Vol 7. Issue 16 / May 14, 2007

Hot Topz Celebrates "Real World Heroes"

By Mika Ono

It's not often that you can say the words "The Scripps Research Institute" and "fashion show" in the same breath. So savor the moment while you spread the news—an event called Hot Topz, a dance party and fashion show to be held Saturday, June 23 in downtown San Diego, will raise money for research at the institute.

Hot Topz, which is being put together by musician and performing artist Kathy Yuhl and cycling tour organizer Jim Knight under the auspices of Desert Rock Productions, is being billed as "the hottest party ticket of the summer" and a "swank, yet totally casual, summer soiree for singles and couples," especially those ages 21 to 50 something. The happening will be held at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, from 8 PM to midnight.

"Through our event we hope to raise money to further the incredible research done at The Scripps Research Institute," says Yuhl. "We will hopefully open new doors to a younger generation of donors who find the health issues of AIDS and cancer to be relevant to their lives." 

Yuhl and Knight first became interested in Scripps Research after learning of its four-star rating by Charity Navigator, an internet rating service that evaluates the efficiency and financial accountability of nonprofit groups. Scripps Research has received a four-star rating from the service for six years in a row.

As part of the fundraising effort, photos of the evening's guests arriving on a Pink Carpet (inspired by the organizers' red carpet experience, but with a fun twist) will be developed onsite and made available for donations to the institute.

In addition, the event will honor three Scripps Research investigators, whom the HotTopz web site has designated "real world heroes":

• Professor Dennis Burton, whose research focuses primarily on human antibody responses to HIV and the design of an HIV vaccine to combat AIDS.

• Professor Ben Cravatt, who studies the action and regulation of chemical messengers in research relevant to breast cancer, pain sensation, and sleep.

• Associate Professor Peter Kuhn, who is developing novel approaches to understanding of biological systems, work that relates to cancer and SARS.

The evening will feature a variety of food and entertainment, including three DJs playing high-energy music, a live band Paradise ("Latin soul that rocks"), samples from a variety of San Diego restaurants, a cigar party, a summer fashion show emceed by 91X's on air personality Jen White, and a "Hottest Top" contest for guests.

Desert Rock Productions, founded by Yuhl in 2006, produces musical entertainment and production services for larger public and private events, as well as its own concerts, festivals, and fundraisers. Yuhl has more than 30 years experience in the music industry as a performer and recording artist.

Knight served in the military for ten years as an airborne/ranger infantry officer, then in the Pentagon working with General Colin Powell's Joint Staff, before turning his attention to business and other ventures. Knight, whose accomplishments include completing 12 marathons, 60 triathlons, and five Ironman distance races, is co-founder of Shadow Tour, a cycling adventure group.

Early-bird tickets to Hot Topz, which start at $45, are available at www.desertrock.biz. To take advantage of a special Scripps Research promotion when purchasing tickets online, enter the code "TSRI" and receive a 10 percent discount off ticket prices.


Send comments to: mikaono[at]scripps.edu





Hot Topz, a fashion show and dance party to be held June 23, will raise money for The Scripps Research Institute.














Kathy Yuhl and Jim Knight first became interested in Scripps Research after learning of its four-star rating by Charity Navigator.