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Heat Was On at Burn Assn. Benefit : 'Firefox' Calendar Beefcakes Strut Their Stuff, Raise $12,000

November 16, 1989|PAMELA MARIN | Pamela Marin is a regular contributor to Orange County Life.

Orange County firefighters did what they had to do on Friday at the Inn at the Park Hotel in Anaheim: They strutted in tuxes, stripped down to swimsuits and danced with dozens of women until 1 a.m.

The beefcake display, which drew more than 900 guests at $20 each, was co-hosted by the Orange County Firemen's Assn. and the Orange County Burn Assn. On hand for the evening were 10 of the firemen pictured in the 1990 "California Firefox" calendar and 26 competitors for the 1991 hunk-a-month calendar photographs.

Proceeds from the event, an estimated $12,000, will be used by the nonprofit burn association for its ongoing educational programs and for the treatment and support of burn survivors.

The evening began with no-host cocktails by the pool, where the 1990 poster foxes--in tuxes--signed calendars at 10 separate autograph tables. ("We thought it would be more fun if the ladies could go from man to man," said Caryl Modrinski, executive director of the Orange County Burn Assn.)

After the pool-side mingle, guests headed for the ballroom, which was filled with chairs fanned out from a modeling runway. A huge flag and a red-white-and-blue balloon arch decorated the stage.

The show began with the wail of sirens and a mock dispatch call--something about "hot, smoldering women"--then all the contestants rushed on stage in their bulky yellow "turnouts" and danced to Glenn Frey's "The Heat Is On." (It was, judging by the screeches and squeals coming from the audience.)

Next came a tuxedo competition, then swimsuits, and finally a jazzy routine by the 1990 foxes. After the winners were picked, the program shifted gears dramatically as burn survivors Barbara Kammerer and Vinny Tanis walked on stage. Kammerer, who has dedicated her life to helping other burn survivors with their disfigurements, thanked the firefighters on behalf of all burn survivors. As she walked past them, each handed her a red rose, then all joined hands for an emotion-charged version of "That's What Friends Are For."

Kid stuff: The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation hosted its sixth annual "Bid for Kids" on Saturday, drawing 265 formally dressed guests to the Balboa Bay Club and raising an estimated $90,000, according to event chairman Lou DeBartelo.

DeBartelo said this year's higher-than-expected proceeds were due to corporate underwriting of party costs and to a less-is-more planning strategy.

"We decided to make the event more upscale this time," he said. "Have fewer (guests) and fewer but better items in the auctions."

The lucky few perused silent auction tables at cocktail hour, enjoyed a dinner of beef Wellington and bananas flambe, and dipped back into their personal coffers for live auction bidding.

Among the more than 200 silent and live auction items were two top-selling vacations--a Napa Valley wine-tasting trip that Jeff and Bonnie Dankberg nabbed for $3,900, and a long weekend in Paris bought by Jan Hehr for $3,800.

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