"Who said ladies can't keep a secret?" asked last year's honoree, Linda Yuppa. "I don't even know! The secrecy around here rivals Price-Waterhouse."
The name of the 1985 Junior Woman of the Year, announced by the Assistance League of the Newport Beach Junior Auxiliary at a luncheon-fashion show Friday at the Irvine Marriott Hotel, had been one of the better-kept secrets in the county, at least for a month.
Finalists for the award were Mary Anderson, Laguna Beach Free Clinic; Karin de Riszner, Children's League of Fullerton; Nancy Hines, Junior League of Newport Harbor; Carolyn Plettick, Anaheim Secondary Council PTA; Barbara de Boom, Newport Harbor Chamber of Commerce; Carolyn Fry, Assistance League of Orange; Bunny Pero, American Diabetes Assn., and Joyce Ukropina, Providence Speech and Hearing Center.
Virginia Castle, an active league member since 1940 who now has an auxiliary named in her honor, individually introduced the nominees and listed their achievements; the announcement of Nancy Hines as 1985 Woman of the Year met with thunderous approval from the audience of about 560.
The panel of judges, coordinated by Maureen Odeing, included Ann Marie Alford, Claude Owens, Marcy Mulville, Gary West and, amazingly enough, nominee Barbara de Boom's husband, James.
The second-best secret of the afternoon was the sudden departure of nominee Joyce Ukropina. Leaving before the winner was announced, she was taken to the hospital for delivery of her second child. (It was a false alarm, but she gave birth Monday to a 7-pound, 9-ounce girl.)
The luncheon program also featured a special showing of fall fashions and furs coordinated by Neiman-Marcus fashion director Colleen Espinoza and a raffle offering five prizes, including a ski weekend in Park City, Utah, won by Floss Schumacher.
At every table of 10 was one male who served as host. According to chairwoman Nancy Clayton, these were the underwriters, tagged the "Chevaliers" for this occasion. Among them were Sam Van Landingham, J. Robert Fluor II, Jim Wood and Michael Schlutz.