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Society

Getting Into Swim of Things With Jean-Michel Cousteau

November 05, 1986|JODY BECKER

Without a single wet suit or tank of oxygen, supporters of the Orange County Court-Appointed Special Advocates were treated to a voyage with Cousteau on Saturday night.

Nearly 150 guests gathered at the Center Club for cocktails and the opportunity to hear the words of Jean-Michel Cousteau (son of sea explorer Jacques), who has spent most of his life with his father, exploring the sea and farthest corners of our Earth.

Though Cousteau captivated the audience with a segment of an upcoming television show featuring the crew of the Cousteau Society's new ship, Alyceon, he made it clear that the evening was dedicated to the children that CASA cares for.

"CASA is facing the ones who have had problems, and through your efforts, as ambassadors and messengers, you can spread the word that we need to care for our children," Cousteau said.

He explained that the Cousteau Society is funded almost entirely by individual supporters, and that he has trouble asking for donations, "but when it comes to the future of mankind and our own children, I do not hesitate."

CASA works with more than 2,000 children each year in Orange County who are declared dependents of the courts, providing youngsters with a consistent adult model who can advise, adjudicate and be a friend.

Among those sharing the evening of insights, oceanography and a silent auction were Mimi Grant and Michelle Miller, both affiliated with the Junior League of Newport Harbor, a CASA sponsor; president of the board of directors of CASA and event chairman Linda Robinson; Clare Chapman; Michael Hughes (who founded CASA), and Jaque Schmitt.

The Orange County chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Steve Garvey Tennis Classic teamed up on the tennis courts this weekend at the John Wayne Tennis Club in Newport Beach.

Among the stars who came out to lend their support were Olympic medalist Bruce Jenner; former U.S. Open tennis champion Tracy Austin; "Growing Pains" star Kirk Cameron; Dodger Steve Sax; film and TV stars Jimmy and Kristy McNichol, and Daniel J. Travanti of "Hill Street Blues," who is a Southern California MS campaign chairman.

Organizers of the event estimated that the tournament--which was televised nationally on ESPN--will help raise $20,000.

Winners of the corporate and patron matches Saturday were Kristy McNichol and Vicky Robles of American Airlines in the women's doubles; San Diego Soccers' star Kevin Crow and his partner, Bob Grossman, for the men's doubles; and Grossman, again, with Therese Lewis capturing the mixed doubles cup.

Celebrity action Sunday saw Kristy McNichol team up with Joanna Kerns to sweep the women's doubles; Danny Green and Hunt Block winning the men's matches, and Block and Pat Clouse taking the mixed doubles. Last but not least--the host--Steve Garvey, took the men's singles.

Liz Smith, a spokeswoman for the MS society, said that 60% of the proceeds from the weekend will go directly toward local programs that provide counseling and occupational therapy for MS patients.

A party is a party is a party-- black-tie balls and salmon ballantine come easy in this business. But it doesn't have to be that way.

A little imagination can work miracles--and members of the Showboat Chapter of the Orange County Performing Arts Center proved Saturday that a bit of fantasy can mean a lot of fun.

The chapter's "Sentimental Journey" day trip to San Diego--in period costume--transformed the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center into a Roaring '20s time capsule as guests descended on the place to kick off a day of merrymaking.

Before the departure on the day trip--via Amtrak's exclusive Silver Zephyr club car--there was plenty of champagne, cheese and fruit for the crowd in the courtyard of the train station.

Among those greeted by a chorus line of 70 dancing girls were Amelia Earhart (a.k.a. Dody Ried of Newport Beach), Claudette Colbert (or was the woman under that elaborate headdress actually Jan Huber, accompanied by her husband Ron?), eight-time Wimbledon champ Helen Wills Moody and a dapper escort (better known to their friends as Jodi and Alex Page.)

Also on hand were chapter chairwoman Toni McCann; Tim and Susan Strader (he's chairman of the board of trustees at the Performing Arts Center); Jim Ingwalson; Cliff Hewlitt; Ron and Mary Richardson, and guilds founder Georgia Spooner.

Highlights of the trip included a bit of exploration time at Horton Plaza, followed by dinner at the Top of the Harbor House. And the partying didn't stop there. After alighting on the platform back in Santa Ana, dessert was enjoyed by the more than 60 guests, whose trip into the past netted nearly $7,500 for the Center.

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