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Creative Use of Space : Celestial-Themed Shoot for the Moon Gala Benefits Camino Health Centers

June 11, 1996|KATHRYN BOLD

About 400 guests attending the Shoot for the Moon gala staged by the Camino Health Centers Auxiliary got a glimpse of outer space Saturday--without leaving the confines of the Four Seasons Hotel in Newport Beach.

Guests at the dinner-dance found themselves surrounded by a moon-and-stars decor and the celestial paintings of NASA artist Andreas Nottebohm. The $150-per-person benefit netted $85,000 for the San Juan Capistrano-based Camino Health Centers, which provide medical care to uninsured and underinsured people of South Orange County.

Out of This World

To launch guests on a space odyssey, the hotel salon and ballroom were decorated in a celestial theme. Artworks by Nottebohm were displayed throughout the salon. The artist, who has been commissioned by NASA to create more than 15 major works, paints "windows into the universe."

"This is space. It's our world. As we can't get out there, I'm inventing it," said Nottebohm, who was visiting from his home in Sonoma with his wife, Tess.

At the request of his friend, gala underwriter Zara Cerni, Nottebohm agreed to have his work adorn the party invitations and programs as well as the hotel.

"One of my dreams, when I got successful, was to raise funds for causes I find important," Nottebohm said.

Guests could study his paintings while smoking cigars and sipping fine liqueurs in the Men's Den--a salon where both men and women visited a cigar demonstration, a cognac-and- martini bar and a silent auction of sports memorabilia.

Heavenly Pursuits

Following the reception, guests assembled in the ballroom, where tables were decorated with towering glass vases filled with orchids, Asian lilies and sparkling gold stars. Dinner included medallions of swordfish and filet mignon along with a star-studded chocolate dessert. After dinner, the Motown Singers entertained, and there was dancing to the music of Barry Cole and the Sounds of Music band. Renee Bondi sang "Shoot for the Moon" from her latest album.

Diana Cahill was event chairwoman. Among the guests were Gaye Birtcher, auxiliary founder; Marla Arthur, event co-chairwoman, and her husband, Ronald; Walter Pagel; Dana and Lynn Dowers; Diane Robinson; Daniel Cahill; Michael Cerni; Robert Regan; Wayne and Mamie Mertes; Edward and Priscilla Akins; Anita Houston; Peter and Lori Adam; Diane Shaver; and Mike Walker.

Proceeds from the gala will help the Camino Health Centers provide a variety of services, including its new mobile medical unit and a Women, Infants and Children Program. Patients pay for services on a sliding scale.

"There is standing room only in the waiting rooms," said Doreen Pagel, auxiliary president. "We need to grow to keep up with demand."

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