There were few strangers among the 450 Huntington Harbour Philharmonic Committee members and spouses attending the 23rd annual Grand Marshal Ball. In fact, Saturday night's event at the Anaheim Hilton seemed like a black-tie family affair.
According to its chairman, Yvonne Kelley, the ball is not a fund-raiser. Yet, of the 31 chapters of the Orange County Philharmonic Society, the Harbour Committee makes the largest donation: $75,000 was raised at the "Symphony of Lights" home and boat decorating competition held in December.
"We're almost as popular as the Rose Parade," Kelley said, noting that the chartered boats carry 3,000 spectators nightly for 10 nights. "Last year, a woman from Connecticut saw our parade on TV. She came to California to visit the Crystal Cathedral and to go on the cruise. We were sold out, but since she had traveled so far, we made room.
"We work together all year. Tonight is our fun time when we honor the competition's workers and winners."
Conversation buzzed with guesses as to which of four contenders--Ted Lawson, Court Prowell, Bernie Steinberg or Mike Stitzinger--would be selected grand marshal for 1986. Yvonne Kelley's husband, outgoing Grand Marshal Pat Kelley, announced Stitzinger as the winner. "May this year go as smoothly as those before," Kelley toasted.