When I first met Richard Del Belso, my partner and husband for 35 years, he told me he didn’t want dogs. I had one – a very randy and exuberant Terrier mix named Cocoa. So, for the first few years of our relationship he stayed at my small bachelor apartment. Finally, I told Richard I wasn’t spending enough time with Cocoa, and he let my apricot bundle of love come to his house. Almost immediately, Richard fell in love with him, and from that moment he was a goner for dogs. I knew Cocoa had him when I came home one day to find Richard cooking some special Italian broth to put over his food.

There were eight other dogs that filled our lives over the next three and a half decades. All of them were rescues except for our twin Maltese brothers, Champ and Junior. They were given to us by our neighbors, Bart and Howard. They noticed how much we had loved our first dogs, Cocoa and Skipper, whom we had found just walking up the hill of our house one Sunday morning. We knew he was lost and decided to keep him till we could get him adopted. I came home from work that first day and found Richard cooking for this bedraggled black and white shih tzu mix and calling him “Skipper.”

I also had many other dogs and cats that were brought to me or that I found during those years, and Richard was right beside me, helping them get adopted. Chance and Sara and the lovely German Sheppard (never did know his name) and the Pit Bull Mikey and Inky, to name a few. I even had a holding area in our yard for many years, and many a dog came and went, getting good homes or being reunited with their owners.

During the last 10 years, Richard would go to PETMANIA in Burbank and tell me about the different rescues they had. He would contribute money to the their non-profit and even find a couple of lost dogs that Jennifer and John would help get adopted. I remember he especially loved this parrot they had named Joey (Richard loved birds too), and Joey loved him. Joey eventually wound up at a wild life preserve.

He let me adopt this crazy chihuahua named Sparky that only loved me, and I believe nobody else but Richard would have let me have her.

So, it only seems natural that having this Animal Rescue Benefit is a perfect way to honor Richard’s memory and to help all animals get a little love and find a home.


The benefit show will be no longer than 2 hours. I will sing, David Benoit will play his wonderful piano, and the other singers are tremendous. We’ll all keep it short and swingin’. I know how to put on a show – you will not be bored! I’ve been at too many benefits where I wanted to kill myself. This will not be one of them.

The $20.00 cover is a wonderful thing for you to contribute. Yes, we will have a silent auction and a raffle, but there will be no pressure for you to give more. This is my way of having a win-win situation — Helping Animals and Honoring Richard.

I hope you can join me and bring friends. You won’t be sorry

$20.00 cover
Reservations (323)466-2210
Or go to www.catalinajazzclub.com
6725 W. Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, Ca. 90028