If you're down with the summer blahs, sit back, close your eyes and think ahead to the first weekend in November. That's when the Beverly Wilshire will be flying the red-and-white, horizontally striped flag of Monaco and the city will be inundated with visiting royals.
Monaco's Prince Rainier, his daughters Princess Caroline and Stephanie, his son and heir Prince Albert and Caroline's husband Stefano Casiraghi and their royal baby, Andrea Albert (a boy), will all be here to help launch the second benefit for the Princess Grace Foundation U.S.A. with a gala ball on Nov. 4 and a raft of satellite luncheons, tours and dinners.
The first fund-raiser for the foundation, whose purpose is to encourage young American talents in theater, dance and film, took place last year in Washington. With President and Mrs. Reagan as honorary co-chairmen, a reception at the White House, brunch in the State Department and Julio Iglesias singing (Placido Domingo joined him for one duet) at the gala, it was, naturally enough, a huge success. There to get the foundation on its feet in grand style were the Grimaldis; other European nobility; social scintillators from everywhere; Robert J. Hausman, chairman of the U.S.A. Foundation's board and president of Loews Hotels Corp.; Palm Springs artist Gant Gaither (a Grimaldi family friend of long standing); and Houston's Mrs. Oscar Wyatt who chaired the three-day event.
Keeping Momentum Going
Not wanting to lose that momentum, the co-chairmen of the upcoming Los Angeles weekend, Mrs. Cary Grant and Della Koenig, are bustling about, setting up meetings and making big plans. Over luncheon meetings at the Bistro Garden (hosted by committee member Contessa Cohn) and at the Beverly Hills Hotel (hosted by Muriel Slatkin) quite a few important decisions were made.
Set to star at the gala is Liza Minnelli, who's currently on tour with a whole new act. Leslie Bricusse is acting as entertainment consultant for the program, which will include a few more talented performers.
Since the entire Grimaldi family is bonkers about flowers, the Beverly Wilshire's ballroom will be all in bloom the night of the gala. November is the season for cyclamens so there are bound to be plenty of them around. Anthony Duquette and his protege Hutton Wilkinson have agreed to work on the decor. To raise extra dollars there will be a program book and Maggie Louis is in charge of that committee. As for the nitty gritty: Tickets to the gala are $1,000 each (steep, but worth it if only for the royal exposure) and full-color pages in the program are $5,000.
The raffle committee, headed by Dr. Ivy Mooring, is way ahead. Already on the list of prizes is a week for two on the Sea Goddess; first-class, round-trip tickets to Nice, France, from Pan American and Air France; a necklace from Van Cleef & Arpels; bookings for two at Paris' Plaza Athenee and Monte Carlo's Loews Hotel; and a weekend aboard Harold and Grace Robbins' yacht in Monte Carlo. The list goes on.
The Kick-Off Party
Sometime before November, Mrs. Robbins will host a kick-off party at her home, to sell tables and raffle tickets and generally stir up enthusiasm for this venture. At that party Barbara Grant will also talk about underwriters (estimated cost of the party is somewhere around $300,000, but donations of $50,000 will be happily accepted).
The locals who've been attending the planning sessions include Ruth Berle, Mary Carol Rudin, Marcia Israel, Ginny Mancini, Van Venneri, Frances Franklin, Tova Borgnine, Terry Stanfill, Joanne Kozberg, Pauline Annakin, Niki Bautzer, Dr. Maxine Ostrum, Virginia Oppenheimer, Nancy Vreeland, Linda Palmer, Judy Quine, Caroline Whitman and Jolene Schlatter.
There's lots of support coming from other parts of the country, too, especially from Eleanor Lambert, Phyllis Wagner, Mary Wells Lawrence, Vera Maxwell and David Mahony of New York; Mrs. Wyatt of Texas; Prince and Princess Youka Troubetzkoy and the Douglas Fairbanks Jrs. of Florida; and Mrs. Marvin Davis of Denver and L.A. The foundation's Junior Committee is in excellent hands. Co-chairing it are Robert O. Marx, son of Mrs. Frank Sinatra, who is a foundation trustee, and Cecilia Peck, daughter of Veronique and Gregory Peck.
The best of France is coming to Los Angeles courtesy of Bullocks Wilshire, and classical music station KUSC-FM is getting in on the act.
On June 26 Mrs. Harry Wetzel (back from a French tour with the Friends of French Art and the Paris Air Show), Mrs. Harold Keith and Bullocks Wilshire will host a luncheon in BW president Jerome Nemiro's suite to announce details of the KUSC-FM Gala Dinner Benefit which will launch the store's "September Celebration of France." The gala takes place, of course, in the Art Deco Wilshire Boulevard store.