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R S V P / ORANGE COUNTY : Decorations of Independence : Junior League Expects $20,000 From Its Holiday Fund-Raiser Christmas Company

October 20, 1994|KATHRYN BOLD

More than 1,000 party-goers got a jump on their holiday shopping Tuesday when the Junior League of Orange County kicked off its 19th annual boutique, the Christmas Company.

Guests armed with champagne flutes and shopping bags wandered among 45 exhibitors' stalls filled with holiday decorations and gifts at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa. The gala was held to honor patrons of the Christmas Company, the league's largest fund-raiser, which is expected to net more than $200,000.

"Let it snow . . ." is the theme of this year's show, which will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. today through Saturday. Admission is $6.

The Christmas Company also includes luncheons and special events, such as a reception and talk by Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker of the former "L.A. Law" TV series at 6 p.m. tonight. For more information call (714) 261-0823.

Christmas in October

Building 10 of the fairgrounds has been transformed into a winter wonderland for the show, complete with twinkling lights and decorated Christmas trees. Women in glittering holiday dresses and men in suits checked out booths stocked with quilts, pottery, chenille teddy bears, bread dough ornaments and assorted Yuletide merchandise.

"This allows supporters of the Christmas Company to get a preview of the show and get a head start on their shopping," said Kathy Hancock, Christmas Company chairwoman.

Vendors come from all around the country to sell their wares and are chosen by a committee.

"We try to find things that are unique, and that's difficult because we live in Orange County--shopping nirvana," said Shannon Zech, league president.

Food and Fashion

When party-goers weren't shopping, they could ogle models showing the latest styles from Emporio Armani in South Coast Plaza or sample food and drink provided by a dozen local restaurants.

Among the specialties were roasted leg of lamb from Tutto Mare, grilled chicken breast with honey Dijon from Garden Bistro, crab cakes from the Yankee Tavern, fettuccine with cream and prosciutto from Villa Nova and karahi chicken from Royal Khyber.

Proceeds from the Christmas Company will go to benefit the league's child abuse and teen-age pregnancy prevention programs.

Attending the gala were co-chairwomen Suzanne Cameron and Christy Dean, Roger and Marion Palley, Nick and Sue Willett, Connie Murphy, Linda Colton, Emily Ristau, Marianne Trigg, Cynthia Norman, John and Kelly Hague, Don and Dorothy Koll, Marcia Adler, Dina Meek, Marilyn Sorenson, Debbie Exley, and Carol Wilken.

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