Robert L. Mettler, president and chief executive officer of Robinson's, was called "a visionary and a courageous retailer" with a "commitment to the betterment of mankind" Tuesday evening as he was given the prestigious National Jewish Humanitarian Award at a fund-raiser at the Century Plaza.
"He also comes to work every morning at 5 o'clock," added Mettler's good friend and award presenter, Sy Stewart of New York.
Bernard Brown, vice president of regional sales for Koret of California, and Tom Johnson, publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Times, co-chaired the dinner that raised more than $236,000 for the National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine before the proceeds of the silent auction, headed by Michael Gould, president and CEO of Giorgio, were factored.
As treasurer, Kenneth Sokol, president and CEO of the May Co., delivered the check to Michael K. Schonbrun, National Jewish president. California's participation for the Denver hospital, Schonbrun noted, is vital. Los Angeles, he added, is one of 40 cities that host benefits for the center and its treatment and study of respiratory, allergenic and immunological diseases. In the last five years, 241 Californians have received more than 12,400 days of in-patient care, and 341 physicians from California have been trained there.
Brown paid honor to the local National Jewish trustees--Ray Klauer, who was honorary dinner chairman; Joseph Schapiro, Milton Blake and Richard Schlosberg. J. Hart Lyon, retired from Carter Hawley Hale, was accepting congratulations for his ad journal tribute to Mettler; Michael Hecht, president of The Broadway, inducted new members of the Society of Fellows, including Guilford Glazer, Mettler and Lyon.
MAYNOOTH DINNER: Friends of J. Thomas and Kathleen McCarthy gathered 700-fold the other evening at the Beverly Wilshire for a Los Angeles salute.
The couple, both descended from grandparents who escaped the famine of Ireland in the 1800s, were honored Jan. 27 in the College Chapel of Maynooth, St. Patrick's College, in Ireland. Tom received a gold ring and the first honorary doctorate in philosophy ever given by the college, and Kathleen became the first woman to receive the Gold Medal of St. Patrick, a 20-karat memento. The same day the president of Ireland, Patrick Hillery, was also awarded a doctorate of philosophy. The McCarthys were recognized for their outstanding contribution to various institutions in the United States, particularly in Los Angeles.
So, Los Angeles friends decided to celebrate. Tomas Cardinal O. Fiaich, primate of All Ireland and chairman of the trustees of St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, which has trained 180 of the Catholic priests serving in Southern California, flew in. Archbishop Roger M. Mahony sat at the head table. Msgr. Miceal Ledwith, president of St. Patrick's, was here.
The evening proved a point: It's possible to raise $1 million in one night (for the newly established Los Angeles Diocese floor in the Pope John Paul II Library at St. Patrick's) and tell Irish jokes with the primate joining in. Said Peter W. Mullin, speaking for the dinner committee: "The McCarthys agreed to this party only if it was to be a fun evening." His wife, Pam Mullin, famous for her parties, took care of that, along with a blue ribbon committee including Roland and Terry Seidler Jr., Richard and Maude Ferry, Francis and Barbara McNamara Jr., Richard and Jill Riordan, former Ambassador to Ireland Peter H. and Jackie Dailey.
The primate hugged Kathleen McCarthy when the $1 million was announced. An inscribed Irish Waterford crystal globe was presented to the McCarthys; guests walked out with Waterford violet vases. Some nightcapped, including the primate, at Jimmy's in Beverly Hills. Joining the hotel throng were Tom's mother, Jeannette McCarthy, and Kathleen's mother, Dorothy Leavey, and much of their family: Kathleen, Colleen, John and Michael and Marsi McCarthy, and Bill Lemons and his children--Brad, Tom, Marie and Mark Lemons, children of the recipient Mrs. McCarthy's late sister Terry.
Among good friends in the crowd were Lynn and Hugh Evans, Cammie Conlon, Hank and Judy Duque, Joe and Sally Keon, Roger and Patty Burschinger, Roberta Grady, Maury and Carolyn DeWald, Carol and Bud Dudman.
Describing efforts to reduce further outbreaks of violence in Ireland, the primate said: "All the religious leaders meet together every month . . . you hear very little of what is being done to bring Christians of all kinds together."
25TH ANNIVERSARY: David Packard, chairman of the board and co-founder of Hewlett-Packard Company, will be honored at the 25th anniversary banquet of the Thomas Jefferson Research Center Tuesday at the Beverly Wilshire. Co-chairmen are George Champion, A. W. Clausen, J. Richard Giacoletto, Sanford McDonnell, Arch Monson, Fred O'Green, Albert Wheelon and John Young.
WEDDING BELLS: Robert B. Egelston, chairman of the Capital Group, Inc., married Debra Ann Reynolds, a writer-consultant from Laguna Beach, in a ceremony performed by the Rev. George Regas at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena. Dinner at the California Club followed. They've purchased a ranch.
TEA: Adrienne Hall hosted tea this week in her Beverly Hills home for founding members of the YWCA of Los Angeles President's Circle. Caroline Leonetti Ahmanson and Judith Harris Murphy are co-chairs.
LIVELY: We told you the Society of Junior Fellows' new group was young and energetic. March 6 members have reserved the garden terrace and adjacent lawn of The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens for hot air ballooning. After the mounting and launchings they'll move to the Library Exhibition Hall for a preview of "Walking on Air," a ballooning exhibition with an introduction by Thomas V. Lange, associate curator, rare books.