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Social Circuits

Fighting Cancer With Spirit

July 29, 2001|Patt Diroll and \f7

For the third time, the rolling lawns of radio station mogul Ken Roberts' Mandeville Canyon ranch were the setting for California Spirit XVII, the annual gourmet gala to benefit the American Cancer Society. More than 800 attended the garden party and auction, which showcased specialties from Campanile, Chinois on Main, Granita, Josie, Lucques, Melisse, Osteria Angelini, Posto, Spago Beverly Hills, Sushi Roku and the Belvedere at the Peninsula Hotel.

More than $650,000 was raised at last Sunday's event, which Joan Ransohoff and Donanne Kasikci co-chaired. Sherry Lansing, Barbara Lazaroff and Wolfgang Puck served as co-hosts. The party required months of planning and enormous volunteer effort--including on the day of the event. The experience was an eye-opener for one glamorous young socialite, who volunteered as a server: "So much for the Marie-Antoinette-in-the-Dairy shtick," she said. "When you wear an apron at these things, you find out who's nice and who's not so nice."

Bruce Johansen, president and chief executive of the National Assn. of Television Program Executives, the event's honoree, a cancer survivor and one of the entertainment industry's nice guys, accepted his Spirit of Life Award, a Tiffany crystal bowl, with one arm in a sling. Johansen said he took a tumble when he tried inline skating recently. This year Ken Roberts also had a personal interest in the benefit. His 85-year-old mother, Marie, was diagnosed with cancer a few days after Christmas and has been treated at USC's Norris Cancer Center. She was at the party full of pep and ready to return home to New Jersey.

Paul Moyer of the KNBC news team not only emceed but was high bidder on the adorable yellow Lab pup that went home with his thrilled 11-year-old son, Kyle. Lazaroff and Puck's son Byron took home the 8-week-old bichon frise . Bob Borisoff, a longtime American Cancer Society volunteer, won a luxury vacation in New Zealand.

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Information for Social Circuits can be directed to Patt Diroll in Los Angeles or Ann Conway in Orange County. Diroll is at pattdiroll@earthlink.net; Con-way at (714) 966-5952 or, by fax, (714) 966-7790.

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