While thousands of county residents piled into the ballpark Saturday night to watch the Angels beat the Red Sox, others were cinching cummerbunds and sparkling with sequins at the St. Joseph Hospital Ball.
Though the 14th annual benefit attracted close to 1,000 guests to the Anaheim Hilton--netting nearly $98,000 for the St. Joseph Regional Cancer Center in Orange--it was obvious that the majority of guests attending were torn between the ball and the ballgame.
Breaks between the seven dinner courses were a blessing for baseball fanatics who used the time to dash out of the ballroom and check on the game.
Making several trips to the lobby was Dick Kiner, a cousin of Ralph Kiner, former Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder.
Kiner carried a transistor radio and wore headphones during dinner. "I gave up four tickets to the game to be here tonight because I love St. Joe's," Kiner said. "I was in the middle of my salad and the score was tied in the ninth inning. I couldn't stand it anymore and came out to the lobby to hear the rest."
The applause was deafening when the Angels victory was finally announced.
Only after the outcome of the game was determined did Clyde Gossert, benefit chairman, fully capture the attention of the audience to briefly describe the Cancer Center.
"We celebrated the ground breaking in September, and it is expected to be completed by summer next year, at the cost of $5.6 million," he said.
A slide presentation, "Celebration of Spirit," featured Dr. David Margileth, the center's director of cancer services. Before dinner, Margileth said he welcomed the "all inclusive services" that would be available at the new 25,000-square-foot facility. "Cancer patients will know whom to contact early in the course . . . the nutritionist, biofeedback people and the social services," Margileth said. "They will get everything they need in one place."
"I'm thrilled," is how Sister Frances Dunn, president-emeritus of St. Joseph Hospital, described her feelings for the Cancer Center, which will be next to the main hospital. "We've wanted it for years. Up to now we haven't had the opportunity to give cancer patients the privacy they need."
The slide show highlighted the most advanced technological piece of equipment that will be installed in the Cancer Center, a device that will allow radiologists to program precise treatment dosages in photon or electron beams.
Immediately following the short program, singer Mac Davis appeared on the stage wearing faded jeans--urging the crowd to "loosen up those black ties and relax."
Davis filled the hourlong show with songs he had written, ranging from rock 'n' roll to Western ballads, and some risque monologue. The evening concluded with dancing to disco music, but seen leaving were Orange County Republican Party Chairman Thomas A. Fuentes and his wife, Jolene, and Orange County Supervisor Thomas F. Riley and his wife, Emma Jane, who wondered aloud if the Sisters of St. Joseph were still around.