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769A7984They may be football rivals, but USC and UCLA supporters united to make a difference for underfunded cancer research at a recent gathering for 500 at L.A. Live’s Club Nokia. The fundraiser was hosted by Rivals United for a Kure, which showcased the gala premiere of A City Divided, the first-ever documentary film of the 80-year football rivalry, with high profile alumni from both schools attending as well as prominent sports figures and leading sports enthusiasts.

Linda Young’s Elite OC Productions transformed Club Nokia into a UCLA/USC-themed party with each of the school’s football helmets a major design focus, while Wolfgang Puck catered a delicious repast and popular celebrity auctioneers from Storage Wars, Dan and Laura Dotson, worked their magic in the live auction. With the support of former star quarterbacks, who also serve as their schools’ radio game analysts, UCLA’s Matt Stevens and USC’s Paul McDonald joined in some friendly sparring as Rivals’ campaign chairs to open the dinner/auction part of the evening.

Spotted in the crowd were former head coaches USC’s John Robinson and UCLA’s Terry Donahue, as well as former UCLA players Cade McNown, Jason Bell, Deshaun Foster, Cory Paus, Michael Young, and Andy Myers. Among the USC players attending were Shane Foley, John Papadakis, Mike Sherrard, Will Collins, and Pete Arbogast. Many of them were featured in the documentary, which Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Jack Baric made possible. The evening concluded with a high-energy cocktail party in Club Nokia’s VIP Lounge, where football stories were the subject of many conversations and good-natured kidding was heard all-round.

VIPS attending included Kure It Cancer Research founder Barry Hoeven (Kure It is the nonprofit umbrella for Rivals United for a Kure), Presenting Sponsor A Better LA’s Robert Hoff, Fox Sports West and NFL Network personality and mistress of ceremonies Lindsay Rhodes, VIP Party co-sponsors Burton Young and Rand Sperry, representing Sperry Equities and Greenberg-Graurig, City National Bank with Samantha Davies and Chris Warmuth, Drs. Stephen Smale of UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and Stephen Gruber of USC’s Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, and gala co-chairs Alison Hahn, Karen Jones and Linda Young.

Together with monies raised from the gala and Rivals United for a Kure’s Fall 2012 pledge campaign, net proceeds of $300,000 were raised for underfunded cancer research at both of the school’s cancer centers.

Photos: Happy Photos