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Lacoste Puts Teeth Into Environmental Activism

November 20, 1998

Lacoste is best known as the maker of polo shirts and casual wear, all sporting that little crocodile.

But the clothing company also supports community service with its Corporate Recognition of Civil Outreach, or CROCO (get it?), Award. Lacoste South Coast Plaza recently honored actor Ted Danson, the founder of American Oceans Campaign.

Danson, who is starring in the CBS comedy "Becker," has long lobbied for the preservation of our largest H2O resources.

Also honored Sunday at the Marconi Automotive Museum in Tustin was Dick Marconi, founder of the Marconi Foundation for Kids, which supports local children's charities.

Both charities took home the proceeds from the $100-a-person event.

In keeping with the theme, the entrance of the museum was enhanced with Dale Evers' oceanic sculptures.

There was another water element as well: "Baywatch" actors Mike Newman and Jose Solano modeled some of Lacoste's resort wear and spring collection. Other models showed off polo shirts, suits and sweaters for men, women and children.

"One of the auction items was 40 shirts--one in every color Lacoste makes," says Gilda Boswell of Newport Beach, who attended the event to support the charities and to watch her boss, Antonio Cagnolo, walk the runway with his daughter, Nicoletta.

Children played in the vintage cars on display at the museum while their parents snapped photos.

Everyone had their favorites. Daniel Barth, president of Lacoste, which has 500 stores worldwide, said his was a Mercedes-Benz Gull Wing coupe. "I'm sure many people wanted to race in that car," he says.

Barth says the CROCO Awards will be given annually to those who have been tenacious in their efforts to better their community. Tennis champion Rene Lacoste, the founder of La Chemise Lacoste, was dubbed "Le Crocodile" in the '20s for his tenacity on the court.

* The American Oceans Campaign can be reached at (310) 576-6162 or http://www.americanoceans.org; the Marconi Foundation for Kids, (714) 258-3001.

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