Those who give of their time and worldly goods for children in need often do so from the heart. Two cases in point: H. Russell Smith, the just-retiring chairman of Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles, and Mary Duque, president.
Russell and Jeanne Smith recently endowed a chair in brain surgery in the name of their late grandson, Cameron Smith (son of Stewart and Patricia Smith of San Marino), who died last June at Childrens Hospital after a 10-year battle with cancer.
Duque, whose grandson has been treated at Childrens Hospital for cancer, has spent 40 years building support for the hospital. In addition to her gifts and those of her family, she has been a tireless fund-raiser and launched many of the hospital's volunteer organizations.
Both were at the helm of an extraordinary group of supporters who gathered for a black-tie dinner at the Los Angeles Country Club. The occasion, underwritten by Smith, was a "thank you, thank you, thank you" affair, in Mary Duque vernacular, and preceded a luncheon two weeks later at the Beverly Wilshire saluting hospital volunteers. Hospital board member Bonnie McClure chaired the event.
Almost concurrently, members of Las Madrinas, who stage the annual Christmas debutante ball, met at the home of Mary Strub Crowe in San Marino and approved their largest donation ever--a three-to-five-year pledge of $3 million to the hospital for the Las Madrinas Institute for Molecular Diagnosis. The gift will fund programs in developmental biology and transplant immunology, including work in host defense and cell biology. It was a special moment for Elayne Techentin, Las Madrinas outgoing president; Penne Durst, ball chairman, and Janice Carpenter, debutante chairman.
Taking over will be Jane Ackerman, president; Sally Keon, vice president; Janice Carpenter, ball chairman; Cynthia Baise, debutante chairman, and board members Nancy Birdwell, Margaret Given, Penne Durst, Joyce Stuart and Tally Mingst.
At the country club dinner, hospital Chief Executive Officer Jane Hurd paid thanks to the blue-ribbon crowd: Eileen Norris, Flora Thornton, Nancy and Charles Munger, Marilyn Duque and Jim and Mercedes Duque, Bud Grier, Dody and Otis Booth, Drs. Morton and Jane Woolley, Lucia and John Myers, Libby and Will Keck, Walt and Kathy Rose, Peter and Helen Bing and Dr. Stuart Siegel.
At the luncheon, Dr. Richard Call, new chairman of the hospital, was being congratulated, surrounded by his pretty daughters, Kate Regan and Nancy McCullough. Bonnie McClure thanked her committee--Isabel Arnett, Cheryl Baker, Marilyn Duque, Pat Fletcher, Peggy Galbraith, Laurie Griff, Rosemary Hill, Carlotta Keeley, Sally Stewart, Joan Mehn, Ann Wilson and Ginger Winger. Then Jane Popovich, owner of the Armoire, and Troy Steckenrider, of Troy and Co. jewelers, launched a fashion show.
STAY FLEXIBLE: The luncheon was going to be at Seventh Street Bistro. But at the last moment the guest list swelled, and Richard Koshalek, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art; Leo Wyler, president, and collector Douglas Cramer found themselves leading New York art dealer Leo Castelli and an entourage of artists and pals to a bit more space at Rex. It was all very citified, down to the last truffle. And a great deal of fun with an eclectic mix of artists and art lovers--James and Mimi Rosenquist, Edward and Danna Ruscha, Craig Johnson, Elizabeth Koshalek, noted Vienna architect Hans Hollein (he's in the design competition for the Disney Hall at the Music Center), MOCA vice chairman Fred Nicholas, Jackie Applebaum, Carol Hayes, Barbara Jacobson and Carol Dunstan. A collection of Jasper Johns prints, belonging to Castelli's late wife, Toiny, is showing at MOCA. Eli Broad feted Castelli at Michael's with a dinner for about 100, and Douglas Cramer whisked him off with a sizeable coterie for a weekend at Cramer's Santa Ynez ranch.
SAVE A HEART: The Save a Heart Foundation will honor Rich Little, its national spokesman, as man of the year Sunday at the Beverly Wilshire. Leo Kaplan will receive the Heart Saver Award. Chairman Ron Gordon has asked Red Buttons to entertain; that means big laughs. Co-chairs are Georgiana Iva-Treivush, Patrick McKenna and Lori Hauser.
BIG DATES: Mount St. Mary's College will host a benefit preview of "Les Miserables" on May 26 at the newly redecorated Shubert Theater. David and Norma McIntyre (she's an alumna) are honorary chairmen and Carol and Michael A. Enright host the kick-off cocktail party March 4 at their Fremont Place home. There will be a choice of pre-theater galas--the black-tie dinner at the Bistro Garden or a buffet at the Century Plaza. . . .
Mark April 2 (Easter weekend) for the fifth Barbara Sinatra Invitational Art Auction to benefit the Barbara Sinatra Children's Center at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage. Calvin Vander Woude is event chairman. Others on the committee are Mimi Albert, Harold Broderick, Tina Cohen, Judy Gelfand, James Greenbaum, Mary Jane Jenkins. . . .
The Asian/Pacific Women's Network will honor four who have aided the advancement of Asian and Pacific women today at the Seventh Annual Woman Warrior Awards dinner at the Biltmore. They are Beulah Quo, Marguerite Archie-Hudson, June Kuramoto and Aiko Herzig-Hoshinaga.
ESCALATION: The late Helen Whittier Woodward, a special friend of the Braille Institute, will be honored posthumously Sunday at the Braille Institute Auxiliary Sunday Supper Soiree at the Four Seasons. President Rozella Knox has named Cathy Rea and Tenita Christensen dinner chairmen. Heading the patron committee are Marge Kolliner, Catherine Edgerton, Betty Williams and Kitty Morris. The late Mrs. Woodward's father, Mericos Whittier, along with Burton Green, formed the Rodeo Land and Water Co., known later as Beverly Hills. . . .
On March 6, the Chinese Arts Council of Pacific Asia Museum welcomes the Year of the Dragon with a 10-course feast at Fung Lum restaurant in Universal City.