Ghost Town Draws Crowd of Gamblers

A barn in Knott's Berry Farm's Ghost Town was the site of "Calico Casino," a benefit staged Friday by the Carmen Dragon chapter of the Performing Arts Center.

"We're here again because our husbands had such a great time last year," said Sharon Schlesinger, chairman of publicity. "They forget their suits and ties and relax."

On an adjacent patio, rows of picnic tables with brightly colored tablecloths carried out the casual theme. Inside, roulette, blackjack, craps and baccarat tables had been set up for guests who wanted to gamble with "funny" money.

Founding president Mary Castle recalled her initially unsuccessful attempt to establish the chapter eight years ago. "Anaheim Hills, where most of our members live, was new then," she said. "People were still getting settled, trying to cope with younger children and a new environment. They just weren't ready for an organization dedicated to raising funds for a performing arts center."

Four years later, Castle tried again. The chapter has grown with with every meeting and event since, she said. "Now we have 55 members."

Sharing emcee honors were Spider MacLean and Karen Sharp of KWIZ radio. They congratulated Margie and Mel Smith, who won the door prize, a trip to Lake Tahoe.

Bonnie Duncan and Sally Ingle co-chaired the event. Charmella Secrest is chapter chairman.

Proceeds were estimated at $7,000. Among those enjoying the tables and Troy Dexter's band (guests danced until long after the cows came home) were Linda and Vic Peloguin, Amy and Paul Singer, Pat and Mark Bann, Liz and Scott Davis, Donna and Dick Burrell, Judy and George Sabbagh, Joan and Craig Coy, Gail and Carroll Garvin, Sharon and Larry Schuber, Ann and Ken Tippy and Haroldeen and Bob Wiens.

It was a "Bouquet of Dreams" for the Les Amis des Femmes Auxiliary's benefit luncheon and fashion show Saturday at the Irvine Hilton. Fashions ranging from tennis to bridal wear brought oohs and ahhs from the 150 who attended.

But the real bouquet--$4,000 in proceeds--went to the Women's Transitional Living Center of North Orange County, a shelter for women and children who are victims of family violence. "We are the only auxiliary donating funds on a regular basis," said Joanne Thompson, auxiliary president.

With 28 members, Les Amis des Femmes has contributed more than $82,000 to the Women's Transitional Living Center since it was founded nine years ago. "Our top event is the Debutante Ball held each August," Thompson said. Last year's ball raised $7,000.

Many of the 1987 debs took an early social bow Saturday as fashion models. They were joined by children and friends of members, who paraded down the ramp wearing everything from teen fads--socks that matched dress patterns--to suits for the woman executive.

The show's wedding tableau got the most attention. The bridal dress featured a high neck with sheer yoke and a bodice scattered with pearls and sequins. When one of the train-bearers, a small boy, became confused while handling the train's yards of fabric, the audience applauded in sympathy.

Chairing the event was Helen Hoover. Assisting were Vi Jones, Kim Jones, Verna Rongey, Kathleen Pritchard and Aileen Abell.

Debutante models included Danna Whiteside, Georgina Dimasin, Julie McKnight, Michelle Kramer, Dianne Walsh, Flo Owens, Clare Gonzales and Alison Munger. Their escorts were Paul Kramer, Henry Winkler and Buck Catlin.

Other models were Jonathan Tobath, Cari Winkler, Jeffrey Blodget, Beth Thompson, Tami Darst, Erika Swenson, Lori Hoover, Stacey Sprigg, Mary Cody, Opal Rudolph, Jennifer Peterson, Lori Campbell, Claudette Owens, Kathy McKnight, Janny Clyde, Janet Jerome, Lucia Neal and Joan Reifschneider.

Charlotte Kinen was in charge of door prizes, including beautifully packaged baskets of wine, cheese and chocolates assembled and wrapped by the members. Other committee chairwomen were Patricia Riehl and Sally Iboshi.

Members of the George Gershwin chapter of the Orange County Performing Arts Center romanced the vine Saturday evening when they gathered in the hall of St. Clements by the Sea in San Clemente. While the group sampled wine, pianist Marlowe Wilcox--retired from the Burbank Symphony--serenaded them with Gershwin classics. The 77-year-old pianist lamented the fact that he could no longer play "Rhapsody in Blue" without sheet music. But nobody noticed. Many members gathered around the piano to hum or sing.

Eva Carpenter helped found the chapter in 1978. "We had 22 members, most of them from Capistrano Beach and San Juan Capistrano," she recalled. "We did all sorts of things to raise money . . . auctions to swap meets."

Carpenter became involved in the Center when her daughter, Katherine Carpenter, showed an interest in music. At present, Katherine is under contract to a German opera company.

The event raised $4,000. "We only have 30 members, so I think we did pretty well," said Ann Quirk, ways and means chairman.

Chapter chairman Peggy Charchol said she hoped the wine tasting would become an annual affair.

On the committee were Mary Winslow, Ethel Hunt, Carol Hein, Audrey Belmont, Marie Westcott and Mary La Husen.

Also enjoying the fine wines were Center guilds chairman JoAnn Boswell and Shari Esayian, guilds ways and means chairman.

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