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Help for Women in Transition

Le Bal des Papillons, in its 21st year, draws 400 guests and raises $150,000 for Interval House, which aids victims of domestic abuse.

November 30, 2000|PAMELA DIAMOND

The event: The 21st annual Le Bal des Papillons (the Ball of the Butterflies), a black-tie gala at the Ritz-Carlton in Dana Point on Saturday benefiting the Interval House shelter for victims of domestic violence in Orange and Los Angeles counties.

Merriment: More than 400 guests descended the hotel's garlanded main staircase to enjoy the strains of a string quartet, a champagne reception and travel-themed silent auction. In the Monarch Bay courtyard they mingled with actress Lee Meriwether, comedian Jo Anne Worley, actor Jerry Mathers and former O.J. Simpson prosecutor Christopher Darden.

Guests moved to the ballroom where candle-lighted tables were adorned with lavish bouquets of white roses trailing with vines of ivy. They savored a gourmet meal prepared by hotel executive chef Christian Rassinoux: lobster and white asparagus bisque, filet mignon, and white chocolate coffee mousse served on plum cake.

When guests weren't dancing to the Danny House orchestra, they bid for luxury trips--an African safari and around-the-world plane tickets--auctioned off by the celebrities.

Wings unfurled: Interval House graduate Janine Limas said she left behind a life of fear when she and her two children sought protection at the shelter nine years ago. Today, she counsels others as its community education director.

"It's not just the physical, but the mental and emotional abuse that can be even more damaging to a person's soul," she said. "Interval House saved my life and the lives of my children. Now I'm able to use my experiences to help others find a way out."

Quote: "We're constantly struggling with the demand for services that far outstrip our ability to respond, although we will always find a way to accommodate emergencies," said board President Robert Armstrong, who attended the event with his wife, Cindy.

Interval House, which has been assisting battered women since 1979, offers services that include emergency shelter, transitional housing, counseling, education and career assistance, and 24-hour crisis ([714] 891-8121) and teen ([562] 594-4555) hotlines.

Bottom Line: Proceeds of $150,000 will be used for renovating the Interval House emergency shelter and buying an apartment building.

Faces: Ball Chairwoman Joyce Kakkis, Sharon Wie, Bruce Bodaken, Don and Peggy Price, Jerry Dominguez and Max Gatov.

Holiday help: To donate new, unwrapped toys or gift certificates, or to adopt a family, contact Limas at (562) 594-9492. Interval House expects to assist more than 5,000 women and their families during the holidays.

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