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Larry King Cardiac Foundation Gala: A lot of heart, a little ribbing

Larry King with Eddie "Elvis" Powers. (Chris Savas)

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UPDATE: We have corrected this item to reflect that Aretha Franklin's appearance at the previous weekend's Larry King Cardiac Foundation Gala was not her first performance in the District since President Obama's inauguration in January 2009. Franklin performed at the Capitol Fourth celebration July 4, 2009.

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While most of the weekend's stargazing was happening out in L.A., D.C.'s version of the glitterati descended on the Ritz-Carlton on Saturday for the annual Larry King Cardiac Foundation Gala, back after a year's hiatus due to the iffy economy.

King's usual eclectic collection of 400 friends gathered to rub shoulders with Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., sportscaster Jim Gray, porn peddler Larry Flynt and Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, who brought along wife Tanya and new general manager Bruce Allen just days after the roster bloodbath. "He's the guy you can blame now," joked Snyder.

The glitzy party, reports our colleague Liz Kelly, included performances by cheese-tastic Elvis impersonator Eddie Powers, comedian Cathy Ladman (cousin to Rep. Gerald Nadler -- small world, huh?) and Aretha Franklin, wearing an unfortunate strappy pale-pink gown but (alas) no hat.

Snyder and honoree Don Graham traded some good-natured ribbing: The Washington Post Co. chairman, accepting the Gerald S. Snyder Heart Award for philanthropy, said he was amazed by Snyder's success considering that "his mother didn't even own the Redskins." Snyder returned fire, saying he grudgingly agreed to give the award, named after his father, to someone from The Washington Post (it's a complicated relationship, kids) because "dad was a life-long journalist."

King started the foundation after surviving a heart attack and undergoing quintuple-bypass surgery; he underwent another heart procedure late last year when he had stents placed in his coronary artery to help restore blood flow.

By The Reliable Source  |  March 8, 2010; 2:02 AM ET
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