It's another marathon in the City of Hope's fund raising. And it's a hard act to match.
By late this afternoon the 37th Annual Women's Luncheon of the Sportsmen's Club, a three-day event that began Tuesday, will have drawn 4,000 guests to the Beverly Hilton to see Bullock's present "The Best of Bullock's," a musical show starring such designers as Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Flora Kung, Anne Klein and Laura Ashley. (This will be the third year for the Bullock's-Sportsmen's Club team.)
Chairman Dorothy Royce and her adviser, Ruth Kahn (Mrs. Kahn chaired the first luncheon in 1949 at the Hollywood Athletic Club where the grand prize was a $1,000 Frazer automobile and the attendance was 125), called the three-part extravaganza "On With the Show" and invited Bullock's chairman Allen Questrom and his wife Kelli, Bullock's new president James Gray and vice president Judy B. Farris to show up on separate days and accept their special awards from the City of Hope. It's mostly couples that make up the membership of the Sportsmen's Club, which was founded in 1937 and has raised more than $25 million for the City of Hope. It's the women who are responsible for staging the annual luncheon marathons.
The success of these luncheons has spurred the City of Hope's 500 Club to try multi-day fund-raisers too. Last year, the 500 Club women got their feet wet with a two-day event at which Shirley Jones, the singer-actress, was honored. And to celebrate its 25th anniversary the club instituted the Silver Spirit of Life award, which was presented to former First Lady Betty Ford. In the fall they'll try a three-day marathon at the Beverly Hilton. The dates are Oct. 14-16.
Just a one-day affair, but prestigious nonetheless, is the upcoming June 13 of the Woman of the Year award luncheon hosted by the Medical Center Aides for the City of Hope. We'll let you know who's getting the award later.
It was a night for celebrating--from start to finish. Up in the majestic Dome Room (the ceiling soars) of the Embassy Hotel, Music Center Opera Assn. president Thomas Wachtell and his wife Esther hosted a dinner party for executive director Peter Hemmings, members of the board and a few opera-loving chums. And after "The Beggar's Opera" debut in the Embassy Theatre, the Music Center Opera League continued the festivities with a late-night buffet in the Embassy's restaurant.
The winds came that night, forcing the Wachtells to cancel cocktails and hors d'oeuvre on the terrace and move the entire party inside. Meanwhile, out on the second terrace, the Parties Plus crew shivered as they prepared the grilled shrimp wrapped in basil and prosciutto, the Chinese dumplings, the potato and carrot cakes with creme fraiche and golden caviar and the rest of the dinner. "I woke up this morning, heard the wind and immediately called Mike Stern at Regal Rents and told him to batten down the stoves," reported Parties Plus' Julie Loshin as she tried bravely not to show how cold she was.
Later in the evening, League president Mrs. Joseph A. Saunders and party co-chairs Mrs. Frederick Lyte (wearing Bill Blass' red cashmere cardigan and silk skirt) and Mrs. Joseph H. Coulombe, League chairman, welcomed operagoers like Kay Brown with Webster Phillips (they were off by train to Seattle the next day) and Rafael de Marchena, Sy Weintraub, Sheri Siedebotham, Lenny and Bernard Greenberg, Tom Kranz and Neddy and Sol Rubin to their celebration. Hemmings smiled and said he was pleased. And publicist Carl Parsons proudly introduced his brother David, the Macheath of "The Beggar's Opera."
And much earlier Wachtell, making a toast, said: "This is an experiment. In September we'll have grand opera (the Deutsch Oper Berlin's "Tosca") on a grand scale (at the Music Center). Tonight it's a small opera on a small scale. This is Peter Hemmings' first (as executive director of the Music Center Opera Assn.) and this is one of the oldest operas (it dates back to 1728)."
In the Wachtells' group were Mr. and Mrs. Jim Miscoll, Roy and Lila Ash, Andrea Van de Kamp, Terry and Dennis Stanfill, Dwight and Dona Kendall, Lois and Bob Erburu, the William Kieschnicks, Sid and Nancy Petersen, Michael Newton, Lyn Kienholz. And also Joan and John Hotchkis, Alan and Nancy Livingston, Marco and Joan Weiss (back from a Mexican holiday), the Robert Bookmans, Joe and Brig Troy, Sandy and Shell Ausman, Tim and Terri Childs, Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Garrett, Henry and Debbie Coleman and Harold and Diane Keith.