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RSVP : Those Who Cancan Do at Founders Gala : A five-course menu, Eiffel Tower decor and high-kicking dancers add to the French ambience for supporters of the Performing Arts Center.

August 30, 1995|KATHRYN BOLD

French food, cancan girls and a replica of the Eiffel Tower made 150 guests feel like Americans in Paris at the 1995 Founders Plus Gala.

Called "A Parisian Affair," the French-themed soiree took place at the Cowan Heights chateau of Mark Chapin Johnson on Sunday. The $100-per-person gala was open to members of Founders Plus, a service organization of the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa.

Event chairwoman Anne Key chose the Parisian theme because she just happened to have an Eiffel Tower handy.

"My husband, [Tom], made it six years ago for a Pacific Symphony ball," she said. "He's very mechanical. It took him four months." The Keys used the 16-foot tower for their daughter's French-themed wedding in April, and the founders liked the idea so much they adopted it for their gala.

The dinner took place outside by the pool, at tables draped in white and black linens and adorned with 18-inch Eiffel Towers made of plexiglass and surrounded by flowers and votive candles.

Upper Crust catering prepared a five-course French menu: smoked duck with orange Grand Marnier sauce, European salad with wild mushrooms and Dijon raspberry vinaigrette, peppered salmon in lemon creme sauce, filet mignon in port wine sauce and almond toulli with fresh berries.

Guests were entertained during and after the meal by cancan dancers from Disneyland and vocalist Barbara Johnson, who sang French songs and popular tunes with the Sam Conti band.

Informally Yours

Founders Plus performs a variety of services for the center, including the Informally Yours program, in which center performers visit senior centers, juvenile halls and other off-site locations, and a ticket distribution program that distributes unsold tickets to people in need.

The group honored Betty Belden Palmer and her late husband, Bill Palmer, for their contributions to the center and the community.

Other guests were Don Castle and Sharon Stewart, Charles and Feryne Margolin, Joe and Ethel Hunt, Fred and Jean Hamann, Zee Allred and Gerry Richards, Ed and Floss Schumacher, Vesta Curry, Dr. Lock Gee Ding and Ruth Ding, David Scott and Gayle Widyolar, Nora Jorgensen-Johnson and Jim Johnson, Jan Landstrom, Paddy and Rosalie Lyske, Tom and Jean Moon, Maggie Murdy, Jack and Jacqueline Oakes, Christine Rhoades, Ted and Gini Robins, Pat and Marvin Weiss, Carol Wilken and Kathryn and Cecil Wright.

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