Lunch for almost 1,000 isn't something one pulls off at a moment's notice. But solid planning can make it the best of times.
So it was for those who attended Childhelp USA's For the Love of a Child luncheon at the Irvine Hilton last week. Guests were treated to a stunning parade of fashion and also found themselves in the same room with two alums of the "Ozzie and Harriet" televison show. Not to mention handsome football great Jack Youngblood and fashion Wunderkind, Mary McFadden. "Ozzie" alums Sarah O'Meara and Ivonne Fedderson of the Los Angeles area forged their friendship years ago when they were television sweethearts of David and Ricky Nelson. Later, the women joined forces to create Childhelp, one of the nation's largest nonprofit, nongovernmental programs for research, prevention and treatment of child abuse.
"We take the wards of the court," O'Meara said. "The kids no one else wants."
Childhelp provides a home and therapy for the children and sometimes even plastic surgery to eliminate the scars of abuse.
$60,000 in Proceeds
Because the lunch was almost completely underwritten by patrons and corporate donors, the event's $60,000 proceeds will go directly into Childhelp programs.
Youngblood was master of ceremonies. Reaching into a giant drum to select names, he bestowed lavish door prizes on guests. Receiving the organization's Children's Friend Award was Dr. James C. Dobson, child psychologist and member of the U.S. attorney general's special task force on pornography. Dobson said images of abused children portrayed in special committee hearings had reinforced his desire "to pour my life into the preservation of the home." He thanked Childhelp for the honor and commended the organization for its work. Dobson, also from the Los Angeles area, is a best-selling author and host of his own nationally syndicated radio show, "Focus on the Family."
McFadden and her models wore this season's African-inspired Collection Chapungo--a display of silk and chiffon and more silk--in geometric black and white for evening, primitive patterns for day and jewel colors for travel and casual wear. Lots of applause for the black and whites and wide-leg, harem-style pants.
"These hot colors are especially suited for the California woman," McFadden said. A certain California woman, perhaps: prices for street clothes began at $800. But they were beautiful--some appliqued with brilliantly colored African patterns and many sparkling with sequins arranged as beautifully as an art mosaic.
Karen Voss was luncheon chairman. Among those involved with Childhelp's efforts in Orange County are Anna Petruzzelli, who co-chaired the lunch; Eileen Saul, the Newport Beach chapter president, and her husband, Rick, and Terri Berreman, Pat Cox and Martha Fleener.
Also attending the annual event were Sheila Sonenshine, Marty Bosak, Sandy Aterburn, Claire LeBerge, Laurel Chirico and Sara Hinman.