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Ann Conway

Campaign to Build Permanent Lestonnac Clinic Announced at Benefit

May 14, 1987|ANN CONWAY

Exhorting guests to "hold high the torch of charity," the founder and executive director of the Lestonnac Free Clinic in Orange last week formally announced a $1-million campaign to build a permanent clinic.

"Our clinic is all love," Sister Marie Therese told 432 guests attending a benefit dinner Thursday at the Anaheim Hilton and Towers.

The money is needed, the sister said, because the existing facility, which serves about 2,500 poor people annually, is located in 3,000 square feet of leased space on Chapman Avenue, with leasing costs running $40,000 per year.

The building campaign is aimed at constructing a permanent clinic that will serve about 5,000 people a year, said Jerry Derloshon, chairman of the clinic's development committee. He said the plan is to build in two phases.

"In the first phase, we would construct a 4,000-square-foot facility to be used for free medical and dental care," Derloshon said. "A year later, we'll add an additional 4,000 square feet. It will be used for free counseling, teaching English as a second language, nutrition, hygiene, child care."

Campaign organizers said they hope to break ground on the project next April. And, although no site has been chosen, Derloshon said, "We hope to keep the clinic in Orange."

Sister Marie Therese said $250,000 already had been pledged to the campaign. Half of that amount came from funds set aside by the clinic, Derloshon explained. "The other half, a matching donation, came from Carl Karcher, Stanley Pawlowski, Ben Mascarda, Ralph Clark and the Lestonnac Guild, a clinic support group."

The campaign announcement followed a formal dinner and entertainment by Florence LaRue, a singer with the Fifth Dimension. "Sister Marie Therese is not only giving medical help to those people," said LaRue, who had visited the clinic. "She is giving them self-esteem." LaRue dedicated her final song, "The Greatest Love of All," to the nun.

Dr. Eugene Spiritus, a pulmonary consultant who donates his services to the clinic, will chair the campaign. He will be assisted by Betsy Sanders, vice president of Nordstrom Inc.

Proceeds from the $125-per-person event were estimated at $21,000.

Honorary benefit chairmen included Archbishop Thomas A. Clavel, J. Robert Fluor II, Marilyn Nielsen, Mayor Jess F. Perez of Orange, Orange County Supervisor Don R. Roth and Karcher. Co-chairmen of the event were Derloshon, Irvine Co. Vice Chairman Thomas H. Nielsen; Pawlowski, Betsy and Sandy Sanders, Joni and G.T. Smith, Spiritus and Thomas Wilck.

When it comes to dressing for the annual Viennese Ball staged by the Pacific Symphony Assn., Waltraut Jechart takes no chances. She returns to the city of her birth and buys a handmade gown on Kartnerstrasse--Vienna's Rodeo Drive.

"I have them made in a shop located in a little side street," said Jechart, during the reception at Saturday night's eighth annual benefit at the Marriott Hotel in Newport Beach. "The lady there makes such romantic gowns--perfect for waltzing."

According to Jechart, waltzing with "heavy doses of good food and good mood," are what Viennese balls are all about.

"And, I've added some new things this year," said Jechart, noting that she had agreed to chair the ball for a second consecutive year when someone "high up" twisted her arm. "Real hard," she said.

"We're having goulash soup--a late night energizer--at 11:30 p.m. It's sooooo spicy it makes you sober--wakes you up again. And at midnight, we'll have a transition band--a small band to play for dancing after we've waltzed to Murray Korda's orchestra."

Dinner and decor were, as ever, stunning. There was white forest torte--layers of flaky crust and crisp nuts "glued" together with sweetened whipped cream--followed by seafood bisque en croute , veal chop and fresh asparagus with a mushroom-shaped new potato. Decorations featured lofty centerpieces loaded with fluffy pink peonies and lilacs. Pink tablecloths were overlayed with white lace.

Another Vienna-born guest at the ball was Doris Clark, wife of Pacific Symphony's music director, Keith Clark. In fact, it was the Clarks who conceived the idea of having an annual Viennese Ball.

"We had just moved here from Vienna (in the late '70s)," Keith Clark explained. "We were trying to get some enthusiasm going for the orchestra. A combination of music and dancing and good times, the very things we're enjoying tonight, are the very things we'd experienced in Vienna."

Doris Clark said the sleek gold-beaded Chanel she wore to the affair was not bought in Vienna. "But I did find it in Europe," she said.

The ball also included a performance by soprano Alma Jean Smith, who dedicated an aria from the Strauss opera "Die Fledermaus" to Sylvia and Robert Popov, underwriters of the singer's appearance. It also featured a dancing exhibition by international ballroom champions Chris and Denise Morris, whose appearance was underwritten by Larry and Helen Frowick.

Eve Steinberg served as president of the ball committee. Committee members included Betty Moran, Doretta Wedin, Julia Rappaport, J.J. Jezowski, Jerry Samuelson, Marilyn Allen, Mary Johnson, Peggy Cotton, Marcy Mulville and La Vaun Beyer.

Michael Gilano, president of the symphony's board of directors, attended with his wife, Carole. Ball proceeds were estimated at $50,000. Guests paid $137.50 per person to attend.

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