Larry Kurzweil has made a big push for charity work since he became president of Universal Studios Hollywood 10 years ago. But recently he was acknowledged for it on a personal level.

Kurzweil last month received the William Shatner Humanitarian Award from the Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles. The award recognized Kurzweil’s support for Camp Max Strauss, a program in Verdugo Hills that sends children from poor families to summer camp for up to two weeks.

Kurzweil had a personal connection: His son served for three summers as a counselor at the camp.

“I got to see firsthand the kids my son has helped,” he said. “It was touching to see how you could transform someone’s life, albeit for a few weeks, with the hope that you’re giving them something better to aspire to.”

While his son worked the grassroots level, Kurzweil dealt with the camp’s board members on fundraising and facility improvement projects.

“Because of my own interest in this charity, it was an opportunity to stand tall on behalf of my company and be a part of this from both a family and a corporate perspective,” Kurzweil said.

‘Interesting’ Development

Attorneys Robert Barnes and Robert Bernhoft, who famously defended actor Wesley Snipes on tax fraud charges, hosted a party two weeks ago at their picturesque Malibu beach house to celebrate the holidays.

Guests sipped champagne and noshed on grilled-cheese sandwiches, shrimp skewers, and gourmet cookies and cakes. About 40 attended the evening affair, including Beverly Hills investment banker Francisco Martin; Hollywood agents Tad Lumpkin of International Creative Management and Nate Steadman of Gersh Agency; Beverly Hills attorney to professional baseball players Joseph Longo; crisis communications expert Ross Johnson of BNC; and attorney Bret Tollefson of Berhoft Law Firm.

Also making an appearance was the actor who plays the “Most Interesting Man in the World” on Dos Equis commercials, Jonathan Goldsmith. But the most interesting man, sporting his signature beard, didn’t garner much interest from the Hollywood crowd. In fact, he kept a low profile, picking at the finger food with wife, Barbara.

No Tiger, No Problem

M&A Capital LLC, a boutique investment bank in Westlake Village, held a soiree recently in conjunction with the Chevron World Challenge, a golf tournament benefiting Tiger Woods’ charity. Woods was expected to headline the Westlake Village tournament, but with the tabloids hounding the golf phenom after his early morning car accident and subsequent sordid revelations, Woods withdrew.

Thomas Murphy, managing director of the firm, said it was somewhat disappointing: “An event with Tiger is going to be a lot better than an event without him.”

Still, a good crowd of about 120 people showed up for the buffet lunch, Murphy said, and the majority didn’t seem to mind too much. The annual party, held at Murphy’s home near the Sherwood Country Club, “is not really a golf event.”

Staff reporters Joel Russell, Alexa Hyland and Richard Clough contributed to this column. Page 3 is compiled by editor Charles Crumpley. He can be reached at

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