With last year's solid hit behind them, chefs, merchants, lawyers and other professional men are rattling the pans and getting ready for this year's Downtown Women's Center benefit. They'll be in grand form by May 14 when the dinner takes place at the center on South Los Angeles Street.
The cooking team includes attorney Marco Weiss, the Music Center's Carmine Marinelli, developers Cliff and Wayne Ratkovich, Gucci's Luigi Leonardi and the chef from the Seventh Street Bistro, Laurent Quenioux. The music commences at 5 p.m. and the buffet dinner will be served from 6 to 8:30.
Backing up the chefs, amateur and professional, is a committee that includes Bettina and Otis Chandler, Barbara and Garry Marshall, Sandy and Sheldon Ausman, Adrienne and Vernon Underwood, Joan Weiss, Nancy and Tim Vreeland and Karen and Michael Gould.
"Cagney & Lacey" co-stars Tyne Daly and Sharon Gless are honorary co-chairmen. And the special wine servers will bear some of the familiar faces of the stars of "Days of Our Lives" and "The Young and the Restless." The evening will also feature a silent auction for little necessities like a 1985 Mercedes Benz 300 D Turbo sedan and a chance-of-a-lifetime walk-on part in "Cagney & Lacey."
The Downtown Women's Center was founded in 1978 by Jill Halverson to provide daytime services to the elderly, impoverished and psychologically disabled women of Skid Row. Recently the center's supporters added an adjacent building that will become a permanent low-cost housing facility. Funds raised at the May 14 festivities will help complete the remodeling of the residence.
Married to the popular director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Mrs. Earl A. Powell III knows how much a night off means to most busy men. And to a few women, too. That's why she's planning a Phantom Ball as a fund-raiser for her big cause, the Community Counseling Service, which runs an outpatient clinic at USC, an outpatient service for the community and two residential homes.
Nancy Powell and her committee met a while ago at the Powell home to plan the strategy for a party where no one has to show up. Discussing the whys and wherefores of the benefit, which will take place early in June, were Kathleen Kilroy, Nancy Livingston, Sue Barker, Pam Clyne and Palmer Ducommun. Adding ideas on how best to seek corporate funding were Joan Hotchkis, Esther Wachtell, Lillian Mizrahi, Ann Petroni, Felisa Vanoff, Nancy Vreeland, Pamela Edwards Thompson, Joanne Ratkovich, Dee Sherwood, Bea Wallace, Maggie Wetzel, Brooke Young and Susan McGrath.
Before some of impresario Edwin Lester's talented friends get up on stage Monday night at the Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to celebrate the Civic Light Opera founder's 90th birthday with excerpts from his (and their) many hits, there'll be a party for sponsors and supporters amid balloons and music in the Grand Hall. Greeting the multitudes will be co-chairs Wallis Annenberg, Florence Henderson, Charles Ducommun and Rodney Rood. And joining them will be such committee members as Ginny and Henry Mancini, Beverly and Joe Mitchell, Nancy and Alan Livingston, Carolyn and Roscoe Moss, Nancy and Tim Vreeland, Garry and Barbara Marshall, Arianna Stassinopoulos, Veronique and Gregory Peck, Bob and Kathleen Ahmanson, Susan and Peter Strauss, Linda Wachner (she's the former president of Max Factor), the Thomas Trainers, the Dennis Stanfills, the H. Russell Smiths, Mr. and Mrs. Russell Pace and Henry and Roz Rogers.
In San Francisco, Mrs. Prentis Cobb Hale was taking a breather between her marathon birthday celebration and her departure for Europe, where she and Prentis will visit the U.S. Ambassador to Spain, Thomas Enders and his wife, Gaetana, and party with loads of friends in Paris and Amsterdam.
"My Los Angeles pals looked so great, all five of them," Denise Hale reported, referring to Rosemarie and Robert Stack, who arrived in San Francisco first, and Angie Dickinson who flew up with television producer Douglas S. Cramer and Craig Johnson. That bunch joined Denise and Prentis for the first stop in the party rounds with Terry McEwen (he's president of the San Francisco Opera) and Jeremiah Powers' (he's S.F.'s newest cooking star) for dinner at one of Powers' restaurants, Stars. Dinner there started nicely with Norwegian smoked salmon and two kinds of caviar.
The next day Jo Schuman gave a ladies luncheon at the newly restored Old Poodle Dog on Sutter Street. Peter Minton was at the piano, and benefiting from the glow of the all-pink decor were Princess di San Faustino, Dodie Rosecrans, Nini Martin, Ann Getty, Denise Spaulding, Carmella Skaggs, Nan Hearst and Sally Jordan, who brought as her present two German shepherd puppies to replace Denise's beloved and still much missed "Baby."