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BENEFITS O.C.

A Cruise Down Memory Lane

June 02, 1998|KATHRYN BOLD

The event: Celebrate a Moment in Time, a vintage fashion show featuring clothing styles popular in the 1930s, when the Queen Mary took its maiden voyage. The show and buffet luncheon, Friday at the Turnip Rose in Orange, benefited the Orange County Council on Aging, a nonprofit agency that performs ombudsman services on behalf of the elderly.

Bon Voyage: Using fashions provided by Goodwill Industries Volunteer Services in Los Angeles, the style show took more than 150 guests on a sentimental journey. Models portrayed the ship's crew and passengers, sporting elegant fashions from the Goodwill museum collection. On deck: glamorous beaded gowns, flapper dresses, white dinner jackets and uncomfortable woolen bathing suits. "We've been looking for a signature event, and a vintage fashion show is a perfect venue for the council," said Zoe Solsby, event co-chairwoman.

Voice for the Elderly: The council, celebrating its 25th year, acts as an advocate for residents of nursing and residential care facilities. "We investigate [claims] from cold food to physical abuse," said Pamala McGovern, the council's executive director. The council serves 24,000 residents living in more than 750 care homes in Orange County. Each year, about 3,000 complaints are resolved.

Quote: "The ombudsmen are volunteers . . . many befriend the elderly. They become their voice," said Victoria McKemy, event co-chairwoman. "A lot of [elderly] don't have family members or caregivers to represent them."

Faces: Roberta Linn, the first Champagne Lady on "The Lawrence Welk Show," who sang old favorites and blew bubbles for the crowd; actor Ed Wright, who greeted guests in captain's uniform as Sir Edgar Briton, the Queen Mary's first commodore; Don Solsby, the council board's chairman; Susan Howe; Virginia Allen; Joy Malek; Ernestine Ransom; Bob and Joan Curtin; Judith Goffin; Liz Ayres; and James Klein.

Bottom line: The $50-a-person benefit was expected to net about $15,000 for the council. Proceeds will support ombudsman services and new council programs--FAST, the Fiduciary Abuse Specialist Team, which investigates financial abuse of the elderly, and the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program.

Volunteer opportunity: Those wishing to volunteer to become an ombudsman on behalf of the elderly--or older adults and caregivers in need of the council's services--can call the Irvine office: (949) 863-0323.

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