Steven Lopez, author of "The Soloist" and reporter for The Los Angeles Times, will be speaking in at Sauder Hall on Friday, May 7 at 7:30 p.m. as a part of Oaklawn's 11th annual Spring Spectacular.

Lopez has been a reporter at The L.A. Times since 2001, but most learned his name when he wrote "The Soloist," a recent bestseller based on his weekly column and interactions with Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, a homeless Juilliard musician struggling with schizophrenia. The book was then made into a major motion picture starring Jamie Foxx as Ayers and Robert Downey, Jr. as Lopez.

"I'd like so much to see Nathaniel off the streets and staying in a safe place, I sometimes have to remind myself how far he's come toward a better life this year," Loepz wrote in his Dec. 18, 2005 column about Ayers. "After years of just drifting musically, playing a wrecked violin on city streets, he now has a cello and a couple of much better violins. With treatment, who knows what he could be capable of?"

Lopez will speak on his relationship with Ayers, mental illness and homelessness.

Before beginning at The Los Angeles Times, Lopez wrote for TIME, Sports Illustrated, Life and Entertainment Weekly.

The Spring Spectacular is the annual fundraiser for Oaklawn Foundation for Mental Health. Proceeds will assist those unable to page for mental health and addictions treatment.

Tickets for the program are $25 for the general public. Goshen College students, faculty and staff can attend this lecture at a discounted price of $15. To reserve your ticket, contact Olivia Rittenhouse at (574) 537-2646.

Oaklawn will also offer a free viewing of "The Soloist" complete with popcorn and beverages, Tuesday, May 4 at 7 p.m. at their facility at 330 Lakeview Drive, Goshen.