Last Monday night's all-out excitement with the long-anticipated debut of the Orange County Performing Arts Center was a tough act to follow--so for many on the social circuit it was a weekend to retire the black tie.
Thus, the family-oriented antique car extravaganza, otherwise known as the Newport Beach Concours d'Elegance, benefiting the Orange County Assessment Services and Treatment Center.
"We did the black-tie thing for a few years," said Jim Dale, president of ASTC's board of directors, which offers juveniles in trouble an option outside of the justice system. "But then we figured, 'Hey, this thing is about families,' so we wanted to do something whole families could do together."
The ASTC counsels with a family emphasis. "This is not the kind of treatment where you drop off the kid and go play tennis. It's a family systems approach," Dale said.
At $10 a shot ($6 for kids), admission to the Concours--including parking--cost oglers about $1,990 less than the highest going rate for Center opening night tickets. And there were lots of families seen strolling the antique car studded lawns of UC Irvine Sunday.
Among the proud owners of the American classics were Newport Beach car buffs William Lyon, with his two shining Duesenbergs (his 1929 LeBaron Dual Cowl Phaeton J Series Duesenberg was the Concours' poster car), and Clifford Heinz , who confessed that his around the world sail has left him little time to get acquainted with his butterscotch and black 1931 Duesenberg.
Despite the strong local showing, most of the Concours's loving cups were swept up by out-of-towners. Best of show went to Steve Nanini of Tucson for his 1931 gray Cadillac Fleetwood Sport Phaeton, while most elegant was captured by Phil Renick of Fullerton for his 1934 Dual Cowl Phateon Duesenberg in two tones of brown.
And for design, a fabulous 1967 "fly yellow" Ferrari GTB owned by Bruce Meyer of Beverly Hills captured the judges' eyes, sharing the honors with a 1947 Delahaye Chaperon in two shades of brilliant green--a convertible owned by Jim Hull of Los Angeles. Organizers of the Concours said Monday morning that close to 3,000 were on hand to view the cars, picnic and support ASTC, with an estimated take near $45,000.
Ladies were lunching on Friday, as the Newport Beach Assistance League announced their 1986 Woman of the Year to 630 gathered at the Irvine Hilton.
Before the big moment, a social hour and lovely lunch were enjoyed by the women--many of whom talked about having to shuffle their business commitments to fit the affair into a busy schedule. Nonetheless, everyone was looking elegant.
Competing for the title were 12 finalists nominated by a variety of Orange County philanthropic and public service organizations. Among the honorees announced by special guest Gloria Deukmejian were: Marcia Adler, Junior League of Newport Beach; Charlene Arellano, Orange County Probation Department; Dori Fitch, Newport Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce Dolphins; Elyse Garrett, Laguna Beach Community Clinic, and Bobbi Hirschbein, Assistance League of Fullerton, Junior Auxiliary.
Also, Rae Larkin, Soroptomist Club of Newport Harbor; Stevi Lister of Providence Speech and Hearing; Christine McKinley, National Charity League of Newport Beach Juniors; Caroline LePlastrier, South Coast Repertory supporter; Cindy Rathbun, of the Caberet chapter of the Orange County Performing Arts Center, and Pat Seigel, Assistance League of Orange.
And the winner was . . . ("probably the best kept secret in Orange County," according to the keeper of the envelope, Mary Pat Lucas, last year's winner) . . . Lynda Graham, founding president of the Orange County chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
"This is so special to me," said Graham, who explained after the ceremony that her daughter Kelly survived a serious accident involving a drunk driver at the age of 2.
Graham was selected by a panel of judges that included philanthropist Mrs. Patt Hitt; Newport Beach Mayor Philip R. Maurer; Thomas A. Fuentes, chairman of the Orange County Republican Party; Mrs. Richard Hoppe, past chairwoman of the Assistance League of Newport Beach Auxiliary, and Irvine Co. official Roger Seitz.
After the awards, the ladies (and gentlemen--a few were spotted) were treated to a spectacular show of fall fashions presented by Nordstrom.