10/13/2010 04:54 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Alfred E. Mann Foundation Gala

What if you couldn't hear? What if you couldn't see? What if your heart stopped working? These are the questions scientist, philanthropist, Angeleno and one of my all-time heroes, Al Mann, asks himself every day. And in those questions, he finds answers that result in ground-breaking prosthetics that connect neurological systems with the external world.

I met a girl at the Alfred E. Mann gala who was born deaf and today wears a cochlear implant invented by the MannKind Corporation. She was given a second implant tonight from the Alfred E. Mann Foundation at the Santa Monica Airport in Hanger 8. Another girl danced a tango performance she learned thanks to her gift of hearing she received via the Mann Foundation.

Behind it all, Al, and his wife and partner in crime Claude Mann, gave awards, honored friends and colleagues and welcomed Placido Domingo to the stage.

Not exactly a crowd to jaw drop - with Wallis Annenberg, Homeira Goldstein, Cheryl Hines, Paul Nassif & Adrienne Maloof Nassif (soon to be Real Housewife of Beverly Hills), Kent & Joyce Kresa, Nigel Lithgoe, Kent & Joyce Kresa, Barbara Lazroff, USC President Max Nikkias, Mark Stern (Chairman of LA Opera), and Congressman Dana Rohabaker - but everyone agreed, even the room seemed to change color when the handsome and charismatic opera singer took the stage.

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This story was re-published courtesy of The Daily Truffle. It was written by Caroline M. Roman, owner of The Daily Truffle. The Daily Truffle is a Los Angeles social diary written by a circle of high school friends who grew up together in L.A. View more society, fashion and party writing on The Daily Truffle.