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INTO THE NIGHT / BILL HIGGINS

Raising Money for the Little Fishies

March 26, 1993|BILL HIGGINS

The Scene: Wednesday's gala dinner at the Beverly Hilton benefiting and honoring the American Oceans Campaign. There had been plans to honor the nonprofit's co-founders, Ted Danson and Casey Coates-Danson, but they've separated. However both were on hand. They appear to have worked out a joint custody agreement regarding the AOC.

Who Was There: Many had some connection to "Cheers," either in production, distribution or as performers. Among the 450 guests were Shelley Long, George Wendt, Kelsey Grammar, Neil Simon, Ed Begley Jr., Harry Hamlin, Mimi Rogers, Perry King, Ted Shackelford, Sally Kellerman, Samuel E. Jackson, James Garner, Brandon and Lilly Tartikoff, Jeff Goldblum, NBC's Warren Littlefield, and Danny De Vito and Rhea Perlman, who co-chaired the event.

Sideshow: Two other ballrooms in the hotel were being used by Century 21 and Intel computer experts. They packed the lobby to watch the stars arrive. It's amazing how many brokers carry auto-focus cameras with them.

Dress Mode: Business attire, although a few came in black-tie seemingly out of habit. Like, they can't go to the Beverly Hilton any other way. One explanation: "It's Wednesday, they're confused," which somehow made sense.

Money Matters: Tickets were $500 and $1,000 a person; more than $300,000 was raised.

Chow: Alaskan salmon. Jay Leno's comment was, "I don't get this. First you show pretty pictures of beautiful creatures from the ocean, then you eat them? What's the story, Ted? Couldn't find any free-range chicken?"

Entertainment: AOC videos, speeches by Danson, Coates-Danson and executive director Robert Sulnick; performances by Leno and Patti LaBelle who was scheduled for 25 minutes but went a bit longer because "I'm not one of those time queens."

Quoted: Ted Danson on why he devotes himself to this issue: "If you look at the oceans and the coastal waters, you can tell the health of the entire planet. Everything that ends up on land eventually gets in the water system and ends up in the coastal waters. It's a great metaphor for looking at every environmental problem."

Another Perspective: Danny De Vito on why this issue: "We're all descended from little fishies and we all take care of our own."

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