The leprechaun didn't make it to the Blarney Bash at the Balboa Bay Club Saturday night. The Cinderella Guild Juniors had to substitute an elf in green.
"The leprechaun outfit just didn't turn out," said Chris Miller, who wore the elf outfit. None of the 300 guests seemed to mind, and the bash brought in $13,000 for research and development and operational needs of the outpatient clinic at Childrens Hospital of Orange County.
Miller greeted the guests, then directed them over a white mini-bridge for souvenir photos, several chance guessing games, and a buffet of build-your-own potatoes, Irish lamb stew, corned beef over cabbage and an Irish trifle containing Irish Mist liqueur.
"The Bay Club wouldn't let us have green beer, but we have regular Irish beer (Harp)," said Debbie Finster, event chairwoman. "And we have Mercedes Guinness bread (whole wheat bread made with a bottle of Guinness stout per loaf) which the Bay Club has been making since we gave them the recipe last year."
Finster said the guild had decided to hang on to the St. Patrick's Day theme for future fund-raisers. "Throughout the year, other guilds raise money for CHOC through the chocolate cookbook sales, Christmas card sales and the all-guild fashion show," she said. But "there's not much going on this time of the year, and we get a good turnout. For only having been organized four years ago, we're giving more money than some of the guilds that have been around for 15 years."
"We're not just Newport Beach or Irvine," said guild president Jill Dunn, characterizing the membership of the Juniors. "We're from all over Orange County" and members are "between the ages of 21 and 40."
Despite foul weather outside, there was a rainbow inside, with its own pot o' gold that provided another source of revenue: Members bought chances to guess how many gold jellybeans filled the glass bowl at rainbow's end. Winners Stacey and Peter Adanalian took home all 6,789 jellybeans. "Last year it took eight months for the winner to use them all up," Dunn said.
"All our props, decorations and centerpieces were made by members, including the elaborate scene for the souvenir photos," Finster said. "When their obligations ended, their hearts continued."
The Irish theme proved irresistible. Seen were green foil-covered derbies, "mean green kissing machine" buttons that flashed, and message-bearing T-shirts. Kevin Priestly's T-shirt said: "You can tell an Irishman, but you can't tell him much."
Prize winners were announced between numbers for dancing by Gazelle (which eventually got into the hokey-pokey led by Kathy Turpin). Linda Brower (who was out of town skiing) won the grand prize, a trip to Dublin on Aer Lingus. Her tickets for two were accepted by friend Larry Morehead.