There's dynamism palpitating around the new group, Friends of Childhelp, and its big benefit, "Starnight."
First, founder June Haver MacMurray hosted a luncheon at Jimmy's to announce the Friends. Fifty leading civic and philanthropic leaders were needed, she said, to help Childhelp USA, the nonprofit group fighting child abuse and neglect that was established in 1959 by Sara O'Meara Sigholtz and Yvonne Fedderson. Then MacMurray announced that Frances Franklin would co-chair the fund-raiser "Starnight" gala March 25 at the Century Plaza in tandem with the NFL Players Assn. Childhelp humanitarian awards will be presented to football stars and their families.
Aboard the affair are Arletta Tronstein, Joanne Carson, Ruth Borden, Cynthia Gershman, Dolly Granatelli, Florence Henderson, Dolores Hope, Marcia Israel, Marilyn McDaniel, Ann Miller, Anne Murphy, Connie Olsen, Cordella Owens, Rosemarie Stack, Jessica Vitti, Sylvia Wu, Tova Borgnine, Mary Ellen Bennett, Christina Childs, Carole Cramer, Dorothy Faber, Effie Gaido, Billie Galef, Roberta Herbison, Marilyn Jane Hogan, Ruth Koch, Rosa Kunin, JoAnn Klauer, Jane Kramer, Nannelle Levine, Grace Lowell, Rhonda Fleming Mann, Michelle Mazur, Joyce Moffatt, Roberta Pawlak, Beverly Rogers, Carole Smith and Ruth Tullis.
Tickets cost $300 to $1,000. Tiffany & Co. hosted a cocktail pre-festivity. Gucci plans a fashion show March 24 on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills on the eve of "Starnight" to salute diamond benefactors. Fred MacMurray, Cesar Romero, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Buddy Rogers and Norm Crosby will be greeting while they all gather to salute Mary Ellen Bennett and Anwar Soliman, the "Starnight" dinner hosts, and diamond benefactors Alice Tyler, George Page and Sherman Mazur. Due to their loving hearts, "Starnight" is completely underwritten.
LOUD WHISPERS: Fred Hayman has been in Europe sniffing and spritzing with world renowned perfumers. It all has to do with the fact he'll be debuting a new fragrance at a gala in January. And we hear the famous yellow and white stripes and the shop name Giorgio's on Rodeo Drive will evaporate, to be replaced with something new.
CENTER STAGE: The Adrenalin was high backstage at "Bravissimo," the Pasadena Junior League's Center Stage evening benefit at the Bonaventure.
Candida Genzmer and Susan Seidel, about to open the show in Genny and Valentino black and white suits in the Nordstrom parade of spring fashions, were adjusting their twin chapeaux. Five-year-old Courtney Wong was in tears because Ravissant Hair Studio (who donated all their time) had teased her hair and she wanted a braid. Dick Wallen and Carol Allen were tripping on turns. Young James David Rooke was releasing energy doing gymnastics on a clothes rack. And Amytis Barrett was funny: "What a night. Fifty years ago I modeled for the Los Angeles Junior League at Bullocks Wilshire. I'm 79--say 80, it sounds better. They wanted me tonight because I have no stomach or hips--why else would they want me? It's not my profile."
Then Belize's Earl Waite and the Fantasia Band shouted " Ole ! Ole ! Ole !" and bounced into "Be hot, hot, hot," and all was divine--especially since they had chairman Diane Scott and her husband, Michael, at the end of the runway cheering, and president Leslie Jallo and her husband, Jack, nearby.
At the end, it meant applause and sprays of red roses for Diane Scott, Ann Weir (production chairman), Darrell Banta (program) and Diane Robertson (finance). Terri Clougherty tallied 1,000 for luncheon earlier that day (around the tall elegant floral centerpieces by Liz Merrill) and 550 at the evening affair, estimating a net of $100,000 for the league's community work. The profit was aided by underwriting collected by member Elizabeth Algermissen, who also happens to be the County Museum of Art's chief of exhibitions. The 12-strand biwa pearl necklace Jerry Dalton of J. Herbert Hall Jewellers donated for the drawing helped, too.
The crowd was young-spirited, dancing late to reggae and calypso. Terry and Cynthia Perucca (she's new league president-elect), Patti and Stewart Smith, David and Haideh Alexander, Susan and Stephen Chandler, Scott and Nancy Lovejoy, Nancy and Bill Burrows, and Anita and Tony Garnier, and committee members such as Susan Wondries, Melissa Blouin, Ty Easley, Peggy Stevenson and Diane Brash.
DEBS: Belated congratulations to the Philoptohos Society of Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral debutantes: Cynthia Daly, Laura Georgas, Carolyne Harrison, Nancy and Nicole Mentas, Valerie Pappas, Angelique Schuldenfrei, Marina Trigonis, Tiffany Tripodes, Marie Starros and Nicole Vidalakis.
THE BEST: The Best of Beverly Hills Fashion Show is in the works for Wednesday, presented by American Airlines to benefit the learning handicapped at the ERAS Center.