Ronald McDonald in black tie?
Not quite. But he will be on hand to hobnob with some of the local smart set when they sweep under the golden arches to dine at "Chez McDonald's" on Nov. 19. The plan is to raise funds for the Orange County Ronald McDonald House.
On the menu? McNuggets de poulet for hors d'oeuvres, but of course. They will be proffered on silver trays under a tent erected next to the McDonald's at 9845 Chapman Ave. in Garden Grove. Then, guests will sweep into the burger bistro for a candlelight repast, replete with gleaming silver, glowing china and a wine list that will range from Thunderbird to Dom Perignon.
Entree? A choice of filet of fish or a Big Mac (ooh) served up with the Frenchiest of fries. Dessert will be apple pie a la mode or a sundae, take your pick.
A select 85 invitations have gone out for the $125-per-person affair that is expected to raise $20,000 for Ronald McDonald House, a planned home away from home for parents whose children are hospitalized at Childrens Hospital of Orange County with life-threatening illnesses. Auction items will consist of artworks created by some of the children.
The house, due for completion next spring, will be within walking distance of CHOC in Orange. So far, $1 million of the $1.6 million needed to acquire the property and build the 12,000-square-foot facility has been raised.
On the guest list: Herb Watson, executive director for the house; local philanthropist Mary Moore Young, who has donated $500,000 to the cause, and Pat and Marvin Weiss, owner of Eldorado Mills (carpet manufacturers), donors of $50,000. Also expected to attend are members of the House's Community Advisory Council: Willa Dean and William Lyon, Shirlee and Robert Guggenheim, Gail and Peter Ochs, Marilyn and Tom Nielsen, Kathryn Thompson, Zee Mabel Allred, and Elizabeth and Tom Tierney.
A site for sore eyes: It's official. Billionaire Don Bren has said yes to attending the site dedication for the new Newport Harbor Art Museum on Dec. 8. The appearance of Orange County's (if not the country's) most eligible bachelor will mark the first time in months that Bren, chairman of the Irvine Co. (donor of the 10-acre parcel on which the new museum will sit) has made a public social appearance. "The Newport Harbor Art Museum is a first-class effort," Bren said Wednesday. "And it has developed growth requirements that should include a permanent home." The Irvine Co. has also presented the museum with a $10-million challenge grant.
Almost as exciting as Bren's nod to mingling with the black-tie crowd is the glittering A-list honorary committee. Among its members: the Howard Ahmansons; the Donald Bealls; the Harry Bubbs; the David Tappans; the Richard J. Flamsons; the Walter Gerkens; the William Lyons; the George Argyroses; the Henry Segerstroms and the Harold Prices. Frank Hodsoll, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, will speak.
A shy Sly: "Sylvester Stallone was so nervous he had to read his speech," said Kathryn Thompson of "Rambo's" appearance at the Waldorf Astoria in New York on Monday night. Stallone was honorary chairman of the "Gourmet Gala" that raised $850,000 for the March of Dimes. And Thompson, who brought the "Gourmet Gala" to Orange County 4 years ago, was in the Big Apple to attend the bash with good friend Gus Owen.
"I have whiplash there were so many notables there," said Thompson, who was seated next to Stallone in the Waldorf's very grand ballroom. "Betsy Bloomingdale was there. And so were Bianca Jagger, Pat and Bill Buckley, Malcolm Forbes and Donald and Ivana Trump."
"Forbes was so nice. Spent loads of time talking to me about his motorcycle trip through Russia. The Trumps were very, um, they weren't very friendly." No. Forbes did not attend with La Liz, said Thompson, a real estate developer who resides in South Laguna. "He was there with Estee Lauder."
And while Thompson swooned over Stallone, Owen went gaga over Imelda Marcos, who was also lodging at the Waldorf. "Gus asked Imelda if he could take her picture," Thompson said. "She said yes and then they rode the elevator together!"
Thompson's most keen observation: "New York society women have no hips."
Her best moment: "They asked me if I was bi-coastal," she said with a giggle. "And I told them: 'No. I'm more . . . bi-continental.' "
Start spreadin' the news: New York fashion designer Carolyne Roehm, for years Oscar de la Renta's right arm, will bring her elegant couture to Orange county on Feb. 23 when she parades her spring collection before the Guilds of the Performing Arts Center at the Irvine Hilton. The evening event will mark the first time guild members have gathered en masse to raise funds for the Center. Bound to be an ultra-hot ticket, the benefit will feature seats priced at $50 and $125. Donors of $125 will sit at tables near the ramp and $50 donors will watch the goings-on theater-style. A buffet dinner will be served. The event is being sponsored by Neiman Marcus at Newport Center Fashion Island. Not to be outdone, South Coast Plaza also plans to stage a benefit for the Guilds in the fall of next year.