The Sandpipers, a support group for Hoag Hospital, is named for a very industrious little shore bird.
Wednesday at the Santa Ana Country Club, the image seemed appropriate enough as Laraine Eggleston, incoming president of the 37-member group, presented Hoag Hospital board vice chairman Al Auer a check for $78,000 toward the purchase of a high-energy linear accelerator for the facility's Radiation Therapy Center.
"When I heard about the amount of money you raised, I thought somebody was pulling my leg," said Auer as he accepted the check.
"Every year," he continued, "the Sandpipers' president comes to our annual meeting at the hospital to report to the board of directors, all the committees and staff what the group has done that year. I wish you could be there to hear the disbelief that goes through the audience, everybody saying they can't possibly raise that much money with that few people."
The group's most recent contribution represents an amount 10 times that raised in its charter year 10 years ago. All told, the Sandpipers have earned $406,599 for the Center.
"It's just a matter of standing back and not getting in their way," said Frank Hall, senior vice president in charge of community relations development at the hospital.
According to Dr. Russell Hafer of the Therapy Center, the new accelerator is the most advanced radiation machine available today for the treatment of cancer.
"Its higher energy will allow us to treat deeper tumors with fewer side effects," said Hafer, "and will also give us capabilities for electron treatment, a different form of radiation.
"A lot of people have a misconception that cancer is always an incurable disease. Prostate cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer--many of these types of tumor are curable with radiation."
While the major fund-raiser in 1984 was "The Sandpipers Toast Hollywood," a dinner and live auction held at and co-sponsored by Bullock's South Coast Plaza, the check also included proceeds from a fashion show at Robinson's and sizable donations from various individuals and corporations.
"I think we can all say we've been touched in some way by cancer," said outgoing Sandpipers' president Suzy Riley before introducing Mary Gordon, whose husband, Dr. Daniel Gordon, recently died of cancer. "We've either known someone or it's someone in our family."
The Gordons elected, before Daniel's death, that any memorial donation be directed to the Sandpipers; according to Riley, more than $4,000 has been received in his name to date.
The only requirement for Sandpipers membership, according to past president Abbie Forester, is that a person be interested.
"There are those who come and go," reflected Forester--whose husband, along with that of another charter member, Jacky White, just that moment passed outside the Terrace Room window on a golf cart mid-game--"they join, but leave when they find out the work is hard.
"Then there's a core group who want to be involved, who want to work. And they just think it's the most fun."
Other charter members at the luncheon included Lorraine Baba (whose daughter Vicky is also an active member), Emily Wilgus, Lois Malone, Janet Sawyer and Carolyn Pike, and past presidents Patti Estabrooks (daughter of Sandpipers' founder, the late Corinne (Corkey) Elkouri) and Debbie Hogan.
From the Radiation Therapy Center came Drs. Hafer and Robert Shapiro; representing Bullock's were Sue Graham, Carol Humphries, Boise Taylor and Shana Husbands.
Eggleston, Malone, Michele Vaughan, Jane McCaffrey, Cindy Schrank and Karen Whitaker took up their duties as new Sandpiper officers.
Another kind of Piper--Aubrey Piper--entertained a Premiere Night audience of about 450 Friday at South Coast Repertory's production of George Kelly's 1924 comedy, "The Show-Off." And most stayed for a special reception following the production.
One is happy to report that Piper, the loud-mouthed, toupeed, egomaniacal, compulsively lying character around whom the play revolves, was not among them.
Ron Boussom (who played Piper) and the rest of the cast, however, did make a late-night appearance as the women of SCR's Newport Beach Guild, wearing the feathered finery of the '20s, served up feta cheese-and-spinach croissants and apple tarts, and the Royal Street Bachelors, in red-and-white striped suits, played Dixieland jazz (and "Happy Birthday" for Margaret Warren, wife of SCR trustee Bill Warren).
Premiere Night attendance is limited to Friends of SCR who donate at the Golden Circle Level ($1,000 or more); new Golden Circle members included David and Sylvia McEwen and Gary and Marcia Fudge.
"These Premiere performances are important in that they mark the coming together of our major supporters and the productions they've helped create," explained SCR trustee Dot Clock, Premiere Series Committee chairman. "What we're trying to do is come up with a little different twist after each play so people will stay.