Raising money for trauma prevention can be traumatic.
"I thought the eye makeup would be the worst," Dr. Milton Schwarz said as he wobbled around on mile-high pumps at "All Hallows' Eve," a costume party that raised proceeds of $75,000 for the Orange County Trauma Society.
"But the socks were harder. When my son (Justin, 13) saw them, he got very upset," Schwarz said with a wink.
Schwarz, a Santa Ana pediatrician, wasn't talking about the scarlet panty hose he was wearing. He was referring to the scrunched-up gym socks he'd stuffed inside his body-hugging sheath to give himself "a figure."
"I'm a little embarrassed," said Schwarz's wife, Judy, who came as a "graduate."
"A graduate of the insane asylum!" she said, howling at her husband.
And so it went Saturday night in the Mercantile Building at South Coast Village in Santa Ana, where 240 guests gathered to bid on prizes, dine on gourmet fare at tables set with glittering pumpkins and dance to the Windmill Band.
Guest Barbara Wickham turned herself into zaftig "Dolly Parton" with two lemon-yellow water balloons. Dollie Brill became "Elvira," with diving-board length fingernails polished in pitch-black and blood-red, a billowing black wig and a to-there black gown.
Karen Williams and her husband, Mike, a Trauma Society board member, came as Fawn Hall and Lt. Col. Oliver L. North. "I can't recall, I can't recall," she repeated, her hair twirled with "shredded" paper and a banana stashed in her briefcase (an allusion to the banana the real Fawn Hall was fined $10 for gulping in a Washington subway last week).
Dr. John West, Trauma Society founder and board chairman, came as a "wizard," he said, sporting a sparkling cape and a rainbow wig.
"And if I had a magic wand, I'd wave it over Orange County for trauma prevention," West said. "I'd see kids on motorcycles wearing helmets, kids buckled up in cars, kids guarded around swimming pools, kids that don't drink and drive. . . . Kids doing everything that prevents needless trauma--that's why we're here tonight."
According to West, trauma is the principal cause of death and disability in Orange County. Since the society was founded in 1981, its sole purpose has been the prevention of accidental death and injury.
Society safety programs include Baby's First Ride, a child-passenger program designed to ensure that every newborn rides home from the hospital in a safety seat; Cuddle Me With Safety, a program that provides low-income families with infant and toddler seats, and Preschool Buckle Up, an effort to educate children ages 2-4 about wearing seat belts.
Other programs include Protect Our Kids, a drowning prevention program aimed at educating toddlers on pool safety; Staying Alive, a program directed at teen-agers that focuses on the consequences of teen-age drinking, and Modern Concepts in Trauma Care, an annual education symposium on trauma-care education.
After dining on hearts of romaine with shrimp, Chateaubriand bordelaise and a flaming passion fruit torte, guests, who had paid $125 each, enjoyed a live auction.
One auction highlight was a bidding war between two women over a vasectomy operation offered by West. After much haggling, West volunteered two operations, with each woman anteing up $400. One woman said the surgery would be a Christmas present for her husband.
Peggy Linton, Trauma Society special events coordinator, won a Lhasa apso puppy, which she dubbed "Spooky." It took $250, "but I think I would have bid forever," she said. "I simply fell in love with him."
Also on the scene: Virginia Knott Bender, dressed as a cat, with husband, Paul, who came as "Dracula"; Pam Goldstein, a Gypsy in a vintage Yves Saint Laurent red silk with metallic gold thread; Mary Ann Wells also came as a feline and her husband, Lon, was a wizard; Cleva Howard, as a harem girl, with husband, Robert, a sheik; Scott Miller came as Tammy Faye Bakker; Jeff Northcote as a "white slave trader," and JoAnne and Bill Stewart, regal in authentic costumes of old Spain--"My heritage," she said.
Committee members included Art Sager, Wayne Blackburn, Sue Geidel, Dan Hodes, Mary Lou Hornsby, Ron Jackson, David Krajanowski, Jan Ent, Jennifer Beck, Kathy Boardman, Merlene Bryant, Sandy Miller, Caryl Madrinski and Andy Northcote.