SAN DIEGO — To use one holiday to promote another isn't all that easy to manage, but Sandra Schafer seems to have pulled it off Sunday.
Luckily for Schafer, however, Christmas and Valentine's Day have a few things in common. They both spread love, and both are big on red, for example, a color that showed vividly on the cheeks and noses of the 70 guests who joined Schafer aboard the 95-foot Polaris Supreme for an evening cruise that wove among vessels participating in the annual Parade of Lights on San Diego Bay.
The passenger list was made up of benefactors and committee members of the "1991 Valentine Spectacular," a gala to be given Feb. 9 at the San Diego Marriott for the benefit of Community Hospital of Chula Vista. Schafer will chair the eighth annual black-tie event, which will have a French theme this time, "Meet Me at Maxim's."
"I suppose it's unusual to give a Christmas party for a Valentine's Day event, but I just wanted to thank our sponsors and the committee in advance and in a very special way," said Schafer, who was joined on the cruise by her husband, Dr. Jeff Schafer. "I think cruising among the Parade of Lights is pretty special."
For the cruise, Schafer wrought an Olde English motif.
Among the attractions--other than the gorgeous armada assembled for the watery spectacle--were the Westminster Carolers, a Victorian-style quartet that offered all the standards and gracefully accepted sing-along volunteers. The faces under the bonnets and top hats surprised some of the guests, to say the least, in that the quartet included former San Diego Charger defensive back Willie Buchanon and socialite and former Jewel Ball chairman Dotti Howe.
The great place to be on the Polaris (owned by Schafer's parents, boat-builders and fishing boat operators Bill and Ingrid Poole was in the prow, which the captain continually kept at the best angle for viewing the crazy assemblage of vessels decorated as Christmas trees and sleds with reindeer. (One tiny craft towed a lighted message that implored "Virgie, marry me." No response, however, was forthcoming.) This location also exposed guests to the extremely rare local experience of wind chill, which sent most of them tumbling into the salon to the warmth of corn chowder, Irish coffee and huddled conversations.
One who braved the elements was representative-elect Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who attended with his wife, Nancy; the former Top Gun instructor was bundled in a weathered, leather flight jacket. Another participant in South Bay politics, Chula Vista Mayor Greg Cox, attended with his wife, Cheryl.
A centerpiece of the "Valentine Spectacular" will be a live auction, which will include, said auction chair Lynda Schnepper, a Paris vacation package complete with dinner for two at Maxim's. Cunningham has promised a Washington package that will include a VIP tour of the Capitol. The event, to which tickets cost $125 and $200 per person, will benefit the newborn nursery now under construction as part of an addition to Community Hospital of Chula Vista.
Also on the Polaris manifest were John Whitney, Margaret and Victor Sell, Luba Johnston, Evelyn and Dr. Edward Singer, Lynn Kirkpatrick and Bill Toomey, Suzanne and Dr. Paul Schulman and Betty Kornreich.
At the conclusion of a presentation made Dec. 11 by fashion collector and expert Sandy Schreier, the 300 women in the ballroom of the U. S. Grant were forced to ponder, singly and in concert, the pressing question of whether it is wiser to give one's closet a good weeding once in a while, or to let it grow jungle-like with the out-of-date articles that Schreier calls "closet decorators."
Old clothes may be just that to most of us, but to Schreier, a Detroit-era collector of couture who owns several thousand items ranging from bloomers to Worth gowns, fashions represent threads from the social, artistic and political fabrics of other eras that can be woven into a rich tapestry of history. Because this point of view has been adopted by the recently formed Costume Council, an Auxiliary to the San Diego Historical Society, Schreier was invited to address the luncheon, which was planned primarily to attract membership to the 125-strong group.
Before Schreier spoke, council founder and President Ann Jones told the audience that the Historical Society owns 3,500 pieces of clothing and accessories, which it wishes to preserve, catalogue and exhibit. Funds raised by the council, which recently pledged $25,000 to the Historical Society, will go to these purposes. Jones also announced that the Costume Council has been selected as the beneficiary of the Fall, 1991, opening of The Paladion, the luxury shopping building under construction in downtown San Diego that has signed such tenants as Tiffany, Gucci and Mark Cross.