What's different about the holidays is that never before have so many benefit chairs and private hosts requested that guests bring a gift for the hungry, the homeless, the confined. Call it the benevolent gift--a toy, canned goods, sometimes a check.
The Volunteer League of the San Fernando Valley requires members to bring personal-care or food items for the Women's Care Cottage of Van Nuys to its Christmas tea Wednesday at the home of Jackie Harker.
Like Jack's beanstalk, Pam and Peter Mullin's Christmas party grew. It's being moved from their Brentwood home to the Santa Monica airport, and they've asked a multitude of friends to bring blankets for three downtown women's shelters.
Pam Mullin also chairs the Catholic Charities' Archbishop's Christmas Party for Children Dec. 15 at Los Angeles Music Center, hosting 500. A committee, including Lynn Evans, Carol Dudman, Jill Riordan and Marisa Antonini, expects to raise $80,000 for food, clothing and toys.
Robert and Rosemarie Stack's party for the Volunteers of America--a festive dinner at the Bonaventure for lonely elderly folks--calls for $200-a-place sponsorships. VOA serves 1,000 meals each day to the frail elderly.
There's variety to holiday giving. Community Rehabilitation Industries has 100 vocational trainees in group homes. Board president David Fish is seeking $30 gift certificates for each client for the CRI celebration this season.
Some of Los Angeles' top international chefs (Jean Pierre Bosc of Fennel, Camille Crochet of Moustache Cafe and Jean Jacque Dartois of Le Dome, among others) will prepare a holiday feast for Skid Row's homeless. The Club Culinaire Francais de California and the Weingart Center Assn. jointly will serve the holiday meal to 700 homeless residents at Weingart Center.
In the spirit of the season, David and Elizabeth Kirschner, along with Childrens Hospital, will host a screening of "The Dreamer of Oz" in Beverly Hills. They're asking for contributions to fight life-threatening illnesses.
The Shakespeare Festival/LA has already collected more than $50,000 in food for the needy in lieu of admission charges for performances this year. The fine folks who underwrote that will be saluted at the Shakespeare Circle reception Monday evening at Checkers Hotel.
Meanwhile, practically every hospital in town has a gift shop stacked with goodies that, when purchased, will benefit the cause. One going full-force this season is at Good Samaritan Hospital.
Picking up holiday gifts at Los Angeles Children's Museum or at the Assistance League of Southern California Gift Shop (enjoy mulled cider while you shop this next week) will raise charity funds. So will the Victorian Christmas Yule celebration continuing today at Banning Residence Museum (admission $5) in Wilmington.
And, uniquely, the Design Alliance to Combat AIDS hosts an ongoing silent auction of holiday wreaths designed by celebrities Tuesday through Dec. 12 in the lobby of the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood. Patricia Kennedy Sheinbaum called her pal, couturier Christian Lacroix, in Paris and his wreath is on the way. Numerous wreaths include those from James Galanos, Lillian Zacky, Barbara Lazaroff and Angela Lansbury with proceeds for hospices, meal deliveries and care of children with AIDS.
EFFORT: Stamp dealers from all over America were contacted by the Shakespeare Globe Centre Western Region to come up with 1964 Shakespeare stamps for some 3,000 invitations to the world premiere of "Hamlet" (the Franco Zeffirelli film starring Mel Gibson and Glenn Close) Dec. 18 at Mann's Village Theater in Westwood.
After the film, double-decker buses and London taxis will carry premiere-goers to the Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center for Elizabethan fare. The Southern California Committee chaired by Jean Smith (wife of the late Atty. Gen. William French Smith) has named Robin Parsky and Joan Hotchkis chairs of the gala.
The reconstructed Globe will open near its original site on the Thames in London on the anniversary of Shakespeare's birth, April 23, 1993.
GIVENCHY: The tall, handsome Parisian couturier Hubert de Givenchy with his staff and models flew to the desert delighting The Muses 100 (the major support group for the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert) with the world premiere of his spring-summer 1991 collection.
Jacques and Rhannon Sellam, owners of the Daniel Foxx Boutique, produced the show. In the sell-out audience were Dolores Hope, Betty Ford, Buddy Rogers, Luis Estevez, Barbara Sinatra, Alice Faye, Mousie Powell, Elizabeth Williams, Natalie Best, Carolyn Biggs, Leslie Bosher, Lillian Cooke, Judy Gelfand and Marilyn Tennity.
PAST PERFECT: The Diamond Circle for City of Hope and Elaine Marmel and Barbara Katz "Puttin' on the Ritz" at the new Ritz Carlton in Marina del Rey with the very glossiest of pop-up invitations. Generosity of members has resulted in $2 million raised for the Familian Center . . . .
The Archdiocesan Education Foundation buffet and private preview of the Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center Nov. 20 . . . .
The Mannequins of the Assistance League patron party at the home of Brad Freeman . . . .
Tina and Neil Diver's post-concert reception for the Pasadena Symphony Assn.