CalArts Thanks $1-Million Benefactors

Times Staff Writer

There’s a lot of heart and a lot of giving going on in Southern California. For instance, California Institute of the Arts hosted a “thanks a million” party Sunday evening to honor benefactors who have bestowed $1 million or more. In the spotlight most particularly were Roy and Patty Disney and the Roy Disney Family Foundation. They were being saluted for their $3-million gift to the contemporary arts training institution in Valencia.

But by evening’s end, CalArts had an additional $1 million. Michael Eisner, chairman of the Walt Disney Co. stepped to the podium to announce a surprise $1-million check from the company, himself and its president, Frank Wells.

“We’re pleased to make this contribution in honor of Roy and Patty Disney and their family,” Eisner said.


Kudos for Donors

There were lots of Disneys about--the Roy Disneys’ offspring, son Tim, and daughters Abigail Disney and Susan LaRue.

Plaudits also were going to other donors of $1 million or more: The Ahmanson Foundation (for 1,200 scholarships), represented by Bill Ahmanson and Howard F. Ahmanson Jr.; the Capital Group Companies, with Jon B. Lovelace and Robert B. Egelston receiving kudos; the Walt Disney Co., Donn B. Tatum, his wife, Rip, and the Eisners and the Wellses; the J. Paul Getty Trust, with Rocco Siciliano and Harold Williams singled out; the James Irvine Foundation and John V. Newman; the Jones Foundation and Harvey Price; Sharon Lund, who was applauded for her generosity to the operations of CalArts; Edie and Lew Wasserman, attending with their daughter Lynne, for scholarships.

Absent but honored were Ron and Diane (Disney) Miller and Richard and Lulu May von Hagen on behalf of the Ralph B. Lloyd Foundation.

Fitzpatricks says the new combined gifts bring the CalArts endowment to $27.8 million.

The Present Day Charlie Chaplin, CalArts alumnus and MacArthur Foundation “genius” award recipient, Bill Irwin, was the hit of the evening.

Once guests had consumed the squash and dill soup in half an acorn squash and the finale of apple Betty covered with ice cream and raspberries, Irwin, clown extraordinaire , helped it all settle in.

He jogged, he raced, he disappeared, he contorted in CalArts’ Modular Theater. And the audience was ecstatic: among the many, Sylvie Fitzpatrick, a raft of Disney executives including Rich and Connie Frank, Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg, John and Diane Cook.

Also there, Jack Valenti, Stan and Ilene Gold, Stephen and Iris Dart, Brad and Mary Jones, Lyn Kienholz, Clifford (he’s Roy Disney’s good friend and business adviser) and Judy Miller; John Pike, Frank and Katherine Price, Harvey and Harriet Price, Buzz and Anne Price, Newell Reynolds and his wife Bella Lewitzky, April Riddle.


GENEROUS: Carl Hartnack is national chairman of USC’s $557-million campaign. And, it was the perfect reason for USC Cancer Research Associates to pay tribute to him and to his wife, Roberta, and their active civic life. The result the other night: a whopping $717,000 gross. Dinner co-chairman Ray Watt made the announcement. President Jack Foreman, also dinner co-chairman, paid tribute, too, to Ronald Stever, donor of a $250,000 challenge gift toward the dinner proceeds, and to USC Chancellor Emeritus Dr. Norman Topping, for whom the Norman Topping Endowment for Cancer Research was named. Seven hundred gathered, including honorary co-chairmen former Ambassador Walter Annenberg and his wife, Lee.

HAVE A HEART: We’re told the Rodeo Drive Committee and Armstrong Roses have announced the debut of the Rodeo Drive Rose. It’s red for Valentine’s Day. Its rich color is supposed to illustrate the wealth and taste, the vibrancy and all that of The Drive. The rose will become an integral part of the glamorous boulevard.

VALENTINE PIZAZZ: Cyndy and Hal Gershman invited 80 to Chasen’s Garden Room for their anniversary. Buddy Rogers played his horn; comedian Sammy Shore entertained, and the Morey Amsterdams, the Berny Byrens, Countess Marajen Chinigo of Italy, and the Harry Lewises and the Fred McMurrays played. . . . Mrs. Dan Chandler has issued the annual Valentine Appeal from her Auxiliary of the Hospital of the Good Samaritan. Mrs. Marcus E. Crahan Jr. is chairman of the fund-raiser.

HEARTS, FLOWERS: El Rita Henneberry, luncheon chairman for the Children’s Club Auxiliary of the Assistance League of Southern California, plans a “Hearts, Hearts and More Hearts!” luncheon/fashion show today. . . . Hearts were in abundance for Les Dames de Champagne International Hostesses brunch and designer walk Wednesday. First Les Dames sipped mimosas, ate breakfast at Trumps, later visited the J. Robert Scott, Robert Kuo, Baker, Knapp & Tubbs and Kneedler-Fauchere showrooms, then heard James Goodwin speak on Pacific Design Center’s future expansion by architect Cesar Pelli. . . . Los Angeles Alumnae of Alpha Delta Pi hosted an English Valentine tea Tuesday at the home of Mrs. Richard Engel of West Los Angeles to benefit multiple sclerosis. Mrs. J. J. Roberts was chairman. . . . Fashionettes celebrated “Elegant Afternoon” honoring Nanette Fabray and Dr. Howard House in the Grand Ballroom of the Beverly Wilshire. After champagne and lunch, Mr. Blackwell staged fashions for the benefit of Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center oncology unit. . . . You like singing Valentines? Place a phone order through the American Heart Assn. by today (818) 984-0001. . . . Mrs. Joseph Baird and her daughter Amanda were co-chairmen of the Valentine 12th Grade Ticktockers of the National Charity League of Los Angeles formal tea at the home of Mrs. Hugh Temple and her daughter Tracie.

AGENDA: Officials, the film community and Canadian consular members will attend the special preview reception tonight at the Southwest Museum. The exhibit features Canadian Indian art. Mrs. Joan P. Winser, Canadian consul general; and Canadian-born film and TV actor John Vernon will be in the forefront.

UPCOMING: Friends of Cedar House have invited Jack Klugman to emcee their 11th annual fashion luncheon today at the Long Beach Hyatt Regency. . . . Anne Volokh, publisher of Movieline Magazine, hosted a reception at Chasen’s for Pamela Mason and Rosemarie Stack, celebrating their first anniversary as columnists. . . . Culinary marvel/actress/dancer Helen Lambros is serving Greek irresistibles to her sister, Aliki Brandenberg of London, who’s here to promote her new book, “Welcome, Little Baby.” She’s visiting all the major bookstores in town.


PAST PERFECT: Spring’s around the corner, and the Pasadena Junior Philharmonic Committee is diligently planning its 1987 Pasadena Showcase House of Design. The house this year is in Flintridge, 14,000 square feet of 1916 Mission Revival about to be transformed. President Louise Strnad and her husband, Rudy, and Benefit chairman Christina Varner were all enthusiasm the other evening when guests gathered for a “before” look. On hand to celebrate the months of hard work ahead (and delighting in New England clam chowder and grilled sausages) were a group including Jeanine and John Cushman, Anne and Tom Kibler, Terry and Richard Rothbard, Cheryl and Russ Zimmer, the Charles Fullers, the John Rossiters, Carroll and Steven Houston.