I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know, where the tree tops glisten and children listen, to hear sleigh bells in the snow. . . .
Hoag 552 Club's "Dreaming of a White Christmas . . ." ball was a dream come true--as snow-covered as a Midwestern lawn on Christmas morn.
A forest of flocked white birch trees--shipped from Michigan for the occasion--decked the halls and ballroom walls of the Newport Marriott on Saturday night, where 470 guests, paying $552 per couple, gathered in regal finery to pose for keepsake photos with Santa, heap mounds of Sevruga caviar onto tiny buckwheat crepes, savor prime rib of veal and get lumps of nostalgia in their throats when they joined in a sing-along of "Silent Night" and "White Christmas."
Steeped in tradition--Andy Devine, John Wayne and Claire Trevor all have recited "The Night Before Christmas" at the annual event--the gala raised net proceeds of $70,000 for the Hoag Cancer Center. Among guests were Sandy and Richard Sewell, donors of $500,000 to the Cancer Center; Domenick and Barbara Roppolo, benefit chairwoman and stunning in a gold-and-black gown, and 552 Club president James Glabman with his wife, Barbara, vice chairwoman, attired in snow-white velvet.
Christmas at the Ritz: In a rare social appearance Saturday, the beloved James Roosevelt--tan, lean and looking happy to be out and about--attended "Christmas at the Ritz," a benefit brunch held by the Fashionables, a support group of Chapman College in Orange.
A surgery patient last spring, the eldest son of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was asked what he wanted for Christmas: "My health! And, for Chapman College, always an exciting program attended by young people to help them meet the challenges of the world."
Estimated net proceeds of $10,000 were earmarked for the school's All-Faiths Chapel, which will be located in its proposed $10-million Argyros Learning Center. "A Chapman College education involves educating the total person--mind, body and spirit," said Dr. James Doti, acting president of the college.
Staged in the Ritz restaurant in Newport Beach, the affair included an hour of champagne sipping and then a brunch of poached salmon accompanied by holiday-colored fare: red raspberry creme brulee and creme de menthe frappe.
Roosevelt, a college trustee, and Hans Prager, owner of the Ritz, were honorary co-chairmen. Dori de Kruif--chic in mink hat with matching muff--was benefit chairwoman. Mary Lou Hornsby is chairwoman of the Fashionables. Special guests included Mildred Mead, founder of the Fashionables; college trustees George Argyros with wife, Judie--in holiday red and a Garbo-esque broad brim hat; Athalie Clarke, and Bob Guggenheim with wife, Shirlee.
Performance for the arts: Talk about stuffing a Christmas stocking. Excerpts from "The Nutcracker" by Ballet Pacifica and knockout fashions by Laguna Beach designer D.N. Evans were among the treats offered at a holiday benefit Monday sponsored by the Chopin chapter of the guilds of the Performing Arts Center. Held at the Dana Point Resort, the event also included lunch--topped off with a dreamy apple strudel--and a Christmas boutique. Net proceeds were estimated at $10,000. Diann Shirley was chairwoman. Valerie Hamm is chapter president.
Take a bow: The Newport chapter of the National Charity League presented 16 debutantes at its 27th annual Debutante Ball on Nov. 28 at the Westin South Coast Plaza hotel. Making their debuts were Justine Bear, Hilary Blankenhorn, Nicole Capretz, Kristen Clarke, EmilCurrie, Meghan Dale, Leslie Fowler, Nancy Freundt, Jillian Harrington, Keara Irvine, Kimberly Johnson, Kimberly Kear, Keri Lowder, Kirsten Raymond, Suzanne Seberg and Laura Van Steenhuyse. Marcia Cashion was chairwoman. Linda Blankenhorn is president of the Newport chapter of the National Charity League.