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Benjamin Epstein

Stag Shoot Downs Clay Pigeons, Raises Money

June 16, 1986|Benjamin Epstein

Rest easy, Bambi's father is safe.

The Stag Shoot, sponsored by the 552 Club, a support group for Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, is so-named because women--or at least wives and girlfriends of the participants--generally aren't invited.

Deer are in no danger. Clay pigeons, however, are.

The invitational shoot attracted 150 skeet and trap enthusiasts to the Coto de Caza Hunt Lodge in Trabuco Canyon on Wednesday.

There they competed in events with such colorful names as Montezuma's Revenge and Diablo Doubles and, following a steak and chicken barbecue, enjoyed demonstrations of duck feeding and mating calls by one of the Ducklings (a group of young women who helped sell raffle tickets), bid on live auction items ranging from rifles to minor surgery, and whooped it up at the unabashedly off-color stories of host Dave Hawk.

Charity Stag Shoot co-chairmen and co-founders Andy Carey and David Martyn estimated proceeds from the outing at $22,000.

Entirely Different Set

"We get an entirely different set of people at the shoot from most of the hospital's other events," observed Michael Stevens, president of Hoag Hospital. "It's really filled a niche for us."

Stevens was not among those competing.

"No, I don't shoot," he admitted. "They gave me a belt one year in honor of my participation, but only on the condition that I wouldn't shoot again."

Alan Phillips was Top Gun for the third time in the event's five-year history. Top team included Phillips, Mike Weatherby, Jim Anderson, Jack Aplin and Gary Dittmar. Phillips and Weatherby tied for first place in the Continental Trap. The Duck Tower event was won by Frank Striano, Montezuma's Revenge was won by Omer Long and the Diablo Doubles was won by George Gerold.

According to Stevens, a $13-million fund-raising campaign at Hoag will get under way this fall. Plans are to build a three-story cancer center on a strip of property along Pacific Coast Highway adjacent to the existing Newport Beach facility to house all radiation therapy and outpatient oncology.

Endowment Fund

Attending his first shoot was Ron Nash, who replaced Frank Hall as the hospital's senior vice president of development and community relations. Nash said that in addition to the new cancer center, he'll focus on building an endowment fund for the hospital.

"With the downward crunch on reimbursement for hospital care, we anticipate a very competitive climate with other institutions in the future," Nash said.

"The hospital that survives and thrives will be the one with the support of its community. The only way we will remain top-notch will be by taking that support and building an endowment to provide the hospital regular earnings other than patient fees. Patient fees won't cut it."

Among the items disposed of by rapid-fire auctioneer Ed Griffith was a vasectomy.

"We can probably do this tonight," Griffith pointed out, noting the high number of doctors in attendance. "We could also do a reversal." A bottle of Dom Perignon Champagne was included in the package.

Two tickets for an upcoming Neil Diamond concert--"Retail must be at least $500!" Griffith kidded--went for $650. "Tax deductible," noted Roger Schnapp, 552 Club board vice president.

Upgrade the Ball

Schnapp will serve as chairman at the club's Christmas Carol Ball in December. He said attendance at the ball, always a sellout at 600, would this year be limited to 400 in an effort to "upgrade" the event.

552 Club president Jake Rohrer also attended the shoot. Women on hand were event organizers, including Margaret Buckingham, the new director of Hoag support groups; the Ducklings, and members of the press. "I'm hoping to get about 50 dates out of this," said one of the lucky few.

Unfortunately, one of the Coto de Caza bartenders had a bout with diabetes and had to be rushed by ambulance to a nearby hospital.

"(The shoot) is the ideal place to come if you're going to get hurt or get sued," participant Ron Soderling wryly noted. "On the other hand, when the bartender had his attack, everybody joked that because of the liability, the doctors all went the other way--and the attorneys all ran over to help."

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