It seems most fitting that Luminaires will honor Mary Crary with their Vision Award on April 28 at a Celebration Luncheon in the Grand Hall of the Music Center. She founded the support group for the Estelle Doheny Eye Foundation in 1976, and the clan is jubilant that it's reached the $1-million mark in fund-raising. Pam King is benefit chairman, named by Jean Schuur, Luminaires president, who's returning with a Caribbean tan for the affair. Last year's award went to New York philanthropist Mary Lasker.
BIRTHDAY CAKE: Never before has Polytechnic School in Pasadena staged a major gala. The 80th birthday was the exception, and 492 were reveling the other night. Co-chairmen Spike Booth and Barbara Poer expect to write a check for $150,000 in the kickoff of Poly's $5-million endowment fund drive about to be announced.
It hardly mattered that the silent auction was almost conducted in a blackout due to overloaded circuitry and burned-up fuses which darkened the entire auction setting except, miraculously, for the center area where the bar was set up in the shape of a birthday cake. Undaunted, silent auction chairman Nancy De Nero commandeered friends to walk about with high-powered flashlights, keeping up the bidding.
Decor chairman Cheryll Wegge brought in a kissing elephant for the affair, each pair of guests getting a nuzzle for photographic posterity. Poly trustee chairman Doug Kranwinkle got his fraternity brother, New Yorker Mike Carney, and vocalist Colleen Casey to make music non-stop until 1 a.m. Marcia Cannell planned Roccoco's chicken picata cuisine. John Cushman's Zaca Mesa wine was a courtesy. The party also had the stamp of industriousness from Tina Diver, Debbe Booth, Deborah Hollingsworth, Tink Cheney, Nancy Esbenshade, Judy Morse, Ann Giesler.
In the elimination raffle, the Robert H. McNeills Jr., won a free tuition for a child, and Holly Smith Jones $5,000. Bruce and Laura Graney (she who won $5 million in the California lottery) were successful bidders on the Washington, D. C. trip. Bill Garnett picked up river rafting for 10; David and Jennifer Murphy bought dinner with Mike Babcock and Kranwinkle; the Richard Scharlachs won the Sun Valley ski week.
A happy crowd partied the night away: Beau and Wendy Bianchi, Adam and Penny Bianchi, super Poly fund-raiser Stender Sweeney, Norman and RoseMary Mitchell (he down from San Francisco), Alyce McCarroll, Walter and Monica Pitts, Susan and Stephen Chandler, the Stephen J. Cannells, Kate and Joe Regan, John and Gabriella Santaniello, Mary Beth and Greg Brundage, Jenny and Loring Rutt.
GOLDEN GALA: Mary Louise Crowe knew exactly what to wear for the Dinosaur Ball--a gold jacket. She was perfectly color-hued, like a galaxy of other gala-goers, to walk through the "Gold: The Quest for New World Riches" (the little nugget that started the California Gold Rush is so tiny, and the Mojave Nugget is so large) exhibit at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County en route to dinner.
Trumpets announced guests, one of the details party chairman Shelton Ellis of Gump's in Beverly Hills, dictated. Another was the inclusion of rare museum stuffed birds--Antrodemus and Camptosaurus--amid the orchids around the dance hall. And a third was the decision to have guests walk through the original museum entrance, the one facing the Rose Garden and used in 1913 when the museum opened.
Man of the evening was George Page, who underwrote $50,000, enabling the affair to net probably $200,000. Museum director Dr. Craig Black and his wife, Elizabeth (they'll soon move into a home in Hancock Park which the museum has purchased), helped gather an impressive crowd: the Patrick Dohenys; the Z. Wayne Griffiths; the Peter McCoys; Gen. William and Willa Dean Lyon; new Los Angeles County Chief Administrative Officer Richard Dixon and his wife, Sue Widman; Ford Motor chairman Don Petersen and his wife, Jody; California Blue Shield president Tom Paton and his wife, Marty, of San Francisco; Peter and Alice Keller; the William Durneys; the Don Beales; Dym and Annette Smith; Bob Hansen; Tom and Betty Reddin (she's museum Alliance president); Arco's Camron Cooper (a new trustee), and the Olin Barretts.
THE RIBBON: In his white shirt with the red stripes and his tennis shoes, Andre Previn worked up quite a little perspiration at rehearsal with the Los Angeles Philharmonic this week. The Blue Ribbon members were quiet as mice as listeners, and then Maestro Previn couldn't even "eat and run" before he had to be back to prep with composer William Kraft for the world premiere of "Contextures II: The Final Beast."
In the morning there was a lot of intense concentration on parts of Ravel's "Ma Mere l'Oye" and "La Valse" before Previn ordered, "OK, that's going to be wonderful--let's take a break."