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It's Going, Going, Gone -- on Vacation

Auction at a Mexican-flavored benefit for Women of Vision sends guests to homes around the world.

September 11, 1996|KATHRYN BOLD

A 100-year-old farmhouse in Princeton, N.J., a 15th century winemaker's cottage in Switzerland and a guest home on the cliffs of the Mendocino coast were among the 15 dream destinations auctioned at a benefit for Women of Vision.

About 130 guests bid to stay at vacation homes during the auction and Mexican-style gala Saturday at the Laguna Beach home of Ted and Suzanne Paulson. The $30-per-person dinner netted $23,000 for Women of Vision, a Santa Ana-based support group for World Vision, which helps poor women and children around the globe.


Open House

In the brick courtyard of the Paulsons' Emerald Bay home, guests enjoyed margaritas while the mariachi trio De la Playa serenaded from a balcony.

The Paulsons lost their previous home and their collection of contemporary art in the Laguna Beach fire three years ago. They built their present dwelling in the style of a shingled beach bungalow with a contemporary interior that best shows off their new art collection.

Guests who toured the home were impressed with the bathrooms, which have colorful tile shower enclosures--some adorned with turtles, cats, ladybugs and other whimsical creatures created by artist Marlo Bartels. They also admired Suzanne Paulson's collection of miniature houses.

After the reception, party-goers enjoyed a casual buffet of tortillas made in the Paulsons' kitchen--chicken in ranchero sauce, homemade Spanish rice, cactus salad and other Mexican specialties prepared by Ambrosia Villa catering.

"We decided to make this a Mexican party because we sponsor a lot of projects in Mexico City," said Becky Pollock, event chairwoman.


World Travel

To raise money for Women of Vision, 15 donors offered their second homes as dream vacations for the live auction.

"We found out that the most successful part of our auctions was the vacation homes, so we said, 'Let's skip all of the little baskets and the manicures and just do homes,' " said Karen French, Women of Vision's chairwoman.

The auction afforded some real travel bargains, including one-week stays at a Chesapeake Bay home for $600 or a rustic Swiss mountain chalet for $1,550--the largest bid of the night.

Proceeds will go to Women of Vision projects in Africa, Bosnia, Latin America, Palestine and Orange County.

Formed six years ago when a small group of women went to Guatemala and Africa to help the poor, the organization now has more than 200 local members who make pilgrimages to such places as Jerusalem and Nairobi, Kenya, where they engage in community service projects.

"We work in the fields, we plow, we plant, we do whatever we need to do," said Susan TenEyck, a committee member. "We've built a women's center in Chilulu [Africa] and we've been sending clothing to Bosnia."

Among those attending were Kristen Paulson, Nance Baird, Jim and Judy Bergman, Mary Barth, Debbie Brink, Arnold and Marie Forde, Zoe Hadley, Jill Hall, Susan Jenkins, Jo King, Ron and Joan Lane, Graziella Outmans, Thomas and Barbara Peckenpaugh, Beverly Peters, Julie Pleso, Jeanie Ralphs, Liz Reese, Diane Sweet, Don and Betsy Tarbell, Jan Taylor and Penny Wood.

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