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LIFE ON THE PARTY CIRCUIT : Assistance League Decks Halls With Designer Trees

December 08, 1988|JAN HOFMANN | Jan Hofmann is a regular contributor to Orange County Life.

O, Christmas tree. Oooh! Christmas tree.

The Assistance League of Santa Ana put a new twist on the traditional carol Sunday night at South Coast Plaza's Crystal Court with its annual Christmas Tree Celebration.

First there were the five designer trees, decorated by local florists and interior designers, with such themes as "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing," "Sweet Dreams" and "Crystal Fantasies." Then there were the nearly 40 miniature trees on the tables, complete with teensy ornaments and battery-powered twinkling lights.

The full-size trees were purchased by league patrons, to be donated to local organizations for display through the rest of the season. Tree purchasers included Z. Mabel Allred, Charles Hester, Peter Ochs and Dick Wallace. The trees will be on display at the Western Medical Center's Bartlett Center, the clinic at Childrens Hospital of Orange County, the Providence Speech and Hearing Center, the Laguna Art Museum and the Orange County Register, according to league spokeswoman Dolores Maxson.

The tiny trees, which were made by a league committee, were sold to individuals.

Sharon Janis and Teri Kennady co-chaired the $75-per-person event, which attracted nearly 500 guests and netted about $40,000, according to Maxson.

The money will be used to support the league's philanthropies, including a dental center, child-care center, homemaker services and family assistance project.

Once a snowball gets rolling, it tends to keep moving under its own momentum.

The 27 members of the Children's League of Fullerton aren't sure how many years their annual Snow Ball has been rolling along--25 years at least, maybe 30. In either case, on Friday the traditional pre-holiday event proved that it's still going strong and that momentum is only one of the reasons.

"We've been working on this for about 8 months," said Jennifer Rova, who chaired the event.

"It's sort of like having a baby," said Pat Jass, who had Rova's job last year.

By the time the nearly 200 guests arrived at the Doubletree Hotel in Orange for the ball proper, the celebration was well under way, after three simultaneous preliminary cocktail parties at the homes of members Shari Adams, Vickey Hennessy and Claudia Ramos. The parties are an important part of the Snow Ball tradition, Rova said.

"After all that work, it's nice to be able to relax and enjoy the results," said Yvonne Chavez, who chaired the ball's decorating committee.

At $120 per couple, the ball was expected to raise at least $8,000, supplemented by proceeds from the sale of holiday centerpieces handmade by league members, Jass said. The money will be used to support the 36-year-old group's various services to Fullerton children, including field trips for elementary and junior high school students and subsidies for several child-related nonprofit organizations.

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