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Father of All Fashion Shows

May 18, 2000|ANN CONWAY

Trading in clerical neckwear for fancy bow ties, two Catholic priests modeled with other community leaders in the Gentlemen's Haberdashery fashion show.

Rev. Msgr. Paul Martin and Father Steve Sallot strode down the ramp in tuxedos and then--should anyone doubt their accessory of choice--whipped out Roman collars and held them up to their necks.

It was all part of the fun Tuesday at the Newport Beach Marriott and Tennis Club. The luncheon raised more than $165,000 for the Heart of Jesus Retreat Center in Santa Ana.

Operated by the Sisters of the Sacred Heart, the nonprofit center provides an oasis of tranquillity each year for thousands of Orange County schoolkids.

"The children come for a day and, through presenta- tions, singing and crafts, we let them know how much God loves them," said Sister Susan Blaschke, a member of the fashion show committee. "We really believe a day can make a difference in a child's life."

A case in point:

"A 22-year-old man who came to one of our retreats in fifth grade still treasures the craft he made when he visited us," Sister Susan said. "He was a boy heading for trouble. One of our sisters took him aside and reassured him that God loved him and had a plan for him. He has told us that his life began to change at that point."

During the festivities, Sister Jane Stafford--superior general of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart--praised the crowd for ongoing support of the popular event.

"Every child in Orange County should know there is a God," she said. "And, that there is a need in their lives beyond the physical things they see."

Melinda Moiso chaired the event with her husband, Tony, who is chief executive officer of Rancho Mission Viejo Corp.

Saluting Supporters

Patti and Jim Edwards--he heads Edwards Theatres Circuit Inc.--were honored with the Champion of Children award at the Orange County Child Abuse Prevention Center's annual benefit gala.

"Patti and Jim are true champions of children," said Mickey Shaw, the center's director of development. She cited their annual donation of the use of their Lido Theater to the Newport Harbor Exchange Club for a benefit movie premiere. "The club assists our center, and that event has brought us about $250,000 in the past 10 years."

The mission of the agency is to break the generational cycle of child abuse and domestic violence, Shaw said. "Ninety percent of every dollar we make goes to direct programs and services. We're very proud of that."

Proceeds of about $100,000 from Saturday's gala at the Sutton Place Hotel in Newport Beach will go toward center programs in the areas of parent education and teen pregnancy prevention.

Dorcas Preston of Corona del Mar was gala chairwoman.

Arts Awards

Local arts visionaries were honored at the inaugural Orange County Arts Awards at the Four Seasons in Newport Beach.

The awards are intended to recognize individuals for their contribution to the local arts scene and promote awareness of the groups they helped form.

Recognized by Arts Orange County for their leadership were Orange County Performing Arts Center founding chairman Henry Segerstrom, South Coast Repertory founders Martin Benson and David Emmes, Pacific Symphony activist Marcy Mulville, center supporter Elaine Redfield and Floss Schumacher, a founder of Opera Pacific. Other winners included Dorothe Curtis, Kay Farwell, Jane Lawson, Betty Mickle and Flo Stoddard.

Founded five years ago, Arts Orange County is a nonprofit council dedicated to strengthening the local arts community through programs that include grant support, education initiatives and public-awareness projects.

"After working with a number of major arts organizations in Orange County, I realized there was really nothing here that glued everybody together," Arts Orange County founder Bonnie Hill said at last week's event. "Plus, we had a lot of young arts organizations here that were growing and needed support. We aim to foster their growth."

Benefits such as the gala dinner will help build enthusiasm and support for local arts organizations, Hill said.

"We want to spread the word to old and new residents of Orange County. There are many new people coming to the county who aren't aware of what we have here."

Catherine Thyen of Corona del Mar was chairwoman.

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