Gala Benefit for Goldwyn Library in Hollywood

Times Staff Writer

"Just for fun . . . and . . . just for us!" So go the invitations from Suzanne and Fred Rheinstein to members of the Hollywood Library Gala Committee asking guests to their home May 4.

This is just a little respite for the committee, hard at work on the gala to be held at the Frances Howard Goldwyn Hollywood Regional Library scheduled to open in early summer. The benefit is June 22, on site.

The library, like the movies, appears to be having a happy ending. For 60 years it was a landmark of learning: Ariel and Will Durant researched "The Story of Civilization" there. William Faulkner borrowed books there. So did William Saroyan. Then, four years ago this month, vandals burned the building. Johnny Carson led the campaign to finance a new collection of books. Samuel Goldwyn came forward with more than $3 million to erect the building in memory of his mother.

Now, it's nearly party time. The gala group will be in force: Carolyn and Jamie Bennett, Cheryl and Robert Baker, Ethel and Mayor Tom Bradley, Lawrence Chaffin Jr., Denise and Harry Chandler, Jeffery H. Cole, Victoria Dillon, Jane Galbraith, Johnny Grant, Glenda and Calvin S. Hamilton, Judy Horton, Carlotta and Rusty Keely, Theodore E. Matson, Lucy and Angus McBain, Rosalie and Kurt Meyer, Mary Nichols, John Daum, Amanda Parsons, Daniel McIntosh, JoAnn and Wayne Ratkovich, the Rheinsteins, Nicole and Jack Ruskey, Jennifer and Richard Schreiber, Karen Simonson, Barton Phelps, George Takei, John H. Welborne, Margerie Wheaton, Michael Woo, Barbara and Zev Yaroslavsky, Brooke and Jim Young, and Cheryl and Peter Ziegler.

Phineas Banning's portrait peered down upon the black-tie group of more than 80 at Banning Residence in San Pedro this past week. Friends of Banning Park founding chairman Nancy Banning Call and dinner chairman Maggie Wetzel had brought the exclusive group of donors together to say thanks for all they've done. Similar parties are planned in the future.

First, guests enjoyed cocktails at the top of the stairs, then assembled in the 19th-Century living room and dining room for the sit-down Rococo-catered affair. Both Stanton Avery and Fred Hartley toasted the hostess. After dinner the Peninsula Chamber Orchestra played Mozart. Upon leaving, male guests were presented John W. Robinson's booklet, "Southern California's First Railroad," which the late Phineas Banning founded. Ladies received note cards featuring Banning's prized rooms.

Enjoying the event were Marjorie and Harry Volk, Fred and Peggy Hartley, Harry and Zoe (she's Banning Park director) Bergquist, Marian and William Banning Jr., Stanton and Ernestine Avery, Charles and Liz Ames, James Shelton, Joe and Phoebe Vaccaro (she's Friends' president), the James Fisks, the Thomas McDaniels, Betty Field, Rudy and Daphne Munzer, Charles Chase, the John Pashgians, and Caroline Singleton, escorted by her son, William.

It was the first time in 38 years that the Los Angeles Alumnae Club of Pi Beta Phi hadn't held its annual I. Magnin fashion show at Perino's. Members were ensconced in the new Crystal Room of the Beverly Hills Hotel this week, and loving the airiness. The largest crowd in some years, chairman Paula Meyers said, heard Jack Miles of I. Magnin predict "a strong suit season coming up . . . cashmere and more cashmere . . . and pearls over everything--long, short, two-strand and three." Then Sol Laykin of Laykin et Cie presented a $700,000 necklace, and another, and another.

Liking it all were Merrill Bessolo, patroness chairman; Joanne Sorensen Reno, president; Susan Carver (who had Pi Phi daughters Leslie and Linda with her); and Joan Healy, Mrs. Alfred Wandmayer, Jean Warner, Joan Mackey, Lynn Evans, Vicki Shumway, Janice Boswell--not all of them Pi Phis, but supporting causes such as the Crippled Children's Society's Joan Mier camp. Joan Mier was in the audience, too.

The Curtis School commemorates its 60th anniversary and the 40th anniversary of its headmaster, Willard Badham, at a gala May 3 at the Century Plaza. Chairing the night will be Mrs. Timothy Pennington and Mrs. Frank Doroff. Rodeo Drive will provide music highlighting Curtis's 60 years. Comedian Norm Crosby and radio personality Gary Owens will be masters of ceremonies.

It's been a full week of Opera Dinners in Long Beach. They're continuing through today, according to chairman Betty Eastman and co-chairman Frani Ridder. They and Jay Leff have assembled a dazzling group of parties featuring Long Beach's prominent hosts, hostesses and restaurateurs, 19 major events to benefit the Long Beach Opera. Each is $150.

Among hosts are the Wallace clan, Elizabeth and Donald, Alice and John, and Margaret and William; Betty Eastman (Ritz restaurant in Newport); Larry and Patricia Allison (Spago in Hollywood); Maestro Michael Milenski (at his home); Ed and Patti Twining (Bermuda Dunes Country Club); Connie and Jack Glenn and Nini and Steve Horn (Center Theater); Myron and Fern Poe (at home with a gondola ride on Rivo Alto Canal); and Carol and John Richards with Robert Lawrence Balzer and Chef Alan Greeley (Golden Truffle).

More entertaining will be done by Dr. Alex and Luba Kadvany, Dr. and Ray Bouch, the Frank Persons, Dr. and Mrs. William Rhorer, Dr. and Mrs. Lee Wiltse, James Gray and Deborah Shey, Barbara and Tom Rowan, Laurie and Alan Buckle, Drs. David and Bonnie Dworkin, the Ridders, Stella Watts, the Albert C. Martins, the Donald Salisburys and the Llewellyn Bixbys Jr., Laura and Jay Leff, and the Kozell Borens, planning a Spanish evening aboard their yacht.

The idea is to balance the opera's budget and create interest in the company's final production of the season, "Johnny Strikes Up," the jazz opera by Ernst Krenek.

Hoping for sunshine are members of the Art Museum Council of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. They host their 24th annual Art and Architecture Tour next Sunday with six quality locations for art collections, architecture and design. The charge, $50 per person, goes for the museum's acquisition fund.

Included on the tour are the Mediterranean-style home of Lisa Specht and Ron Rogers, the award-winning home of Karen Simonson and architect Barton Phelps, the traditional Beverly Hills home of Harriet and Alan Lederman, the home of collectors Many and Cliff Einstein, and the contemporary home of architect Johannes Van Tilburg. Participants will also see the corporate office of Executive Life. For further information, call (213) 857-6214.

There's little secret that Music Center supporters were wooing Valentino at the black-tie Bistro dinner hosted by Lili Zanuck, Wendy Goldberg and Nancy Vreeland. They'd love him to return for a glamorous fashion extravaganza at some future date. More than 100 attended, among them Earle and Marion Jorgensen, William and Jean Smith, Tucker and Chardee Trainer, William and Mignon Winans, Harry and Maggie Wetzel, Wallis Annenberg with Rupert Hitzig, the Nick Vanoffs, Victoria Principal and Harry Glassman, James and Gloria Stewart, Sidney and Joanna Poitier, and Frank and Luanne Wells. They're powerfully persuasive, you know.

Post time is 1 p.m. May 3 at Roberts' "Downs" in San Marino. That's the day of the Big Apple Committee's first Kentucky Derby Party for the Pasadena Guidance Clinics. The Roberts are Marilyn and Jud. The committee's Mrs. John W. Jorgensen and Mrs. Robert W. Malone will be making those bets count with parimutuel windows, an 18-karat race, gourmet desserts after the box lunches, ongoing video races, games and prizes and a lot of Southern hospitality vis-a-vis the mint juleps. Committee members racing their hearts out include Roberta Grady, Bev Fitzgerald, Weta Mathies, Patty Pillsbury, Melinda Winston, Mimi Howes, Eliane Berger, Marilyn Burton, Jacqueline Daily and dozens more.

The Pasadena-Foothill Valley YWCA hosts its 13th annual Second Century Awards Luncheon Tuesday at the Pasadena Hilton. It honors Denise Hyde Wood, Priscilla Gamb, Nancy Wheat, Carolyn Carlburg and Pat Rostker for their outstanding volunteer work.

Tiffany & Co. is inviting guests for "Breakfast at Tiffany's" on May 4 to view the Jean Schlumberger Collection. The event will laud Jewel Gala III, to be held Nov. 7 to honor Fred MacMurray and to benefit the USC School of Fine Arts.

Today:

The Opera Associates celebrate a spring brunch at the Bel-Air Bay Club. Muriel Shapiro and Dorothy Shrier are hostesses. . . .

Robert Wagner, Barbara Sinatra, Jill St. John, Lyle Alzado and Marcus Allen are among celebrities who will participate today in the Variety Clubs Telethon (KTLA and CVTV) at the Desert Princess Hotel in Palm Springs to benefit the Barbara Sinatra Children's Center.

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