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ANN CONWAY

Harvesters' Trip to Bountiful

October 06, 1998|ANN CONWAY

For 400 women about to bite into a bountiful lunch, it was a tough statistic to swallow: 400,000 people in Orange County are at risk of going to bed hungry each month.

But Teddi Ray, co-chairwoman with Kathy Schoenbaum of the luncheon benefit last week for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, also had good news: "One hundred percent of your $125 ticket price goes to the food bank . . . and that translates into about 4,000 meals for the hungry in Orange County," she said. "So, pat yourself on the back--don't feel bad."

Sponsored by the Harvesters support group, the event at the Four Seasons in Newport Beach raked in more than $300,000 for the nonprofit bank, which supplies food to 298 Orange County charity agencies. A $1 contribution can feed at least 30 people, organizers say.

Since they joined forces six years ago, members of the Harvesters have brought nearly $1 million to the coffers of the food bank in Orange, formerly known as the Food Distribution Center of Orange County.

Not bad for a group of 50 young women--many with full-time jobs and young children.

Their secret? "We're a group of either ex-professional or still working professional women who don't mind asking for help," said Ray, a mother of three who quit her job as a commercial real-estate broker to stay home with her kids. "We ask for everything to be donated from the floral centerpieces to the auction items."

Soliciting funds for the food bank is an easy sell, Ray noted. "Who's going to turn us down?" she asked. "The bank serves the Orangewood home for abused children, church groups, seniors. This is an incredible cause."

How you can help: Oct. 11-17 is national Hunger Awareness Week, food bank spokeswoman Nicole Thompson said. "People can call us to volunteer, make a donation or attend our annual Food, Wine and Micro-Brew Fest benefit Oct. 15 at Crystal Court in Costa Mesa." (Call [714] 771-1343.)

The fashionably dressed crowd--a barelegged Ray wore a dove-gray sheath by designer Jil Sander--bid on auction items in a reception salon before entering the ballroom for a gourmet chicken repast and a fashion parade sponsored by South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa.

Fall fashion forecast: "A linear look that features a long, slim skirt," observed fashion-show coordinator Billur Wallerich, director of community relations at South Coast Plaza. Texture is also a big trend. "Leather and suede are very important," she said. "For evening, watch for the popular column dress, lots of skin and very little embellishment."

*

A chance to gossip: In a flame-pink silk jacket to match the cover of her new novel, "Gossip" (Simon & Schuster), KNBC Channel 4 newscaster Kelly Lange told members of Round Table West that, after 27 years of hard-news reporting, she loved the opportunity to "just make things up."

"As you would imagine, I write my fiction through the lens of a television news camera, so, while I make up everything, I get the backdrop from real people and real places," Lange said last week during the luncheon for book lovers at the Balboa Bay Club.

The plot revolves around a murder that "unravels via live clues recorded on an answering machine," she said.

Lange pulled the title from the activity her four main characters--all women--enjoy most: "Dishing!"

Also on the bill: authors Rene Delorm-- ("Diana and Dodi: A Love Story," Tallfellow Press) and Richard Tyler Jordan ("But Darling, I'm Your Auntie Mame," Capra Press).

Speaking with a heavy French accent, Delorm--Fayed's butler--told the crowd he didn't write his book about the famous couple "for profit," but because his boss was "getting bad press following his death."

Fayed was a kind, sensitive man who found his soul mate in Princess Diana, said Delorm, who summed up her unique gift to Fayed: "She listened to him."

It took 15 years to write, but few things have given him more joy than researching his book about madcap fictional character Auntie Mame, Jordan told the crowd.

"This will sound very 'Southern California,' but I think 'Auntie Mame' author Patrick Dennis and ['Mame' film star] Rosalind Russell had a part" in getting this book written, he said.

Bette Midler will star in Universal Studios remake of the film, Jordan said. "Personally, I don't think 'Mame' should be played by a clown," he opined. "Midler will probably be fabulous--but my idea of an Auntie Mame would be Meryl Streep or Emma Thompson. But who am I to say?"

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Networking welcome: When they weren't schmoozing with new UC Irvine Chancellor Ralph J. Cicerone and his wife, Carol, members of the university's Chancellor's Club were passing out business cards to new acquaintances at a campus party last week.

The scene: a welcome reception for the Cicerones at the University Montessori School hosted by Chancellor Club co-presidents Cheryll and Richard Ruszat.

"Before the word 'networking' was invented, I think it was happening at this Chancellor's Club," Cicerone told members and guests.

The UCI Chancellor's Club is a donor organization whose members contribute $1,250 or more annually to a fund used at the chancellor's discretion.

Guests dined on a buffet of filet of beef and salmon en croute before hearing UCI Vice Chancellor Tom Moebusintroduce Cicerone as "a man of integrity--a man who will tell you what he thinks even though it might not be what you want to hear."

Among guests: Jean Aldrich, wife of UCI's late founding chancellor, Daniel G. Aldrich; former chancellor Jack W. Peltason with his wife, Suzanne; Mary Roosevelt; and Dotti Stillwell.

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