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Elegance, No Gimmicks for Cystic Fibrosis Guild

May 01, 1996|KATHRYN BOLD

Parties don't have to have a theme to be successful. The Cystic Fibrosis Guild just provided guests with great entertainment, good food and an elegant ambience Friday when it staged its annual gala at the Four Seasons Hotel in Newport Beach.

Grammy Award winner Michael Bolton performed for more than 450 guests at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation benefit, held in a ballroom filled with roses. The $200-per- person gala netted $252,000 for the Anaheim-based foundation, which funds research to find a cure for cystic fibrosis.

Less Is More

Event chairwoman Sue Hook, resplendent in a black Ungaro gown with fabric roses bordering a sheer neckline, decided she wanted this event to be one of simple beauty.

"In the past we've had themes, but this year we said, 'Let's just go with elegance,' " said Hook, who attended with her husband, Dave.

In the ballroom, tables were draped in ivory brocade cloth and adorned with tall topiaries of pale pink roses--all the decoration the room required. Dining on the Four Season's fine floral china, guests enjoyed a lightly spiced corn chowder, swordfish medallion with lemon dill beurre blanc and filet mignon with a roasted shallot sauce, followed by a dessert duo of raspberry creme bru^lee and a flourless chocolate petite cake.

After dinner, Bolton took the stage and surprised the audience by tackling a couple of arias instead of singing the pop tunes that made him famous.

"He's studying opera, and he's performed with Pavarotti," Hook said.

Bolton jokingly invited the audience to sing along to the difficult opera selections. The evening's best moment: When Bolton, a longtime supporter of the CF foundation, invited all of the children attending to join him onstage and serenaded them with a song, "To Love Somebody."

Many in the crowd became involved in the foundation because they have family members, relatives or friends afflicted with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that causes lung congestion, digestive problems and potentially fatal infections.

Hook's involvement began in her high school days.

"I knew a little boy who had CF, and that got me started," she said. She and her friends held paper drives and doughnut sales to raise money for the foundation.

Dean Gerrie, president of Dean Gerrie Design, received the foundation's Breath of Life award for donating his graphic design talents to the cause. Each year, Gerrie and company create the invitations package and ad book for the gala.

"We try to bring art into fund-raising. It's nice to pursue a passion and help CF at the same time," said Gerrie, guild vice president.

Other faces in the crowd: gala sponsors Kevin and Sophia Woodbridge, Joe and Ludmila Moreira, Ralph and Eva Mann, Harold and Adele Motenko, Bob and Charlene Goetz, Gail Isen, Barry and Myra Ross, Pat Hitchcock O'Connell, Anna and Rene Vega, Paul Gale, Bob and Nancy Myers, Brad Thurman and John Cosgrove.

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