A Victorian Phoenix of a Fund-Raiser

Times Staff Writer

Heartbroken after their beloved and nearly restored Victorian mansion (built between 1886 and 1890) in Piru burned to the ground in 1981, Scott and Ruth Newhall sifted through the ashes and decided to rebuild.

Working from photographs and memory, along with master craftsmen, they lovingly reconstructed the original home designed by renowned Victorian architects, Samuel and Joseph Cather-Newsom.

Scott, former editor of the San Francisco Chronicle (his family long has been associated with development of the Santa Clarita Valley and the city of Newhall is named for his family), has built hundreds of Victorian hinges, latches and doorknobs in his garage machine shop. A major challenge has been replacing the 40 stained glass windows and the 3,500 square feet of mosaic tile flooring. Antiques and artwork have been acquired worldwide.

Now, a phoenix rising from the ashes serves as a rooftop beacon on the mansion. The Newhalls will host an English garden party in their home July 14. It's a "Day in the Country" fund-raiser for the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters, an organization that is attempting to build a coalition of groups to stop sewage dumping in Santa Monica Bay.

Jamie Simons and Trudi Reynolds Gross head the committee. Tickets are $30, and the public is invited to make reservations through the league office, (213) 270-4151 or (213) 820-3346.

Friends of the USC Libraries celebrate Al Jolson's 100th birthday July 21 with a gala luncheon honoring Al Jolson Jr., says Stanley Musgrove, president. Proceeds are pledged to the planting of a Jolson grove of olive trees in Israel.

Hal Kanter ("Thou Swell, Thou Witty") will be master of ceremonies. And after 20 minutes of film clips, the merriment of Al Jolson will be re-created by Clive Baldwin, accompanied by pianist Claire Vance.

Sybil Brand and Mrs. William Schaefer head the hostesses.

The Mens Guild of the Maple Center of Beverly Hills is revving up for "A Hollywood Party at Pickfair" Saturday evening.

Dining, dancing, an auction of substantial gifts are the attractions. Also Macdonald Carey and Morey Amsterdam are billed for fun.

Robert A. Perlberg is president of the Maple Center, established in 1972 to attack problems over the use of drugs by Beverly Hills' adolescent population.

Assuring a success are David Bryman, Ira Friedman, Jeff Fine, Peter Landau, Larry Koplin, Stewart Middler, Perlberg, Gerald Shuman, Rick Singerman and Marvin Sugarman.

Los Angeles Raiders players and coaches are making an off-field commitment.

A group calling itself "Raiders 65 Roses Sports Club" gathers at the Los Angeles Marriott Hotel next Wednesday to announce help for cystic fibrosis, the No. 1 genetic killer of children and young adults in America.

Raiders Brad Van Pelt and Kenny King are co-chairmen.

They'll have some commentary on the Raiders Super Bowl highlights film. Then they and other Raiders will encourage guests (tickets are $25) to join the club.

The club name comes from the time years ago when a cystic fibrosis child, soon to die, informed a friend she was suffering from "65 roses."

As yet, there is no cure for CF, nor is there a carrier test.

City slickers are invited for the Hayden Barbecue in Pioneertown, 40 miles north of Palm Springs, Sunday. Admission is free, but steaks and hamburgers may be purchased for a donation to benefit the community help fund.

The Hayden Ranch was built as a set by the late actor, director and producer Russell Hayden in the 1950s to film his "Judge Roy Bean" television series.

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