Since 1968, LA’s own CONCERN Foundation (CONquer canCER Now) has made an incredible impact in funding cancer research. Originally starting as a group of friends who wanted to honor the life of Beverly Wolman, the organization stayed true to its original mission of funding cancer research.  To help raise funds, CONCERN began their annual Block Party, which drew the attention of A-list celebrities including Liza Minelli, Glen Campbell, Henry Mancini, Eric Estrada, Monty Hall, and more.  The Block Party’s popularity contributed to its different iterations, including its move from Rodeo Drive to Paramount Studios to keep up with the event’s high demand.

This year’s CONCERN Block Party, taking place on July 13, will continue the legacy of raising funds for cancer research while also honoring the dedication of Lexy Carroll and her family.  The Carroll family has spent generations working with CONCERN, making them worthy recipients of the Lifetime of Giving Award. We got to speak with Lexy Carroll about this year’s upcoming CONCERN Block Party and her family’s loyalty to the foundation.

Q: What does it mean for your family to be honored this year with the “Lifetime of Giving Award” because of your wonderful work within the community?

A: CONCERN has always had a special place in our hearts, and we have been supporters since the very early days.  We support other charities and organizations but CONCERN is always at the top of our list. So many family and friends have been touched by cancer… This group of dedicated people does so much towards the fight against this horrible disease.

Q: The concern foundation has been a long supporter of your family and the community towards cancer research.  What does their continued support mean to you?

A: There are many charity organizations in Southern California that help in the fight against cancer, but CONCERN supports young cancer researchers with “seed” money to help them get started in their careers.  We love the fact that these young scientists and doctors have gotten some of their initial funding from CONCERN.

Q:  Is the CONCERN Foundation the only organization you and your family are actively involved with?

A: We support other organizations which are close and important to our family and friends. Cedars Sinai Hospital, Children’s Hospital LA, Discovery Eye Institute, The Crohns and Colitis Foundation, Trinity Youth Home, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, UJF, LACMA, the Grammy Museum, the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, and NPR are some of the organizations we have supported over the years.

Q: Your family’s involvement towards cancer research started years ago and has been passed down through generations of your family.  What does it mean to continue the strong legacy you guys have built within your family?

A: We are proud that 4 generations of our family have been donors, supporters, and volunteers for Concern.  Sylvia and David Weisz instilled the importance of philanthropy and giving back to the community. Today the family foundation in their name continues this tradition.  Judy and Dick Carroll became involved and were influential in starting the first Block Party on Rodeo Drive. John [Carroll and I] followed the tradition, as [we] both have been Board presidents and [I have] served as the Chair of the Block Party for the past 9 years.  The Carroll children and grandchildren continue to volunteer at numerous events throughout the year.

Q: Last year’s fundraisers collected $1.8 million dollars of donations towards cancer research.  How do you guys look to continue those accomplishments this year?

A: Each year, the CONCERN family of donors grows to support the organization.  Our goal is to raise awareness to this great cause and hopefully introduce some of our friends to the wonderful work this organization does.

Q: How does it make you feel about the engagement you’re able to bring every year for the block party?

A: This is a group effort and we are just a small piece of the puzzle.  The Board of Directors at CONCERN work very hard to get their friends and family involved.  This event lives up to its name – it’s a party, one of LA’s best charity events of the year.  Young and old, it brings out a diverse group of people who love to eat, drink, dance and play.

Q: Your family has been helping with the block party since the first one on Rodeo drive many years ago, what do you have in store the guests attending this year?

A: The Block Party committee does a fantastic job each year.  The theme is “California Dreaming,” and we don’t want to give away any of the surprises that are in store, but there will be plenty of delicious food from LA’s best restaurants and great entertainment from many local musicians.


Photos courtesy of Chad Villaflores

Written by Sam Spotswood