Sunday is the last day that community members can reserve tickets to "Imagine...La Bella Vida," the American Cancer Society Santa Clarita Valley Unit's inaugural tribute gala.
Slated for Sunday, Aug. 2 from 5-9 p.m. at Tournament Players Club in Valencia, the distinguished event will pay homage to three outstanding 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.
"Please join us as we salute these very special oncology leaders for their excellence in providing compassionate and skilled care for people facing cancer, and for their unyielding contributions to the fight against cancer," said Donna Nuzzi, who is co-chairing the event with ACS SCV Unit president Candy Spahr.
Festivities also include sumptuous Italian cuisine, live music, and an auction with some really great items, Candy Spahr said.
"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," Spahr said.
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. Previously the longtime musical director for folk legend, John Prine, Parlapiano has recorded numerous Grammy award-winning releases and works as a first call accordionist and keyboardist with various artists. That talented list includes The Dixie Chicks, The Jonas Brothers, Dave Koz, Rod Stewart, and Jon Bon Jovi. Parlapiano also composes music for TV shows, including "Dirty, Sexy Money," and "Alias."
Also delighting ears that evening will be classical, flamenco guitarist Michael Lyn who will play during the VIP reception that starts at 5 p.m. A professional musician for more than two decades, Lyn is well known for his performances, guitar instruction, and charitable SCV event support.
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.
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.
She adds: "If someone can't be at the event but wants to purchase one of the auction items, they can call me at (661) 299-5536 and I will take their bid to the event for them."
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 and please visit http://gala.acsevents.org/labellavida  or email Tameka Payne of the American Cancer Society at firstname.lastname@example.org 
- submitted by Diana Sevanian, American Cancer Society volunteer