YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

RSVP / ORANGE COUNTY : Models Parade a Mardi Gras Attitude : The Cancer League enlivens its fashion show and auction with the colors, food and fun that can be found in New Orleans' French Quarter.

October 25, 1994|KATHRYN BOLD

Although they were a long way from New Orleans, members of the Huntington Harbour Cancer League captured the flavor and spirit of the city's famed French Quarter for their "Mardi Gras" Debut XIV fashion show and auction.

The fashion show, which culminated in an explosion of confetti and a parade of models in masks, drew a crowd of 400 to the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim on Saturday. The $125-per-person gala was expected to net more than $180,000 for the Orange County Unit of the American Cancer Society.

On Parade

For the show, event organizers turned the hotel's grand ballroom into a Mardi Gras street fair. Miniature palm trees in metallic green, purple and gold--Mardi Gras colors--stood atop each table.

"I thought a Mardi Gras theme would be really fun and light . . . open up all sorts of possibilities," said Fae Rosen, event chairwoman.

They livened up their silent auction--ordinarily rather sedate affairs--by having a parade march through the ballroom to Dixieland music. Mimes, unicycle riders, clowns and costumed characters--18 of them league members who served as models in the fashion show--worked the room throwing coins and beads to the crowd.

Later, the league members took to the runway and modeled the latest styles from Saks Fifth Avenue at South Coast Plaza. For the finale, they sported evening wear and masks and threw more goodies to the audience.

Model Ted Cohen, who was joined on the runway by his wife, Linda, in a matching harlequin costume, was relieved that his turn on the runway didn't end in catastrophe:

"They don't give the guys any lessons on how to walk. We're just happy we don't fall off the stage," he joked.

French Quarter Fare

While the festivities held up dinner until 9 p.m., guests found the wait was worth it. They enjoyed a French Quarter feast that featured cream of artichoke soup en croute, breast of chicken New Orleans, filet of salmon won ton, and for dessert bananas and strawberries flambe. After dinner they danced away the hours to the J. Sterling Orchestra.

Proceeds from the gala will go to cancer research, education and patient care.

"All of those require money," said Robert Dillman, director of the Hoag Cancer Center and past president of the Orange County Unit of the American Cancer Society. "Cancer, by the turn of the century, will be the No. 1 cause of death in the country, and we still don't have the answers."

Many in the crowd got involved with the league because they have family members and friends who have battled cancer.

"I've had a lot of friends who have died of cancer--that's why I'm involved," said Dale Skerik, president of the Huntington Harbour Cancer League.

Other faces in the crowd were: Debbie Berry and Eva Kilgore, auction co-chairwomen; Bob Garretson; Ellen Goodwin; Bernie Jones; Phil Lupton; Jerry and Beverly Urner; Sally Fenton; Sher Lyckman; Tina Grossman; Bob and Linda Axel; Jenny Huntsinger; Churee Kakimoto; Jeannie Celeketic; John and Myra Stillman, and Dolores Olivarez.

Los Angeles Times Articles