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White's Tips Are Golden

Actress Gives Advice on Aging Successfully at Irvine Event to Benefit Meals on Wheels

November 16, 2000|ANN CONWAY

Tips for successful aging were offered by 78-year-old TV icon Betty White during the Senior Prom sponsored by South County Senior Services: "Cultivate enthusiasm. Maintain a variety of interests. Laugh--a lot," she said Sunday at the Irvine Marriott.

"There's more to be done in life than any one of us will ever have time to do," added White, guest of honor at the gala that benefited the nonprofit organization's Meals on Wheels program.

"Don't start saying you're through with this, through with that. You'll dig yourself into a nice little hole."

With her upbeat philosophy, the vivacious White was in good company when she joined more than 1,000 zest-filled seniors to dine on turkey and the trimmings, and dance to the big-band sounds of the Senior Class orchestra.

Underwritten by Cox Communications, the 11th annual prom featured a new twist: the selection of a king and queen.

Using a who's-been-around-the-longest criterion, it was determined Fred Abblett of Laguna Woods and Anita Wadsworth of Irvine--both 95--were the oldest guests at the prom.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday November 22, 2000 Orange County Edition Metro Part B Page 3 Metro Desk 1 inches; 21 words Type of Material: Correction
Meals served--South County Senior Services annually serves meals to 500,000 homebound elderly. An incorrect number appeared in an article Thursday.

Proceeds of about $35,000 from the popular event will go to the sponsorship of the South County Senior Services program that delivers up to three meals daily to the homebound elderly.

"We serve nearly 50,000 meals a year," said Marilyn Ditty, executive director. "Without the program, most of these people would be institutionalized."

Ditty cited her late mother-in-law as an example of how the program serves the frail elderly. "She was a heart patient and fragile diabetic who lived alone and would never cook properly for herself or eat the right foods," Ditty said. "To keep her healthy, we put her on Meals on Wheels. Every day, volunteers visited her. Sometimes, they'd call. Those extra touches made all the difference."

For information: (949) 498-0400.

Garden Party

When does a pedestrian breezeway become a chic gathering place?

When it's transformed into an enchanted garden by one of Orange County's most creative party-givers: Mikimoto.

The international pearl purveyor picked up the tab last week when underwriters of the upcoming Candlelight Concert on behalf of the Orange County Performing Arts Center were feted during an alfresco reception at Cafe Pascal in South Coast Plaza.

Using statuesque privet hedges, leafy potted trees and graceful animal topiaries, party designers defined an amorphous space and gave it a lushness befitting a fairy tale.

Swags of glittering chiffon-topped buffet tables and votive lights--cradled in chiffon--shimmered on tree branches. Besides sampling French appetizers such as smoked salmon canapes topped with creme fraiche and tomato-basil tartelettes, about 150 guests got their palms read by fortunetellers and watched with amusement as pearl-adorned "statues" made surprise moves.

"We wanted our guests to feel special, so we created something unique for them," said William Thomas, director of Mikimoto boutiques at South Coast Plaza and the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. "In Orange County, the competition is pretty heavy for creative party-giving. You have to dream up something exciting."

Nothing would be too good for this crowd. Together, they'd helped raise a whopping $1 million for the center's annual fund.

"We've already reached the million mark--our expected proceeds from the Candlelight Concert," said Pat Rypinski, co-chairwoman with Patricia Marshall of the Dec. 8 gala that will feature a concert by Harry Belafonte and dinner in Segerstrom Hall.

Also on the scene: Jerry and Whitney Mandel; Ronnie and Byron Allumbaugh; Robert Marshall; Gail and Roger Kirwan; Elaine Redfield; Patti and Jim Edwards; Larry and Cerise Feeley; Barbara and Alex Bowie; Darrel and Marsha Anderson; Mary Jean Simpkins; Dotti Stillwell; and Kent and Carol Wilken.

On Dec. 9, the center will present two additional events starring Belafonte. At Candlelight Encore, guests can enjoy a pre-concert dinner in Founder's Hall. Those attending Candlelight Afterglow will

enjoy a post-concert dessert in Founder's Hall.

Information: (714) 556-2122.

Where's the Popcorn?

Music buffs who appreciate vintage cinema had the best of both worlds when they attended the launch of the Pacific Symphony's "Copland Centenary Festival" on Sunday at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center at UC Irvine.

Festivities included a screening of director William Wyler's "The Heiress" starring Montgomery Clift and Olivia de Havilland--for which Aaron Copland received an Academy Award in 1949 for Best Score--and commentary on Copland's legacy by music aficionados David Schiff, Joseph Horowitz, David Raskin and symphony music director Carl St.Clair.

"This festival has to be one of the most comprehensive looks at a great American composer," St.Clair said. "We don't have many American composers who are turning 100--so this had to be a major event."

On Wednesday at the Orange County Performing Arts Center, the orchestra saluted the composer with selections that included "Fanfare for the Common Man" and "A Lincoln Portrait."

The festival continues with performances Saturday and Sunday at the center.

Information: (714) 755-5799.

Ann Conway can be reached at (714) 966-5952 or by e-mail at

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