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WESTSIDE WATCH

Exotic Guests Ensure Wild Time at Rodeo Drive Event

July 17, 1994

It was a wild party, Beverly Hills-style. Some guests were dripping with jewels. Others were clad in exotic fur coats--ones they were born with. They were animals.

A chimpanzee, a baby elephant and a zebra topped the guest list at the "Jewels of Africa" fund-raiser, held at Two Rodeo, a well-ventilated (thankfully) open-air mall.

The benefit was hosted by actress Ali MacGraw and Tiffany & Co. to draw attention to the plight of the imperiled black rhino and to raise funds for the Mkomazi Game Reserve in East Africa. Proceeds were $40,000, organizers said.

The sights included fashion models dressed in haute couture, their necks adorned not by feather boas but by real pythons.

Tiffany's connection? Some of its gems were mined in Africa, a store executive noted.

Despite being seated at a table piled with boxes of ground rhino horn and other examples of poaching and the grisly trade in products made from endangered wildlife, a pair of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents said they were happy to be invited to the $150-a-ticket gala.

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GOOOOAALL!: No one will be happier with the results of today's World Cup final than Santa Monica resident Berdetta Dakin, who doesn't give a hoot about the chances of Italy or Brazil, but just will be glad that the games are finally over.

"It's awful! I'm fed up with it," said Dakin, who lives in an apartment house next to 14 Below, a bar that was the scene of a high-spirited, drum-beating celebration after Brazil's 1-0 elimination of Sweden on Wednesday evening.

"There must have been 100 (fans of Brazil) fighting and spitting out four-letter words in the parking lot last night," she complained the next day. "They're very rude."

Rick Sievers, manager of 14 Below, said he tried to do what he could to keep down the noise. He planned to post warning notices by the exit in time for the final match, he said.

"But we can't control everybody's behavior after they leave," he said. "That's part of living next door to a bar."

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CHANGE AT THE CHAMBER: Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Bill Boyd will be leaving to head Mediascope, a nonprofit group that works with the film, television and music industries to encourage milder depictions of violence in the entertainment media.

Boyd, who has led the chamber for the last four years, was named executive director of Mediascope effective July 18.

"I've been known to make quips about Beverly Hills in the past, but no more, because there's nothing funny about my new turf," he said.

Boyd said he will continue to work with the 1,130-member Beverly Hills chamber as a consultant and will help in the search for his replacement in the $60,000-a-year post.

Founded in 1992, Studio City-based Mediascope has a $1.6-million annual operating budget funded primarily through grants, including money from the Carnegie Corp. and the California Wellness Foundation.

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