Jewel Ball's '24-Karat Extravaganza'

As far as the Friends of Fine Arts of the University of Southern California are concerned, George Charles Page, the philanthropist, is their man for 1985.

Tonight at Frances Klein Jewels on Rodeo Drive, Frances Klein and the Friends host a cocktail party at which they'll talk about Page and announce that he will be the guest of honor at the Jewel Gala II on Feb. 2 at the Beverly Hilton's Grand Ballroom. The gala, a "golden evening for USC's School of Fine Arts," will include, we're told, a reception, gourmet dinner, dancing to the Nelson Riddle Orchestra and a "24-karat extravaganza" of a fashion show produced by June Van Dyke and featuring a retrospective of Jean Louis' fashion creations. Loretta Young, a Jean Louis fashion plate and a friend of the designer, is the gala's honorary chairman and Mrs. Happy Franklin its working chairman. Also on the gala committee are, among many more, Mrs. Harold Borden, Mrs. Richard B. Coyle, Mrs. Earle E. Crandall, Mrs. Kennedy B. Galpin, Mrs. Merrill Lowell and Mrs. Robert C. Westmyer. Sol Laykin, Dr. and Mrs. Armand Hammer, Anna Bing Arnold, Joan B. Kroc, Fred Hayman, Gale Hayman, Mrs. Frank Roger Seaver, Tiffany's, Marcia Weisman, Ellen and Berny Byrens and Contessa Cohn are among the patrons, benefactors and underwriters.

Israel's Ambassador to the U.S. Meir Rosenne will address the Chai (it means life in Hebrew) Committee of the Women's Division of the United Jewish Fund when the group holds its first meeting Wednesday at the home of Frances and Norman Lear. Adrea Carter has organized the meeting and with her husband, Victor, has also commissioned a limited edition sculpture by Michael Katz (the artist who designed the dove of peace given by the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to Israel's then-Prime Minister Menachem Begin) that will be presented to all the guests. For 1985, the Women's Division has Edna Weiss as adviser and vice chairman and Linda Rosenberg as campaign chairwoman. And among those serving on the Chai Committee with Mrs. Carter are Barbara Belzberg, Dorothy Corwin, Beverly Gelfand, Geri Firks, Elaine Goldsmith, Sylvia Weisz Hirschfield, Janice Taper Lazarof and Barbi Weinberg.

News of a romantic nature: Hernando and Fiorenza Courtright announced the engagement of his daughter, Carina, to Wayne Quasha at an informal dinner party at the Beverly Wilshire. Among those listening to the happy tidings were Carina's brother De Vigne, Dr. Howard House with Nanette Fabray, Dr. and Mrs. Franklin D. Murphy, Grace and Henry Salvatori, Shirlee and Jack Hennessy and Alfredo de la Vega.

Councilwoman Peggy Stevenson's son Bruce married Nancy Lynn Julian at St. Sophia's. The wedding celebration took place at the California Club where the guests included Councilman and Mrs. John Ferraro, Kay Brown with Webster Phillips, Jayne and Henry Berger, attorney Neil Papiano, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Skouras Jr. (their son Charles Skouras III was best man), Rosemary Tomich, Maureen Womack and Virginia Miranda, who is Councilwoman Stevenson's deputy.

Father Maurice Chase conducted the marriage of Marie Snodgrass and Steven Tramz at the Church of the Good Shepherd. And later Marie's parents, Dale and Charles Knipe Snodgrass, hosted a dinner dance for the newlyweds at the Bel-Air Country Club. Friends and family included Marie's brothers John, Gene and Ernie; Frank and Suzy Cross; Guadalupe Hank with son Hector; attorney Maurice Harwick and his wife Sue who left the next day for a week's holiday in Hawaii; Robert and Jane Kramer; Sachi and Larry Irving; the William Hollingsworths; Lucy (Zahran) and Dr. Jim Bonorris; Dr. Joseph and Suzanne Marx; and designer Ruben Panis who finished the mother of the bride's jeweled gray dress at 5 p.m. that afternoon.

Back to the holidays . . . a continuing saga:

For the past 44 years Henny and Jim Backus have been celebrating New Year's Eve with their good pals Fran and Perry Lafferty. And over the years the foursome has added new and old friends to the group. In 1962, Henny Backus told us Monday night as she settled back into a comfortable chair, "we did the whole thing, a tent and a band and no one wanted to go home. The last guest left at 6 a.m." So the scenario changed and Henny and Jim made their drinks and hors d'oeuvre affair the first stopping off place for chums going on to other celebrations. And that's the way it's been ever since. Last year as 1985 grew nearer, the crowd included Phyllis Diller (wearing a beaded butterfly patterned top); Sybil Brand, wearing a black velvet sheath with flirty taffeta hemline, and Cesar Romero who had stopped off at Ellen and Berny Byrens' home first; Rosemarie and Bob Stack who were going on to dinner a deux at Ma Maison and then to Sammy Cahn's party; Tom and Pam Korman; Jack Lowrance, Max Eckert and Paul Thompson (he made the shrimp dip that everyone was so crazy about) who went on to dine at Jimmy's; the Henry Bergers; Jacques Camus and Patricia Gentry, who all wound up later at Fred Hayman's; Dr.and Mrs. Allan Enelow; UCLA's Dr. Bernard Towers and his wife Carol; the Donald O'Connors; Mr. and Mrs. Keenan Wynn who were chatting about their daughter's wedding (in May); Joe Spencer and his son; Eydie and Pete Rugolo ; Anne and Jimmy Murphy.

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