the LAC+USC Healthcare Network, has launched the Camino de Salud Network (Healthy Road) to identify and enroll the Los Angeles community's chronically ill, uninsured patients into a care management system that provides free primary care, coordinated appointments and medications.

The LAC+USC Medical Center provides accessible, affordable and culturally sensitive healthcare to every patient in their care and provides services through an integrated delivery system to residents of Los Angeles County regardless of ability to pay.

For more information on The Larry King Cardiac Foundation, please visit or contact Holly Lee (301) 670 9504.

For more information on COPE Health Solutions, COPE’s local healthcare networks and partnerships visit: or contact Vanessa Alvarez at (213) 259-0245.

All press inquiries handled by Daniel Bernstein/Bill McCoy @ Bernstein Entertainment, or 310-915-0404.

Larry King Cardiac Foundation
Daniel Bernstein