- The Washington Times - Monday, March 4, 2002

The interviewer known for his gravelly voice, multiple marriages and ubiquitous suspenders also has a pretty big heart.
CNN's Larry King hosted his self-titled Cardiac Foundation's annual fund-raiser Friday, which helps those suffering heart conditions gain access to lifesaving care.
"An Evening With Larry King and Friends," held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Northwest, drew about 600 of the talk show host's pals du jour, from new Washington Redskins coach Steve Spurrier to songstress Dionne Warwick .
The boisterous event raised more than $800,000 even before the night's silent auction could be tallied, its organizers said.
"We always try to make this a party," said Mr. King, whose foundation helped 27 heart patients receive treatment last year, "and help a lot of people at the same time."
Ensuring he kept his word about the former were the Go-Go's , whose perky act included their appropriately dubbed one-time chart-topper, "We Got the Beat." The music continued, thanks to 1980s mainstays Heart and Chic , while members of Cirque du Soleil pitched in with their inimitable clowning and derring-do.
Vice President Richard B. Cheney , no stranger to heart complications himself, reminded the crowd of modern medicine's wondrous impact on those with heart conditions. Mr. King, the vice president said, hasn't forgotten.
"This foundation is a testament to his own gratitude," Mr. Cheney said.
Other "friends" on hand included Sen. Orrin Hatch , the Utah Republican; Heart's Ann and Nancy Wilson ; Solicitor General Ted Olson ; former Secretary of State Alexander Haig ; and comedian Lewis Black .
When Mr. King promised a "big" surprise for the finale, he meant an appearance by Sesame Street's Big Bird, who was joined onstage by everyone from the Go-Go's to Redskins owner Daniel Snyder for a rendition of "We Are Family."
At a pre-dinner reception, former Sen. Robert Dole , the Kansas Republican, praised Mr. King for his genial talk show manner.
"I like a little give-and-take," Mr. Dole said. "He's not a 'Hardball' kind of show."
Mr. Spurrier worked the pre-gala reception with new pal, Mr. Snyder, their honeymoon period in full swing. The former Florida coach appeared at ease in Washington party mode.
"I'll do a few [such events], but I won't do a whole bunch," Mr. Spurrier said in his gentle Southern drawl. "This is our town now."
This year's Larry King Heart Award went to Arthur R. Ryan, chairman and CEO of the Prudential Insurance Co. of America, and Gabriella E. Morris, president of the Prudential Foundation. Mr. King's Spirit of Life Award went to Mark A. Barondess, counsel for the Los Angeles law firm Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil & Shapiro, LLP.


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