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Annual Doheny Award Benefit Hums to the Tune of $200,000

March 24, 1994|MARY LOU LOPER

Fans of New York cabaret star Bobby Short let him know "You're the Top" the other evening to make the third annual Doheny Award Benefit at the Regent Beverly Wilshire a huge success--400 guests for a $200,000 net.

Along with Short's legendary rendition of Cole Porter lyrics (he's in his 27th year at Cafe Carlyle), the affair was music to the ears of co-chairmen Joni Smith and Ed Landry. The evening also soothed nerves: Landry is still digging out from the Northridge disaster.

The Doheny Award went to Dr. Stephen J. Ryan Jr. in recognition of his "significant preeminence" in the field of ophthalmology. In addition, it commemorated his 20th anniversary at the Doheny Eye Institute. (He's also dean of the USC School of Medicine.)

Humming along were Clark Smith, Ginie and Henry Braun, Gordon Crary, George and Mary Lou Boone and a raft of Dohenys--Patrick and Patricia Doheny and William Doheny.

Photo Finish: It all was larger than life--"Photo Finish," the Pasadena Junior League's Center Stage benefit. How often, mixed in with the lastest of fashion, will you see Rollerblading on the ramps, winningest canine Frisbee champ Joe, bodybuilders pumpin' iron and whiz dancers strutting their stuff in summer swimwear?

It all sort of crazed the fans--500 (many mother/daughter combos) Saturday noon, 450 (members and escorts) Saturday evening and another 500 (mostly kids and parents) for brunch on Sunday. Hard-working chairman Dina Morgan was thrilled with the popular event, and president Kit Shenk got three good opportunities to note that the league has raised $1.1 million for community work over the decade.

Leaguers originally considered staging the event at Santa Anita. Though it was held at the Huntington Hotel, it had all the earmarks of Santa Anita--racing programs for the silent auction and a paddock ambience for the show. Greeting, selling, pointing, laughing was a happy committee including Teri Ward, Penny Burkard, Amy Lamb, Michelle Worthington and Lynn Swank plus advisers Susan Chandler, Christina Varner and Phyllis Wilburn and provisionals such as Valerie Bauman and Catherine Cunningham.

As the announcer pointed out, "Volunteerism is always in fashion." Shenk noted, "This is not an ordinary fund-raiser; our goal is to reward you for your support." Nice race.

Las Madrinas: It was a good year for Las Madrinas. The stellar Childrens Hospital group raised $573,710.86, primarily through its debutante ball at Christmas.

Now Mary O'Connell passes the gavel to new president, Peggy Galbraith of San Marino. On the new slate, too, will be Barbara Fountain, Daisy Spurgin, Cheryl Ziegler, Clare Webb, Kay Onderdonk, Susan Hull, Mary Luck, Maria Grant, Tally Mingst and Mary O'Connell.

Plaudits: Arpad and Katalin Domyan (both former Hungarian Olympians--she swimming, he water polo) are back from Washington, where they, along with others including Judith Leiber, Adrienne Vittadini and Edward Teller, were honorees at the American Council of the World Federation of Hungarians Gala benefiting Balkan refugees.

Wearin' o' the Green: Shannon Tarnutzer and Mary Bryant co-chaired a deliciously fun St. Patrick's Day luncheon at the Bistro Garden for The Luminaires Juniors.

Usually, members are in multiples of Christmas red. Enjoying a switch to spring and much green were Juniors president Katie Finnegan Darnell, Liz Bishop, Victoria Rogers, Laurie Hartigan, Karen Dalby, Marlene Brackovich, Diane Avery and Angela Doheny, who was selling her personalized stationery at a brisk pace for the Doheny Eye Institute.

Recently the Juniors broke previous records on a "Sunset Blvd." benefit premiere. Among those raising a glass over the spring tulips to that success were Ginny Shelton, Sally Green, Jan Karl and Diane Brown.

Hats off: To Gerald and Virginia Oppenheimer, honored by Jules Stein Eye Institute Affiliates at a Westwood Marquis St. Patrick's Day luncheon . . . To Shirley Jones, feted at the USC Town & Gown's Helga fashion show chaired by Bernice Christenson and Yvonne Bogdanovich . . . To Frank "Cowboy" Bogert and his wife, Negie, honorary chairs of Palm Springs' dressy Western Americana Ball . . . To Jane and Steve Ackerman, hosts at a buffet book-signing for artist Jane Wooster Scott . . .

Crown City: Pasadena Beautiful Foundation's pride glistened at its awards dinner at the Ritz-Carlton, Huntington. The concept--"A city is not going to be any more beautiful than it wants to be"--was voiced as awards went to the new Colorado Street Bridge restoration, to Pasadena City College's new Shatford Library, to Polytechnic and New Horizon schools and to One Colorado Associates.

Joining foundation president Richard Nevins in applause were Lawrence Wilson, Jean and Boyd Higgins, Nancy Holliday, Alice Frost Kennedy and Robin Spear. Ann Gay Hovey chaired the event.

Cityscape: Portraits of English children of the 18th Century fascinated a sophisticated Huntington Library Joint Seminar Committee headed by chairman Peggy Galbraith. Super attentive to the views of British and continental art curator Shelley Bennett were new committee chairwoman Eileen Read, Robin Barker, June Banta, Catharine Alexander and Gail Ellis . . . More than 700 attended Loyola Marymount University's groundbreaking for the Conrad N. Hilton Center for Business on the Westchester campus.

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