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Glittery Gala Honors Jonsson Supporters

June 15, 1997|MARY LOU LOPER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Pure sentiment marked the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation's gala at the Beverly Hilton. Carol Channing told Ted and Rhonda Fleming Mann, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award, "You are our diamonds."

Much to the audience's pleasure, Channing sang "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" and "Hello, Dolly!"

Then, before the 800 guests, Ted Mann said, "I have always wanted a captive audience so I could sing to my wife." He did a romantic "For Once in My Life" as Rhonda blushed, then together they warbled "Because of You."

The affair also saluted Dr. Frederick Eilber, chief of surgical oncology at UCLA and recipient of the Jonsson Prize for Research. He asked his wife, Harriet, to join him onstage for accolades.

Chancellor Charles Young and his wife, Sue, were making one of their final official UCLA appearances before his retirement, chatting with co-chairs Abigail Van Buren, Robert Ahmanson and Dr. E. Carmack Holmes. Father / daughter duo John and Bonnie Raitt and Maureen McGovern also performed, coached by emcee Art Linkletter.

The fund-raising goal had been $1 million, but the $800,000 gross and $550,000 net were considered admirable.

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Kudos: To the Foundation for the Junior Blind, which has dedicated a new $10-million state-of-the-art campus for blind children under the leadership of Sanford B. Weiss, foundation chairman of the board . . . To Gregg G. Juarez, whose name has been bestowed on the downstairs gallery of the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine University . . . To attorney Gerald D. Secundy, vice president of external affairs and environmental health and safety for Arco, saluted at the Art Deco Cicada Restaurant (formerly the Rex) by the Inner City Law Center . . . To Mickey Kantor, former secretary of commerce, and Arthur Hiller, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, given Spirit of Los Angeles and the World awards by the Los Angeles Headquarters Assn. . . . To Eliane and Peter Berger, lending their Pasadena home for the "Soiree Impressioniste" (a dinner with a French twist) to benefit the School of Alliance Francaise in Pasadena . . . To Wyn and Ray Evans, celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary at a dinner hosted by Fred and Joan Nicholas at the Nicholas home . . . To Dr. David B. Tillman, regional vice president of Catholic Healthcare West-Southern California, honored at the Horizon Award Dinner at the Sheraton Long Beach by the SCAN Foundation (which aids the elderly) . . . To Phyllis Wolf, feted at the Friends of the Fulfillment Fund luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

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Romance Awash: Warner and Carol Henry and Joan and Dr. Frank Thompson hosted a stunning dinner party at the Valley Hunt Club to introduce their friend Veronica Pastel and fiance Bob Egelston, member of the board of governors of the Music Center Inc., who recently became engaged in Paris . . . A night later, at the same location, the laughter and fun thundered at Gordon Pashgian's dinner party for newlyweds Brown and Stephanie Windle, married on Kiawah Island in South Carolina. Both couples eventually will live in Pasadena.

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New Generation: A new organization, Angelic Auxiliary, was formed recently at the home of Katie and Clark Porter to raise funds for Children's Bureau of Southern California. The Angelics are paying tribute to J. Howard Edgerton, founder of the Children's Bureau Foundation. (Since 1988, the foundation has raised more than $15 million to support the bureau's child abuse prevention and treatment programs.)

Founding members include thirtysomethings Jody Adair, Karla Ahmanson, Monica Williams, Erin McKenzie, Amy Corley, Elizabeth Clifford, Kathleen Duncan, Amie Hinds, Kristi Newman, Keitha Russell, Kristi Schoellkopf, Talis Smith, Laura Brittain and Elizabeth Shoemaker.

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In Sunlight: Hundreds flocked to the home of Lynn and Michael Joseph to see Diana Collins and her coterie of artists--including Charles Clifford, Patty Burschinger, Virginia Cobey, Joyce McGilvray, Virginia Kunkle, Susan Gordinier, Mary Louise Crowe and Betty Davidson--display their art. Japanese hand-painted umbrellas and iced tea ladled from silver bowls kept the heat and sunburn under control.

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Plaudits: Friends of the Family celebrates its 25th anniversary Monday with a private screening of the new Julia Roberts film, "My Best Friend's Wedding." The San Fernando Valley community mental health center serves family victims of domestic violence. . . .

Donna Miller Casey and Maribelle Leavitt are co-chairs of the gala preview Thursday of the California Historical Society exhibition "Direct From Nature: The Oil Sketches of Thomas Hill," on view Friday through Aug. 16 at the society, 678 Mission St., San Francisco. In Southern California, the group is headed by Linda Dickason. . . .

Mayor Richard Riordan will be on hand for the Los Angeles Mayor's Cup Celebrity Golf Classic Monday at Braemar Country Club in Tarzana. It benefits East L.A.'s Puente Learning Center.

Elsewhere on the Social Circuit:

The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, in partnership with the Music Center, has accepted a lead gift of $250,000 from Robert J. Thomas, president and CEO of Nissan Motor Corp. U.S.A. . . . The Los Angeles Women's Foundation awarded $75,783 in grants . . . The Sycamores residential treatment center raised $20,000 at its restaurant benefit . . . More than 500 turned out to honor actor Robert Urich at the John Wayne Cancer Institute's Chapter II casino night and raise $100,000.

* Angela and Vittorio (sister / brother) Missoni were the piece de resistance for Saks Fifth Avenue's luncheon at the Regent Beverly Wilshire for the Costume Council of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. They showed the Missoni fall collection . . . The Alzheimer's Assn. honored Leeza Gibbons . . . Actress Suzan Hughes and broadcaster Michael Jackson were spotlighted at the Southern California Counseling Center gala.

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