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Benjamin Epstein

Kudos, Salvos to Standouts of Social Year

December 31, 1985|Benjamin Epstein

Time to toast the movers and the mavens, the shakers and tres chic- ers--to remember the triumphs and disasters, the puffery and poignance, the wit and unconventional wisdom that they brought to Orange County social life in 1985.

And summarily, in summa , to give kudos and salvos where kudos and salvos are due:

Decorating Triumph: To Kathy Hurwitz, responsible for centerpieces featuring ceramic toucans and parrots perched atop ferns, for palm trees and balloons and for the silk butterflies clinging to the cloth napkins, each a different color, at "Bossa Rio," a fund-raiser for Cystic Fibrosis. "I would have done monkeys swinging on vines for the ceiling," said Hurwitz in her New Jersey twang, "but there was a wedding in here till 4 o'clock."

Decorating Disaster: To Charles Paap, whose decorations at the Pacific Symphony's Viennese Ball included 320 votive candles, and, set out as party favors, little chocolate grand pianos, each in its own box and protective tissue paper. "Somebody just pushed the box over a little bit," reported eyewitness Diane Sterling, "and the tissue went up like that ! " Firemen arrived on the scene within moments.

Choice Words, Well Chosen:

- To Frank Hall, senior vice president of Hoag Memorial Hospital. Speaking at a meeting of county fund-raising executives, Hall lamented the business community peer pressure routinely used to sell tickets to honorary dinners. What's been lost, he reflected, is "philanthropic intent . . . an honest and sincere desire to solve a social problem."

- To Tony Moiso, speaking, ironically, at an honorary dinner where he received the Red Cross Spirit Award: "Listen, all you really have is your family and friends," he said. "All the rest is b.s.--riding around in limos and all that stuff--you know, like Willie Nelson said, 'My wants in life are few/But a Lear and a limo will do.' "

- To 81-year-old comedian Bob Hope, on being made an honorary Marine brigadier general at the Hotel Meridien in Newport Beach. "So what's next? King?"

Looking Good: To supporters of the Orange County Performing Arts Center. The planned opening is a mere nine months away.

Looking Bad: To all those supposedly culturally upwardly mobile cosmopolites who aim to fill the 3,000 seats of the Center but who left Chapman's auditorium half empty for a recital by mezzo-soprano superstar Marilyn Horne.

Looking Through Rose-Colored Glasses: To Tom Riley, county Board of Supervisors' chairman. After touring the $1.2-million Easter Seals Design House in Laguna Hills, he blithely quipped, "Just another average evening in an average home in the fabulous 5th District."

Not So Kind to Animals: To Dee Trujillo, Queen of Carnaval, the Royal Exotic Swan, at the "Carnaval in Rio" benefit for the Performing Arts Center. More than one of several live white doves were run over by the train of the Queen's dress. "Smothered by gold lame!" exclaimed one guest.

Party Animals--Individual: To Isabel Greenwald, for her creativity and spontaneity. She replaced the earrings she originally wore to the Huntington Harbour Philharmonic Grand Marshall Ball with the luminescent green fire rings from beneath the salad plates.

Party Animals--Group: To the Cancer Ball Internationale Committee. Pre-party parties have become de rigeur . This year, the committee added a post- party party: They took over Le Chardonnay in Irvine for the night and thanked their major donors with caviar, gravelox and beef Wellington.

Party Squirrels: To the Spur and the Rose Committee, which took the opposite tack. "We cut out the benefactors' luncheon, cut out the press party and cut out the patroness table luncheon," reported Sherman Library and Gardens advisory board member Ann Wells. "We just net that much more."

The Zen of Party-Giving: To SCOOPP, for its July 4 "No-Benefit Benefit." Nobody was encouraged to come, everybody complied, and the South Coast Organization of Planned Parenthood raised $14,000.

Party Poopers: To the guests at the New Year's Eve Investors Ball one year ago at the Ritz-Carlton who made off with more than half the Pierrot doll centerpieces sans silent auction bid; proceeds from the centerpieces would have benefited cystic fibrosis research.

Demented Vision: To David Hayes, whose fashions were shown at a luncheon for Childhelp USA. "Stop worrying about the lousy car payments," he said, "Forget it! Get yourself beautiful, and you can have five cars! That's what made America great, right? Right!" (Wrong.)

Model of the Year: To the Most Rev. John Steinbock, auxiliary bishop of Orange, who modeled at the Gentlemen's Haberdashery Extravaganza. He wore a golf outfit featuring plaid slacks that fashion commentator Kitty Leslie imagined "even God could see."

Mr. and Ms. Elusive: To Irvine Co. Chairman Donald Bren and Jennifer McKay, who nevertheless managed to be effusive hosts to all save the press at the Irvine Ranch Roundup.

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