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RSVP / THE SOCIAL CITY

A Charity Event of Olympic Proportions

June 09, 1996|MARY LOU LOPER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Nancy Davis Rickel has vision. Few could stage an Olympic-themed folksy-fun shenanigan like her Race to Erase MS sports competition (celebrities, pro athletes and socialites), couple it with an evening soiree with a one-of-a-kind auction and gross $2 million to fight multiple sclerosis.

Kudos. She did.

After holding the Race to Erase MS Chrysler-sponsored ski event in Aspen, Colo., for three years, Rickel, who has MS, opted for Los Angeles flair.

This is how it worked. Individuals and corporations bought teams for $25,000, giving them the right to place three of 10 guests on a team with one celebrity and one athlete. Then they competed in five areas--bicycle for two, running the steps at UCLA's Drake Stadium, an obstacle course, a moon bounce slide with a Tarzan-like swing and a human foosball competition.

Dustin Hoffman staged the emotional opening; Natalie Cole sang the national anthem. And boxer Arturo Gatti, hockey player Rob Black and 7-foot basketball players were all giving five-minute coaching sessions. There were Olympic-like parades, parachutists, fanfare and Franklin Mint medals.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday June 12, 1996 Home Edition Life & Style Part E Page 4 View Desk 1 inches; 28 words Type of Material: Correction
Incorrect Date--In the Social City column in Sunday's Life & Style, an incorrect date was given for the Big Sisters Professional Associates gala dinner. It will take place Tuesday at the Century Plaza.

The Paramount/Motion Picture Corporation of America team chaired by MPCA's chairman Brad Krevoy won.

In the evening, the auction at the Century Plaza was a wondrous frenzy. Bruce Springsteen's signed guitar went for $12,000 and lunches with Don Rickles and "Friends" stars were big hits. Designer Tommy Hilfiger's offer to place someone in one of his magazine ads brought $18,000. Jerry Seinfeld, Barbara and Marvin Davis, Jolene and George Schlatter, David and Pam Hasselhoff and Angie Everhart were in on the fun.

Then Don Henley of the Eagles, whose wife Sharon also has MS, performed and led the emotional crowd in "Lean on Me"--which is the traditional way the annual Race event ends.

*

Gremlins: It's 600,000 fifth-grade students who have been brought to the annual Children's Festival at the Music Center by the Blue Ribbon, not 60,000 as noted last Sunday. At last week's 1996 festival, 165 Blue Ribbon members attired in red, white and blue welcomed 20,000 fifth-graders for the Lewitzky Dance Company's performance of modern dance. Later, the students danced en masse on the Music Center Plaza, before being bused back to their schools.

Chairing the event were Jan Erickson and Nancy Weakley, assisted by Nancy Vreeland and Betsy Applebaum.

*

The 25th: Wedding bells ring again Wednesday to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the White House Garden wedding of Tricia Nixon and Edward Cox. The Coxes, the only first family couple married in the Rose Garden, will be joined by their 17-year-old son, Christopher, at the Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace in Yorba Linda for a silver anniversary luncheon. Priscilla Kidder of Priscilla of Boston, grand dame of bridal design, will present a show of vintage and contemporary bridal fashions. A rather spectacular exhibition of never-before displayed wedding gifts from heads of state is also planned. Kidder designed Grace Kelly's wedding party dresses and the wedding gowns for four presidential daughters, Tricia and Julie Nixon, and Lynda and Luci Johnson. The library's permanent collection features the Nixon wedding gowns.

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Feting Executives: Big Sisters Professional Associates will honor six top women executives at its annual dinner, "Making Friends," June 28 at the Century Plaza. Mark Willes, chairman, president and CEO of the Times Mirror Co., parent company of the Los Angeles Times, is honorary chairman.

*

Sunday Delights: Pasadena Mental Health Center stages "A Victorian Afternoon" today at Hillmont Estate, the home of Lucy Edwards in Pasadena. Tea, wine, sherry and epicurean wonders are planned by Jaylene Moseley, Bill Cook, Linda Shamsid-Deen and Frank W. Taylor . . . And foods and beverages from downtown's finest restaurants are on agenda for the Puente Learning Center Food & Wine Festival today at Gateway Transit Center.

*

Kickoff: Ervin Duggan, president of the Public Broadcasting System, spoke on "Philanthropy in the 21st Century" to mark the kick-off of the Pasadena Foundation's new support group, the Pasadena Fellows. Fellows pledge to support the foundation with an annual gift of $2,000. The 43-year-old nonprofit organization gives more than $500,000 annually to Pasadena area agencies serving children, the elderly and the disabled. Founded by Louis and Marion Webb in 1953, the foundation and its trusts now total more than $14 million in assets.

*

Oscarizing: Saks Fifth Avenue Beverly Hills gathered a well-dressed crowd to view Oscar de la Renta's fall collection. Serious fashion watchers were Barbara Sinatra, Anne Douglas, Marilyn Rudley, Mary McDuffie, Judith Krantz, Joni Smith and Pamela Clyne.

Elsewhere on the Social Circuit

The Otis College of Art and Design's 14th annual Critics' Awards chaired by Nancy Vreeland netted $570,000. . .City of Hope's two days of "Circle of Life" luncheons raised $100,000. . .The Lymphoma Research Foundation ball raised $230,000.

* Mary Lou Loper's column is published on Sundays.

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