Now you see it, now you don't. But when magician Jeff Martin of the Magic Castle in Hollywood waved his magic wand and a check for $224,000 appeared, it wasn't really magic. The mock check represented the money raised over the past year for Childrens Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) by the Padrinos, the hospital's all-male support group.
Martin's act was part of "Magic in the Air," held Saturday night at the Anaheim Marriott for members of the Padrinos and their wives. The seventh annual celebration was held "just for fun" as the culmination of a fund-raising year that included six major events, among them 5- and 10-kilometer runs and tennis and golf tournaments. The social hour found Madam Mary reading palms and Martin and Steve Matten performing close-up magic tricks. The relaxed atmosphere and conviviality over the lobster and steak dinner delayed the rest of the program by half an hour.
"We piggybacked our dinner to the party across the hall and got a bargain on the meal," joked Padrinos president Mike Harrison.
Not true. True, however, was the fact that the Padrinos had lost 30 members to the other event across the hall--the Chapman College "American Celebration V." Padrino Charlie Hester, for example, wandered in for a visit to the Padrinos group with son-in-law Michael Immell. He found a group of 150, a much more intimate gathering than the Chapman event in the Great Hall, where there were about 1,100 guests.