As fund-raisers go there were some lulus this year. High on that list was the Night of a Hundred Dinners, the inventive fund-raising marathon for the Joffrey Ballet.
If you missed dining with some of this town's best hosts and hostesses, don't fret. The 1985 series of dinners was such a successful fund-raising event, it's coming back in 1986. Bigger and better.
The series, which will take place over a three-day period beginning March 20, has a new name, too. For the New Year it's been dubbed "The Joffrey Dinners . . . Act II." It really tells the tale well.
This time around Cyd Charisse and Gene Kelly will act as honorary co-chairs. (If only they would dance just once more time.) And because nothing this big gets done without a lot of work, there's a large and powerful committee involved, all of them Joffrey board members. Headed by Patricia Skouras, they include Sandy Ausman, Terri Childs, Maude Ferry, Dona Kendall (as last year's chairman she's acting as adviser), Patricia Kennedy, Keith Kieschnick, Ruth Shannon, Noelle Siart, Catherine Sugarman, Felisa Vanoff and Maggie Wetzel. Just goes to prove, if you want something done well you ask the busiest ladies in the city.
There are all sorts of ways to celebrate the holidays. Huzzah.
Doris Finley, Fred Gibbons and Kathy and Chris Matsumoto are ringing in the New Year with a splashy black-tie soiree at Jimmy's. Suzy and Frank Cross are giving their party at the Bel-Air Country Club and joining them will be Dale and Chuck Snodgrass. Berny and Ellen Byrens and daughter Bambi sent out lollipop-shaped invitations to their New Year's Eve open house. Henny and Jim Backus are opening the door to their pack of celebrity friends for the umpteenth time. Nancy and Tim Vreeland were looking for a change of scenery so they headed for San Francisco. Betty and Kurt Niklas, Millie Katleman, First Hairdresser Julius Bengtsson, Wally Cedar are all off to Acapulco, where the Baron and Baroness di Portanova are scheduled to host another of their dazzling New Year's Eve extravaganzas at their showplace home.
New Yorker Clint Wade will be in London with the witty and urbane Hardy Amies. London is also where the Music Center's Claire and Maurice Segal are spending the holidays. Terry and Dennis Stanfill are in Jackson Hole, Wyo., with daughter Francesca and her husband, New York attorney Peter Tufo, and their baby daughter. Maggie and Harry Wetzel are in Aspen, as are Jackie Applebaum and daughter Libby. As soon as Toni Zellerbach Haber welcomes the New Year in Malibu she takes off for India.
Lucy Zahran and husband, Dr. Jim Bonorris, plan to take a breather. They'll celebrate the New Year with their friends Jan. 13. What a break.
Les Dames de Champagne will do their big entertaining on Twelfth Night, comme d'habitude. On Jan. 6 they'll be at the newly revamped Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel dining and dancing in a setting reminiscent of the first Academy Awards at the hotel in 1929. Mrs. Glen Wills and her co-chairman, Buddy Rogers, are making all the nostalgic plans.
And Loyola-Marymount's Father Maurice Chase had an early Christmas dinner with Irene Dunne and her family and then spent the rest of the day giving out Christmas cards and dollar bills to the men of Skid Row.
The Pavilion at the Bistro Garden never looked prettier. For the dinner-dance hosted by Zena and Rusty Hoffman and Chantal and Martin Stern, Flower Fashions created an archway of tiny lights and decorated the room in silver and peach. Peach chrysanthemums rimmed the dance floor and covered the tall trees that stood behind Rudy Varone's bandstand. Silver cloths covered tables that held silver accoutrements and bouquets of Sonia roses. And the ceiling was a mass of silver and peach balloons.
It was a dancing crowd. George Burns, still limber and daring at almost 90, chose as his partners the tallest women in the room. Joanna Carson, who arrived with Jean-Yves Mastey, was one of George's favorites. More on the dance floor--the Henry Plitts, Marilyn and Harry Lewis, Barry Mirkin, Kati and Arpad Domyan, Jean Kerkorian Bullins and her husband Andrew, Valerie and Erwin Sobel, Hassah and Michaal Adham, Henri Mastey with Catherine Bloom, Nina and Ron Leif, the Merrill Lowells, the Berny Byrens, Bill and Dione Fenning, Contessa Cohn with Terry Leone, Judy and Don Tallarico, Marilyn and Joe Wolf, the Sid Kleins, Barry and Carol Kaye, Patricia Kennedy, and some more who were so carried away by the holiday spirit they partied until 3 a.m.
The arrival of Ambassador to Belgium Geoffrey Swaebe and his wife, Mary, set off a round of parties. Just as we predicted it would. First in line were Dee and Stuart Cramer, who gave the Swaebes a grand welcome with a dinner-dance at the Bistro Garden Pavillion. There were orchids everywhere and Joe Marino's quartet played very danceable tunes.