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RSVP / THE SOCIAL CITY

Latest in a Long Tradition of Generosity

June 01, 1997|MARY LOU LOPER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

French historian Alexis de Tocqueville toured America in 1831, and in "Democracy in America" he wrote that Americans seem spontaneously to help one another without being asked, said United Way President Joseph V. Haggerty.

Sometimes. But at the elegant De Tocqueville Society Dinner at the home of Dennis Tito, asking brought in some extra millions for the society, loosely an organization of those who give more than $10,000 of personal funds annually to United Way.

Specifically, co-chairmen Richard Ferry and Peter Mullin asked, and 189 de Tocqueville members gave $4.97 million. Helping things along were Gene and Jackie Autry, who have given $1 million. Four other $1-million gifts (to be paid over five years) came from Eli and Edye Broad, Peter Mullin, Ralph and Shirley Shapiro, and L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan. In addition, five $100,000 gifts came from Bill and Teran Davis, Ferry and his wife, Maude, Russell Freeman, and Chuck and Carolyn Miller. One $100,000 renewal is anonymous.

At the climax of the dinner chaired by Kathy Schlosberg and Doreen McElvany and executed by florist Dan Klemuk, United Way campaign chairman Richard T. Schlosberg III, publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Times, surprised Ferry and Mullin with crystal awards "for best exemplifying the spirit of giving."

Accepting, Ferry said, "I don't know that we need to be thanked, because we see the effects of our work." United Way aids 250 health and human service providers.

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In Tribute: Friends of Maria Hummer, a lawyer at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips and wife of Bob Tuttle, turned out en masse to honor her at the American Jewish Committee's Learned Hand dinner at the Regent Beverly Wilshire.

Alison Winter, Pamela M. Mullin, Gordon M. Bava and Andrea Van de Kamp helped chair the affair. Mickey Kantor, former U.S. trade representative, was keynoter. Also on the program were Lawrence J. Ramer, Van de Kamp and Barry A. Sanders.

In the crowd: dinner coordinator Elinor B. Goodman, Dan Rothblatt, Rabbi Gary Greenebaum, Stuart and Carrie Ketchum, and Molly Munger.

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A Multifaceted Gala: "Artists in Support of Cancer Research" is expected to raise more than $1 million for research. The Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center Foundation at UCLA affair Saturday in the Beverly Hilton will be jazzed with luminaries. Carol Channing, John and Bonnie Raitt, and Maureen McGovern will entertain. Art Linkletter will emcee. Abigail Van Buren, Robert Ahmanson and Dr. E. Carmack Holmes co-chair. Art by Robert Graham, Laddie John Dill, Ed Moses and Chuck Arnoldi will be auctioned.

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Glory Days: The Museum of Flying at the Santa Monica Airport is always a high-flier location choice for a party. USC School of Medicine celebrates there June 8 at a dinner benefiting Parkinson's disease research. Les Brown's Band of Renown is on tap. Also Johnny Grant, Barbara McNair and the Jitterbug Dancers. Anne Jeffries, Ann Miller, Buddy Rogers, Robert Stack and others will receive USO military decorations for their devotion to the armed forces. Olive Varga heads the committee, which will give Dr. Cheryl H. Waters the USC Caregiver Award. TV producer Ralph Edwards will be honored in memory of his wife, Barbara, who had Parkinson's.

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Circle Red: Los Angeles City Council President John Ferraro will be the honoree Saturday at the 27th annual Beastly Ball, spotlighting the Los Angeles Zoo's commitment to education . . . The Armory Center for the Arts is putting flair into its "The Artful Home Tour" on June 8, noon to 5 p.m. Chairman Jim Watterson says tickets at $45 are available at the Armory, 145 N. Raymond Ave. in Pasadena. But there are rules: no children under 12, no cameras or video recorders, no purses or totes, no food or drink inside, and wear soft-soled shoes. It seems those owners of the California bungalow, the contemporary, the ranchero and the French Regency pavilion homes agree to let the public traipse through with certain limitations . . . You have to open the invitation--a mini deck of cards--to see the gist of Mount St. Mary's College Casino Royale IV on Saturday evening. A reception, games of chance, a silent auction, buffet and dancing under the stars at the Doheny Mansion will produce dollars for the college's $40-million campaign. Mark Foster is chairman . . . The Children's Circle of St. Francis Medical Center is wishing on a star for its pediatrics benefit Saturday at the Long Beach Hilton.

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Galas: Edwin E. Catmull received the Achievement in Excellence Award from the Center for Excellence in Education at the Beverly Hilton, with Gov. Pete Wilson and his wife, Gayle, looking on. Catmull, vice president and chief technology officer at Pixar in Redwood, has helped bring high technology to the film industry. He and his colleagues solved the "motion blur problem," which enabled, for the first time, smooth integration of computer images with live action. Edward R. McCracken chaired the gala . . . Big Sisters Professional Associates honored C. Michael Armstrong, chairman and CEO of Hughes Electronics, and Paula Kent Meehan, founder of Redken Laboratories, at a dinner auction at the Regent Beverly Wilshire.

Elsewhere on the Social Circuit

Huntington Memorial Hospital breaks ground Wednesday on Phase II of its patient tower . . . The Junior Fellows of the Huntington Library are guaranteed sushi at their Japanese Garden party Saturday.

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