"Last year," said Roger Foster, president of Chapman Music Associates, "we had no entertainment as such . Unless you count Muzak ."
The bespectacled Foster winced as he said the M-word--then quickly regained his jovial demeanor. This year, the Associates' second annual auction and lunch had entertainment all right--in the strapping, silver-maned form of Broadway musical star John Raitt.
Saturday's benefit at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach drew 150 friends and members of the support group that raises money for music scholarships and college musical programs. Estimated net proceeds for the $35-per event, which included silent and live auctions, was $15,000, according to Victoria Rode, co-chairwoman with Betty Prizio.
Guests were greeted at the door by Joni Smith, wife of Chapman College president G. T. (Buck) Smith (who was in Washington attending an education conference).
While a trio of music students performed classical selections, guests browsed silent-auction items and enjoyed a buffet lunch of baked ham, potato pancakes, seafood quiche and fresh pastries at peach-clothed tables accented with vases of single tulips.
After lunch, the Santa Ana-born Raitt--who had celebrated his 71st birthday the day before at his Pacific Palisades home--sang "The Impossible Dream" and "They Call the Wind Maria" with piano accompaniment and shared two duets with Chapman grad Jennifer Smith.
Associates Robert and Susan Beechner were top bidders on the midnight-blue BMW wrapped bumper to bumper with white ribbon and parked outside the club.
Among guests were Chapman alums Tom and Pat Elliott, Merle and Marjorie Fish, and Dennis and Mae Parrett.
Also attending were Chapman director of development Carol Blanchard, music department chairman Donn Mills, and CMA board members Florence Lukens, Thomas Talbert, Marye Spencer and Holly Henderson.
Pamela Marin is a regular contributor to Orange County Life.