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It's Springtime and the Giving Is Plentiful


We're in the social milieu of May madness. Maybe benefit chairs fear there won't be a June.


Bob Hope will receive the Ronald Reagan Freedom Award on his 94th birthday, May 29, at the Beverly Hilton. It's for his "tireless efforts on the front lines of liberty," says Lodwrick M. Cook, chairman of the hosting trustees of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. Special guests will be Nancy Reagan and Gov. Pete Wilson and his wife Gayle.

Spring Whirl: Nancy Daly, in a pink-checked Chanel suit and Music Center fund-raiser Phyllis Hennigan, in a lavendar/blue Chanel matching coat and dress, were given Eve Awards at the Afternoon with Eve Mannequins Auxiliary tea on a sunny afternoon at Dennis Tito's estate. Daly has volunteered extensively in children's causes and Hennigan's many community involvements include the presidency of the Blue Ribbon of the Music Center.

Actress Rhonda Fleming Mann, for her dedication to fighting cancer, was chosen Golden Eve, which designates she's been an Eve more than once. Mannequins modeled summer Escada fashions before guests retreated to the grass around a Monet-like lily pond to sip tea under white umbrellas. Planning it all were Katie Osterloh and Nancy Wibbelsman.

Peripatetic: Neil Simon has been receiving awards all over, including a recent one in Kansas. According to Gordon Davidson, producing director of the Center Theatre Group, "He's written 30 plays in 30 years--almost as many as Shakespeare."

So Simon was the biggie again at the Angels' Night Gala at the Century Plaza. Garry Marshall and Nathan Lane paid tribute to Simon at CTG's final 30th anniversary event hosted by Center Stage chairwoman Kathy Todd. The evening grossed $325,000. Ava and Chuck Fries were honorary chairs. Center Stage founders Ellen Price and Kim Peterson were named Guardian Angels. Prominent in the group were CTG President Steve Hinchliffe and his wife, Ann. Joan Nicholas persuaded dozens of movie stars to contribute charcoal drawings for the successful auction. "How many of us are happy Gregory Peck didn't become an artist?" joked Marshall about Peck's minimalist self-portrait.

New Home: Los Angeles lawyer Ed Landry and his wife Madeline invited friends to their oak-filled property near Simi Valley where they'll build a house with a magnificent view. The pizza truck worked nonstop for guests like Hubie and Shirley Laugharn, and Phil and Mary Hawley.

In Spotlight: Carolyn Ludwig received the Sister Julia Mary Award at the Good Shepherd Center for Homeless Women & Children "Evening in Olde California." Her five-year leadership has resulted in the $10-million Good Shepherd Center Women's Village in downtown Los Angeles that provides emergency shelter for 4,000 women and children each year. Timi Freshman was event chairwoman . . . Phoenix House awarded John W. Amerman, Mattel Inc. chairman, its "Public Service Award" at a dinner at the Regent Beverly Wilshire . . . After nine years, Henry E. Riggs has resigned as chairman of Harvey Mudd College to lead formation of a new institution at the Claremont Colleges, the Claremont Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences. HMC trustees chair Clifford A. Miller and his wife, Judith, hosted a black-tie thank-you dinner for 60 at the California Club for Riggs and his wife, Gayle.

Kudos: Kathleen Leavey McCarthy, Jean-Pierre Changeux, Michael Greene, Katherine Loker and William Wrigley received honorary degrees at USC's commencement. Jack Kemp was keynoter . . . Emmy winner Mariette Hartley was honored by Women in Recovery at a dinner dance . . . Helping Hand of Cedars-Sinai named actress Janet Leigh as Mother of the Year at a luncheon . . . More than 600 gathered for the Pepperdine Associates dinner at the Hilton to hear Hall of Fame inductee Tommy Lasorda link baseball and education. The Associates were founded by the late U.S. Ambassador to Belgium and Pepperdine regent Leonard K. Firestone. He was saluted in a tribute by his son, California Assemblyman Brooks Firestone (R.-Los Olivos).

Double Tuesday: Actress Justine Bateman got the "Spirit of Chrysalis" award in a benefit at the Regal Biltmore on Tuesday. Chrysalis specializes in job development for the poor . . . The same evening, the Constitutional Rights Foundation saluted Harold M. Williams, president and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust, and Robert Henigson, retired partner, Arter & Hadden.

Plaudits: Armando L. Gonzalez has been elected chairman of the Citrus Valley Health Partners in Covina . . . The YWCA Leader Luncheon XXIII at the Westin Bonaventure served as tribute to Carole Black, president and general manager, KNBC-TV; Pamela Hunt, Amgen scientist; Lisa Leslie, Olympic athlete; Yvonne Chan, Vaughn Learning Center principal; Carmela Lacayo, El Pueblo Community Development president; Belinda Smith Walker, Los Angeles Women's Foundation president, and Synthia Saint James, artist.

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