When the Sophisticates held "Football Sunday" at Santa Ana's Red Onion restaurant last weekend, it was a fund-raiser everyone could love. The women of the group raised more than $7,000 for the Coastal Orange County Assessment and Treatment Services Center while the men watched the Rams game on TV, hobnobbed with ex-Rams players Rich Saul, Scott Tinsley and Mike Rae, bet on a football pool and feasted on a formidable Mexican brunch.
"When we had this event last year, every husband said (he) had a good time," said event chairwoman Cindy Galardi. "It can't be a bad deal--they get to eat, drink and watch football. Then they get to bet, to boot."
Galardi's husband, John, added a few more reasons: "We go to a lot of fund-raisers, but this one is easy on the men. It's in the middle of the afternoon, you go casual and you don't have to listen to anyone talk."
Sophisticates President Darlene Drummond explained that all the group's events raise money for the Assessment and Treatment Services Center, a juvenile counseling program for first-time offenders or any child identified by police, parents or high school principals as headed for trouble with the law. The center claims an 80% success rate among youngsters treated by the program.
"We divert juveniles out of the court system," said Ellen Wilcox, a former probation officer and one of the Assessment and Treatment Services Center's founders. "By doing so, we are saving the taxpayer's money and saving them (the youths) the heartache of going through the system."
"We work with the whole family. Therefore we may be helping more than one child," added program director Laurie Smith. "We have a high percentage of children who are sexually or physically abused--kids who have been victims for one reason or another. We're diverting them from a lifetime of problems by teaching them to cope now."
More than 100 people attended Sunday's fund-raiser, which also included an auction, raffle and cheers at half time by two visiting Rams cheerleaders. Paul Salata acted as emcee, calling the game's 0-0 half-time score a record for the Red Onion. "There's usually a score here in the first few minutes," he quipped.
The scoreless quarters, however, made two-time winners of Alan and Nila Trider, holders of the 0-0 ticket in the football pool. Their prizes were an evening in San Francisco and a $350 gift certificate from Diamonds on Rodeo.
With Salata at the podium, auction prizes fetched hefty sums for the center, including $275 from Clint Bower for an autographed Rams football. "It proves that some of them can write," said Salata in describing the prize.
Another devout football fan, Jolene Hulick, paid $625 for Eric Dickerson's jersey. "I'm from the Midwest," she explained. "All you did back there was follow sports and have babies."
Hulick, who served on the event committee, said she bought the jersey because "I wanted to get as close to Eric Dickerson as I possibly could," but quickly added, "It's for charity."
Other committee members, all dressed in Rams jerseys for the occasion, included Margaret Clark, Darleen Manclark, Bev Salata, Betty Jo Knickerbocker, Janet Adelman, Phyllis Ratliff, Ruth Jensen, Larry Bissell, Sharon Jones, Nancy Weisbrod, Jana Buckingham and Vickie Marx.