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RSVP / THE SOCIAL CITY

Romance Swirls on the Dance Floor

November 24, 1996|MARY LOU LOPER | TIMES STAFF WRITER; Mary Lou Loper's column is published Sundays

The Getty House Foundation surpassed its original goal--$250,000--and netted more than $300,000 at its Celebration Gala & Auction headed by Wallis Annenberg in Windsor Square.

One wouldn't have known it was Getty House, the official residence of Mayor Richard Riordan (though he doesn't live there), because a white tent enveloped the entire property. Under it, guests in finery bustled about, placing bids on dozens of trips and jewels that auction chairwoman Joy Fein and her committee had collected. Fein looked tired. After all, she was up numerous mornings at 2 o'clock calling Europe for vacation sites.

Nearly 500 enjoyed New Yorker Bob Hardwick's music and Regency Club cuisine. "I'm so happy," Annenberg said. "For months, I worried it would be just me and the butler--and the orchestra playing."

A bid of $40,000 to host a dinner party at the mayor's Brentwood home came from Cheryl and Haim Saban. It was the highest of the night, and the Sabans promptly invited Norman Pattiz, who had bid against them, as a guest. Michael and Suzanne Tennenbaum bought five nights at John Cuchman III's Loire Valley chateau for $11,000, and William Pierpoint got the Bulgari watch valued at $21,000 for a mere $10,000.

Nancy Daly, foundation chairwoman, exuded thanks and then was grasped by Mayor Riordan for some fancy dancing.

The City of Angeles Award went to the popular Beth and Bob Lowe. Guests included Daryn and Bill Thornton, Judith and Steve Krantz, Laura and Bill Siart, Gil Cates and Dr. Judy Reichman, Marion Laurie and Irving Feintech, Ron Orr and Janet and Bruce Karatz.

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Time Goes By: Jennifer Diener, chairwoman of the board of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and credited with leading the orchestra through the financial turmoils of recession, earthquake and the loss of its two major venues (Royce Hall to the 1994 Northridge earthquake and Ambassador Auditorium, which closed), was in the spotlight at LACO's annual ball and silent auction, which netted more than $100,000.

In a spaghetti-strap gown and bedecked in Faith Porter jewels, Diener was introduced by former board chairman David Ingalls of Santa Fe. When her husband, Royce, toasted her, "Here's to you, kid," it was romance time. The orchestra broke into "As Time Goes By," and the Dieners swirled on the dance floor before the crowd joined in.

Hanna Kennedy and Gay Silberg chaired the evening, with its stunning chamber music presentation.

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Brilliance: The best and brightest science students at Southern California higher education institutions are often in need of financial assistance to continue their educations. The ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) Los Angeles Founder Chapter paid off--$768,000 for scholarships--at its annual luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Founder chapter president Sandy Midgley and auxiliary president Arlene Brownson were at the microphone. Awards luncheon co-chairwomen were Gretchen Smith and Diane Liebenguth. Smith announced that ARCS, since 1958, has distributed $9.3 million. "It's a way to support tomorrow's leaders," Smith said.

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For Healthy Children: All the books were removed from the bookcases. The objets d'art were stored. And only then was the French Normandy home of JoAnne and Gary Thompson ready for the shelving of Pasadena Children's Guild's 29th Christmas Benefit items for holiday shoppers.

For months, Scotti Strockis engaged members in workshops. Guild president Leslie Saetacq kept watch over benefit chairwoman Lauri Wax and boutique chairwomen Emily Hancock and Paulette Geragos. Maria Finnegan chaired the preview party. And about 500 turned out on sale day to buy and raise funds for Young and Healthy, which provides medical services to more than 1,000 uninsured or underinsured children in Pasadena.

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Season Sparkles: More than 350 graced the USC / Norris Celebration for Life Holiday Gala sponsored by the California Cosmetic Assn., which benefited breast cancer research. Topping the program were Dr. Christy Russell, associate director of the Norris Breast Center. University trustee and former patient Lorna Reed gave a personal account of her successful treatment, and Dr. Art Ulene served as master of ceremonies for the program, set in a "winter wonderland" decor.

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