Putting a Golden Sheen on the Silver Serenade Ball

Times Staff Writer

Elizabeth Levitt Hirsch has never chaired a benefit before, but she’s going at the Silver Serenade Ball for the Los Angeles Master Chorale on Nov. 18 at the Biltmore with all the combined talents of an inspired cheerleader, a leveraged buyout specialist and an impresario. “We’re so lucky to have someone with so much energy,” complimented Robert Jones, executive director of the Chorale.

First, she got approval to increase benefit tickets from $150 to $200. Then she asked Harry and Maggie Wetzel to fly down from Napa Valley to be honorary guests. She invited baritone Benjamin Luxon to sing. She decided to invite “new blood” on her benefit committee; some had never worked on a benefit before, but Liz recognized their vitality.

Then she launched a Junior Committee, feeling that the city’s young--people in their 20s--want more participation in the classical cultural life of the city. She has high expectations for them. Junior chairman Erik Laykin hosted the Silver Serenade kickoff at Laykin et Cie with $10 million in jewels on display.

She and William Ruddy have inspired huge gifts for the silent auction, including stays at the Hyatt Regency Waikoloa in Hawaii. She has convinced John Daly to do the flowers, Deborah Herman to design tablecloths. Already 290 tickets are “committed.” (Last year only 330 attended, after 536 the year before.)


Clifford A. Miller’s benefactor committee will be at the forefront Oct. 29 when benefactors are feted at a reception at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, tying in with opening night of the Chorale’s 25th anniversary season. More in on the planning are Anne and Harrison Price, Dori Paliobagis, Kate Northcott, Nancy Mills, Julie Melet, Mark Brown, Mark Berman and Bill Schwartz.

GROWING: Alden McKelvey and Martha Brown-Hicks, chairman and president of the Skid Row Development Corp., and Charles Hathaway and Tonian Hohberg, chairman and vice chairman of the Skid Row Garden Club, met at the Los Angeles Athletic Club to talk fund-raising. (The garden club got its metaphoric name after Hathaway sent out invitations with flowers and flower pots asking for aid for Skid Row and suggesting donors “let the flowers grow.”)

RIDING HIGH: Some of the city’s fine equestrians and horse-show devotees will be at the forefront Monday evening at Cartier on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. James C. Wofford, president of the American Horse Shows Assn. Inc., and Ralph Destino, chairman of Cartier, link forces for Champagne at Cartier to benefit the National Equestrian Federation of the United States, the association and junior and young rider programs. Catherine Oxenberg is honorary chairman.

Among those confirmed to attend are Robin and Gerald Parsky, Fran Steinwedell, Jill and Allan Cartter, Susan Bloom, Richard and Nancy Bloch, Susan and Christian Nyby, Ellen Scripps Davis, Cee Cee and Randall Presley, Mary Del and John Pritzlaff and Gail Wofford, the AHSA president’s wife. In New York, the Champagne at Cartier began in 1985 and has raised nearly $250,000. New York’s party is Nov. 4 at Cartier’s flagship boutique on Fifth Avenue, with Mrs. Calvin (Kelly) Klein and Mrs. Robert Wood (Sale) Johnson IV, co-chairing.

CROWDED CALENDAR: In honor of the 1989 Bicentennial of the French Revolution, Chancellor Charles E. Young and the UCLA Bicentennial Committee host a reception on Oct. 29 in the Sculpture Plaza of the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden to launch yearlong festivities. The fete is also under the auspices of French Ambassador to the United States Emmanuel de Margerie and French Consul General Bernard Miyet and cultural attache Alexandre Tolstoi. . . .

Clint Eastwood’s film “Bird” premieres Thursday as a benefit for the International Assn. of Jazz Appreciation’s jazz education program in Los Angeles inner-city schools. Joe Hyams and Dr. Bill Coffey co-chair the pre-screening champagne reception at 7 p.m. at the Century City Marketplace AMC Theatres. Tickets are $150, $75 and $50. “Jazz Goes to School” is in its second year.

SPEAKING OF SUE: Sue Young, UCLA’s administrative first lady (and the wife of Chancellor Charles E. Young) speaks on a topic dear to her heart Thursday at the UCLA Affiliates membership tea in the UCLA Faculty Center in a talk titled “One for the Money, Two for the Show.”

She’s fought long and hard for the rights of college presidents’ wives. Last November UC President David P. Gardner appointed her associate of the chancellor, a designation created partly as a result of her efforts on behalf of spouses of presidents and chancellors nationwide. She has long sought to define their contributions in educational leadership and gain official recognition for their role in the management and advancement of higher education.


RED-LETTER DATES: Friends of the USC Libraries host their first Scriptor Award dinner, black-tie, Oct. 18 in Doheny Memorial Library. More than 300 are expected to gather to honor Helene Hanff, author of “84 Charing Cross Road,” and Hugh Whitemore, who wrote the script for the 1987 film. Both will receive USC’s newly created award for writing excellence.

The glittery program will feature Mel Brooks, Marjorie Lord Volk, Jack Valenti and Anne Bancroft. Eber Jaques co-chairs with USC’s Charles Ritcheson, dean and university librarian. Proceeds will provide matching funds for the $1-million challenge grant made recently for the book acquisitions endowment. . . .

Vikki Carr is the attraction this afternoon at the Riviera Country Club when the YWCA of Los Angeles kicks off its XV Anniversary Leader Luncheon. . . .

Raymond Chandler’s 100th birthday party is the incentive for a centenary bash today in Malibu. The party is the first fund-raiser for the Friends of English at UCLA. Walter Matthau will read selections; Roger Simon will speak on the art of writing mysteries. Trench coats and blue dahlia corsages are appropriate attire. Funds go to graduate fellowships ($15,000 each).


KEEPING UP: The Westside Women’s Health Center presents a wine tasting Oct. 18 at the Bel-Air Summit Hotel. “L.A. Law’s” Susan Ruttan and “Hill St. Blues’ ” James B. Sikking co-host. . . . The Aman Folk Ensemble dances for Friends of Julia Ann Singer Center at a fund-raising luncheon Wednesday at the Beverly Hilton. . . .

It’s “Positively Western,” say invitations for the Dolls Inc. chuck-wagon supper Friday at Sportsmen’s Lodge. . . . The Romanesque Room opens with a black-tie grand event at Pasadena’s historic Green Hotel Friday evening. The host is Ron Hobbs. . . .

Suzanne de Passe and Barbara Corday host wine and cheese for an autograph party honoring Henry C. Rogers on his new book, “Rogers’ Rules for Businesswomen,” Monday evening at Brentano’s Bookstore in Century City. . . .

June Haver MacMurray is honorary chair and Bernadette Faye and Nan Boshcoff co-chairs of the 30th annual Mary and Joseph League fashion show-luncheon Thursday at the Beverly Hilton, starring designer Luis Estevez. . . . Dancing to Keith Williams and a dinner-auction highlight L’Affaire VIII Saturday at the Virginia Country Club in Long Beach to benefit the Grant Beckstrand Cancer Foundation. . . .


Friends of the UCLA Child Care Services and its chairman Barbara Pauley Pagen join for the benefit Friends Day sale of children’s art this afternoon. . . .

Members of the Met Committee met at the home of Vickie Pushee to discuss upcoming auditions of the Metropolitan Opera Western Regional Auditions. Christina Diver and Silvia Re will co-direct Los Angeles auditions this month and Lynn Day and Molly Siefert will direct the Western regional finals Nov. 11-12 at USC.

OCTOBER MAGIC: Kids are already talking costumes for the Inner Circle of the Los Angeles Children’s Museum Halloween Fashion Show and Luncheon next Sunday at the Century Plaza. M. G. Kelly will be master of ceremonies. Saks Fifth Avenue does the fashions.

Modeling the Saks fashions and costumes from Kids in Costume on Melrose will be Ashley Bank, Alison and Jennifer Azoff and the children of honorees Cristina Ferrare and Steve Edwards. The children of Nancy Sinatra Lambert and Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill will also grace the runway. Eileen Koch produces the fashion show. Jeanne Reynolds, Inner Circle president, and Carol Walker, co-chairman, have set the ticket prices at $65 for adults, $45 for children.


JACK O’LANTERNS: Lillian (Mrs. Walt) Disney, a founder of the League for Crippled Children, will be honored in absentia at the 46th annual Jack O’Lantern Ball on Oct. 21 in the Grand Ballroom of the Beverly Wilshire. Sharon Lund is scheduled to accept the award for her mother. Sally Linton, chairwoman, and Ruth Wagner, president, note that the league was founded in 1936 by the late Phoebe Brockway and five volunteers, including Mrs. Disney. Funds are used for the care and rehabilitation of children at Orthopaedic Hospital.