Larry King comes to San Diego for Kids Korps

Elise Esprit, left, chats with Larry King and his longtime producer Wendy Walker at the March 24, 2007 Kids Korps USA’s Annual Gala, presented by South Coast Plaza at downtown San Diego's historic US Grant Hotel/The Grapevine

I met Larry King at a Kids Korps gala event in March 2007. He made me laugh, and was a fun person to interview.

February 2021

I recall he had this to say about Kids Korps: “As a whole, KK the best thing about it is your kids getting involved and getting something done. It is not that complex. They see a goal they accomplish it in the growth process that what life’s about. I had a goal to be a broadcaster. I was in broadcasting for 50 years.”

We kept chatting for a few more minutes after the short interview, and had some pictures taken.

Larry, while joking about his recent heart surgery, even joked about himself, “I’m a Jew, we don’t’ laugh.”

RIP Larry.

March 2007

In the end it was Larry King who summed up the entire event into one sentence, “I like the idea of kids who have it, helping kids who don’t, and there definitely needs to be more of this.”

Actress and author Suzanne Somers joined legendary talk show host Larry King at Kids Korps USA’s Annual Gala, presented by South Coast Plaza.

That year’s gala, themed “An Era of Elegance,” was held Saturday, March 24 at the historic US Grant in downtown San Diego. King presided over an evening of dining, dancing and bidding on fabulous auction items to raise funds and awareness for Kids Korps USA, a national non-profit organization that engages young people from 5-to-18 years old in community service.

Kids Korps USA’s goal is to build leaders for life through youth volunteerism.

Since it was founded in 1995, Kids Korps has grown from a handful of children in its first chapter in Rancho Santa Fe to nearly 5,000 youth and family volunteers in 70 chapters around the country. Kids Korps sponsors hundreds of community service projects each year that include building homes for the disadvantaged, creating care bags for youth entering transitional facilities and assembling bikes for kids in need.

Larry King and Suzanne Somers chat it up at the US Grant Hotel, March 2007/San Diego Social Diary

South Coast Plaza, with its unparalleled collection of more than 280 boutiques and department stores, was the Platinum Presenting Partner of the Kids Korps Gala.  “Personally, I cannot think of a more world-class partner in expanding access to Kids Korps to other markets and populations, “said Joani Wafer, co-founder of Kids Korps.

The Kids Korps gala began at 5:30 p.m., with cocktails and a silent auction, followed by dinner and dancing to NRG Music and Productions. A live auction gave gala guests an opportunity to bid on luxury items and exotic vacation getaways, including a nine-day London-to-Africa Odyssey valued at $12,50 and two adorable Yorkshire terrier puppies.

According to Gala Chairman Bob Stefanko, “The gala came together really nicely. The group of officers was here at 9 am and everything was done by 1:30pm. As a whole the best thing about KidsKorp is young kids getting involved and getting something done. It’s not that complex.”

As an added special touch to the evening Larry King brought along his very good friend Suzanne Somers. Suzanne added a bit of humor and a bright spirit to the gala evening including singing one of Larry favorite songs during dinner.

Dubbed “master of the mike” by TIME magazine, King is host of CNN’s Larry King Live, the network’s highest rated program and the first worldwide call-in TV talk show.

An Emmy Award winner, King has spent 50 years interviewing people who make headlines and history, from magnates to movie stars, heroes to heads of state. He is a treasured supporter of Kids Korps USA, serving for the past seven years as chair of its National Leadership Circle.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA ADVISORY

KIDS KORPS USA GALA

WHO:     CNN’S LARRY KING HEADLINES KIDS KORPS GALA

WHAT:   KIDS KORPS GALA “AN ERA OF ELEGANCE”

WHERE: US GRANT HOTEL, 326 BROADWAY, SAN DIEGO 92101

WHEN:   SATURDAY, MARCH 24, 2007

                6:00: PHOTO OPPORTUNITY WITH LARRY KING AND OTHER                                                          VIPS IN GRANT HALL FOYER ON LOWER LEVEL

                6:30 SILENT AUCTION IN CELESTIAL BALLROOM ON LOWER LEVEL

                8:00 DINNER, DANCING AND LIVE AUCTION IN PRESIDENTIAL BALLROOM, SECOND FLOOR.

WHY:    TO RAISE MONEY AND AWARENESS FOR KIDS KORPS USA, THE YOUTH VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATON THAT ENGAGES KIDS IN COMMUNITY SERVICE.

PLEASE NOTE: MEDIA WHO WISH TO STAY FOR DINNER AND PROGRAM MUST RSVP WITH ANDREA NAVERSEN/MEDIA CHAIR AT 858/759-9610 BY TUESDAY, MARCH 20TH 

VALET PARKING IS AVAILABLE BY PULLING INTO THE VALET ENTRANCE OFF 4TH AVENUE JUST PAST C STREET ON THE EAST SIDE OF THE US GRANT. NEWS CREWS MAY ALSO BE ABLE TO FIND PARKING ON 4TH AVENUE, ENTERING THE HOTEL THROUGH DOORS ADJACENT TO THE GRANT GRILL.

PLEASE CHECK IN AT MEDIA DESK ON THE LOBBY LEVEL

************************************************************************************

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LARRY KING and SUZANNE SOMERS HEADLINE 

KIDS KORPS USA’S 2007 GALA

Presented by South Coast Plaza

Nonprofit Promotes Volunteerism Among Youth

Ticket prices range from $225 per person for Kids Korps members to $1,000 for premier seating. 

About the Kids Korps USA Gala

Event Chairs:  Connie and Bill McNally

Corporate Event Chairs:  Karen and Stuart Tanz

Gala Chairs:  Collette and Bob Stefanko

Gala Coordinating Chairs:  Stephanie Kourie and Tiffany Mahoney

Wine Auction Chair:  Bertrand Hug 

Gala Committee:  Tobi Blatt, Ann Brizolis, Diana Burdick, Kathy Connor, Barbara Enberg, Elise Marie Esprit, Lola Green, April Guinchard, Laura Harkness, Michele Homan, Cheri Myron, Andrea Naversen, Mia Stefanko, Ros Susman, Kids Korps founder Joani Wafer, Wendy Walker, Gina Jacobs Ward, Michelle Weinger, Nina Williams

About Kids Korps USA Gala Sponsors

Platinum Presenting Sponsor:  South Coast Plaza

Gold Sponsors:  Karen and Stuart Tanz/ United Income Properties

Silver Sponsors:  Patty Applegate, The Private Bank of America, Jenny & Sid Craig, the Larsen Foundation, Connie & Bill McNally, Denise & Bertrand Hug/ Mille Fleurs, Toby Wells Foundation

Bronze Sponsors:  Cindy & Larry Bloch, K. Ann Brizolis, Jenny Craig Inc., Barbara and Dick Enberg, Cathy & Brad Geier, LPL Financial Services, Pulido Walker Foundation, Regents Bank, Serenity Fund, Bob & Collette Stefanko/ Ranch & Coast Magazine, Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, Joani & Chuck Wafer, Sharon & David Wax, Joanne & David Wolf

Copper Sponsors:  Barona Band of Mission Indians, Catalyst Cause Marketing, James R. Greenbaum, Jr. Family Foundation Trust, Highland Street Foundation, Dawn and Charlie Lehman, Catherine & Art Nicholas, Pronghorn Foundation, Joyce and Jere Oren, San Diego National Bank, Ellen Stiefler & Rand Pipp, Tama & Marshall Varano, Wells Fargo Private Bank

About Kids Korps USA

Kids Korps USA’s goal is to build leaders for life through youth volunteerism.

Since it was founded in 1995, Kids Korps has grown from a handful of children in its first chapter in Rancho Santa Fe to nearly 5,000 youth and family volunteers in 70 chapters around the country. Kids Korps sponsors hundreds of community service projects each year that include building homes for the disadvantaged, creating care bags for youth entering transitional facilities and assembling bikes for kids in need.

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