"Neil always felt that music is a reflection of who we are as a society and many different voices need to be nourished, developed and heard. Like research, that takes time and belief."
——Joyce Bogart Trabulus


Joyce Bogart Trabulus Upholds Late Husband's Legacy as Annual Fundraiser Takes Place Nov. 4

Neil Bogart was only 39 years old when he died in 1982 of cancer, leaving behind his partners and employees at Casablanca Records and Filmworks, a multi-faceted entertainment company, along with four young children and his wife, Joyce.

A group of industry heavies got together to commemorate his life. Twenty years later, the Neil Bogart Memorial Fund has grown to be the largest donor of its kind at Children's Hospital Los Angeles with its generous support of the Neil Bogart Memorial Laboratories, where 15 scientists and their research teams are dedicated to discovering treatments and cures for cancer, leukemia and AIDS.

The Neil Bogart Memorial Fund and its parent organization, the T. J. Martell Foundation, have made a $12 million commitment to Children's Hospital L.A., the largest single foundation gift the hospital has ever received. With this pledge, the Neil Bogart Memorial fund has provided the hospital with over $26 million in research funding since 1984. In recognition, the Neil Bogart Chair in Leukemia will be established.

The Neil Bogart Memorial Fund began its crucial support of Children's Hospital L.A. at the suggestion of music industry executive Tony Martell, who started the T.J. Martell Foundationin 1975 to honor the son he lost to leukemia. He asked Trabulus if her group would be interested in a small research laboratory at Childrens Hospital L.A., which has grown to five laboratories on four floors of the hospital's Research Institute. Their focus: basic and pre-clinical research in developmental therapeutics (new drugs), pediatric AIDS, cellular and molecular biology, biology research support and the tumor suppressor gene program. Recent advances include new combinations of drugs to fight leukemia and an innovative treatment for neuroblastoma, which has become the "gold standard" for attacking this deadly childhood cancer and raised the long-term survival rate from 16% to 55%.

This Monday (11/4), the Universal Amphitheatre will be celebrating 30 years of live entertainment by being honored at the annual "Bogart Tour for a Cure," taking place, naturally, at the venue itself. In addition, Britney Spears will also be honored. The event will include an all-star lineup of celebrity appearances including Michelle Branch, Ashanti, Sugar Ray and Sixpence None the Richer with an appearance by Paul Rodriguez. The legendary Dick Clark will open and close the show.

HITS' own Bobbi Fleckman recently got Joyce Bogart Trabulus to give a brief rundown about the work done on her late husband's behalf over the last 20 years.

How would you describe your late husband?
Neil Bogart was a dreamer, a visionary really, with an uncanny ability to spot trends in music right at the cusp of their development as well as to create new trends on his own, such as bubblegum music and disco. He loved urban music and was always looking for new sounds. Parliament Funkadelic were way ahead of their time even by today's standards and are revered and sampled by everyone in rap today. Neil was a showman who had an ear for what people wanted to hear and he was a risk-taker, willing to back up something he really believed in. If he believed in an artist he would work with them to develop their sound and then he would fiercely promote it to get that sound heard by the fans, even if it had to be by unconventional means. KISS and Donna Summer both had gold records before radio played them. Neil was an innovator. If normal means of promotion didn't work, he would invent new ones until his artist's music was heard.

We try to do the same thing with research, providing the seed money to fuel major breakthroughs. The Neil Bogart Memorial Fund has provided crucial seed grants to support experimental research that might not otherwise receive funding. In this regard,it follows in the footsteps of our parent organization, the T. J. Martell Foundation which has earned a reputation for funding research that is original and outside the box. These grants allow Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to attract and retain top researchers, as well as generate long-term funding from outside agencies at a rate seven times over the original gift, meaning their research is so recognized by the government and their peers that they obtain 7 million for every million we give them.

Neil always looked outside the box for new artists with their own individual voices. We are following in Neil's path by continuing to believe in our doctors and their research when there are no other funds available. We are backing cutting-edge research that enables us to get immediate results. We received a $10 million grant from the NIH for our neuroblastoma research which has tripled the survival rates for children with this horrible disease and is now the gold standard for treatment worldwide.

What was the defining moment when you decided how to best honor his memory with a commitment to cancer research in children?
When Neil lost his battle with cancer, so many people in the industry were galvanized to try to do something to fight this horrible disease. The group included Carole Bayer Sager and Burt Bacharach, Neil and Marcia Diamond, Jerry and Ann Moss, Gil Freisen, Marlene and Alan Lenard, Gil and Joanne Segal, Linda and Peter Guber, Donnie and Joe Smith along with other performers and hundreds of entertainment executives.

We knew we wanted to fund research that would immediately impact the lives of those with cancer, and that we wanted to help children. Tony Martell invited us to check out the research at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles where the Martell Foundation wanted to fund a small laboratory. Children's unique "bench to bedside" set up, the quality of their researchers, the fact that their research results are used by over 90% of the children who get cancer each year and the caring wonderful physicians and nurses who serve there convinced us that this was the place to be. Britney Spears recently came to visit and was very impressed with the research and the hospital. She took the time to visit every child and teenager on the cancer floors and was so wonderful and supportive. We were all very impressed with her serious commitment to children and their causes. It's so unusual in someone so young. She's quite a terrific and dedicated young lady.

Your first big event was "A Night at the Races" at Hollywood Park. Where did you go from there?
Our honorees have included "stars" from all areas of the entertainment business. Barbra Streisand was our first honoree. Others who received the Children's Choice Award include Elizabeth Taylor, Neil Diamond, Bette Midler, Whoopi Goldberg, Sherry Lansing, Ed Rosenblatt, Les Bider, Clarence Avant, Gary Gersh, Russ Bach, David Foster, Mike Shalett and Hilary Rosen .

"Night at the Races" was followed by an all-star overnight christening of the Crystal Cruise lines first ship, a prom for Ed Rosenblatt hosted by Dick Clark with Sha Na Na and 50 roller skating carhops. Everyone from the industry came in costume and it was an amazing evening. We try to do events that are different and enjoyable.

This year's honorees are the Universal Amphitheater and Britney Spears. How will this event differ from year's past?
The last few years we have had "Bogart Backstage, On Tour for a Cure," a Sunday afternoon event that included 140 celebrities from TV, film, music and sports, including Tony Hawk, Aaron Carter, Lil' Romeo and Jessica Simpson. This year, we were honored to be asked to participate in the Universal Amphitheater's 30th anniversary celebration. Jay Marciano and everyone from House of Blues/Universal have been incredibly supportive and generous in enabling us to present this evening for the benefit of the Neil Bogart Laboratories.

We were thrilled that Dick Clark Productions and Larry Klein agreed to executive-produce with House of Blues and are so grateful for the support of our chairs, Ron Meyer, Doug Morris, Jay Marciano and Casey Wasserman. Britany Spears and her whole organization are working hard to make the evening a success as well. Everyone on the Bogart Board of Directors and our national office at TJ Martel have been so appreciative of the type of support we have received.

What are some of the other ways monies are raised for the NBMF?
We have grown into a rather large organization with our Board, Ambasadors Council and Auxiliary organizing quite a variety of events. We have golf tournaments, a great tennis tournament called "Racquet Rumble" that Fred Goldring chairs. There’s Corporate and Foundation giving, a vehicle donation program (888.922.NBMF), a designated eBay site that’s benefitted from amazing donations such as "A Day in the Studio with Metallica", a raffle for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to China, a holiday boutique coming up November 16th, holiday cards, and an elegant and fabulous wine dinner like the one Joe Smith does in NYC for Martell. In addition to these fundraisers, every Halloween, Christmas and Easter we have these great holiday parties for the children. In fact we start our toy drive shortly.

What kind of advice do you think Neil would give to those running record labels today?
Neil always felt that music is a reflection of who we are as a society and many different voices need to be nourished, developed and heard. Like research, that takes time and belief.

The "Bogart Tour for a Cure" event takes place this Monday (11/4) at the Universal Amphitheatre. General admission tickets $29-$50 available through www.ticketmaster.com or call (213) 480-3232. VIP Tickets and Sponsorship packages are available by contacting Levy, Pazanti and Associates at (310) 201-5033, NBMF, (310) 358-4970, or visiting www.tjmartellfoundation.org.

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