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Fancy Gowns Are Resold to Benefit Orangewood

The spirit of Cinderella lives.

Women who have only dreamed of donning a $4,000 frock by Valentino are waltzing out of the just-opened Orangewood Boutique at 2850 E. Coast Highway in Corona del Mar looking like they have already hit the ball and snagged the prince.

The reason? A fairy godmother resides there, of course. Call her Ms. Best-Dressed With a Social Conscience. A few weeks ago, letters were mailed to 400 of Orange County’s most superbly dressed women, some with husbands on the Forbes 400 list, inviting them to toss their tired clothes onto a boutique heap for charity.

The results have been staggering. Without so much as a follow-up phone call, the women have dropped off $1-million worth of fashions by designers such as Halston (one of them a divine, bead-splashed red that Judie Argyros wore during the holidays) Valentino, Bob Mackie, Andre Laug (whose blouses alone can command $2,500), Galanos (the First Lady’s favorite), Arnold Scaasi, Yves Saint Laurent, Ungaro and oodles more.

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Since the store opened on Oct. 17, the marked- way - way - down clothing has raised $6,000 for the Orangewood Children’s Home, a shelter for abused, abandoned and neglected children.

The boutique will be officially christened on Nov. 11 when 300 supporters of Orangewood gather there for appetizers, bubbly and a shopping spree. But meanwhile, an average of 50 customers per day are streaming into what has become OC’s most fashionable address.

A night in Stonehenge: There were high hopes that Ginny and Peter Ueberroth of Emerald Bay would be able to make it, but the commissioner of baseball and his loyal wife will be in New York getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving with some of their children when Orange County’s most regal bash, the Opera Ball, unfolds at Disneyland Hotel on Nov. 19.

(Ueberroth, who will be in place until April 1, is swamped with New York-based meetings, his wife says. And when he retires, the avid golfer is expected to create a golf course of Pebble Beach proportions somewhere in Laguna Beach.)

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Stonehenge will be re-created in the hotel’s Grand Ballroom when “Moonlight in an English Garden” is played out before about 700 guests (450 spots were snatched up even before the invitations went out). But this Stonehenge, while it will look like it weighs a zillion tons, will be light as a feather. “It’s made of carved foam,” says Susan Bartlett, who helped paint the faux slabs. “We’re having to brace it so the air conditioning won’t knock it over!”

Saluting wellness: Norman Cousins will be the honorary chairman when the Wellness Community of Orange County--a support program for cancer patients to be based at UC Irvine--will be introduced to the county.

About 75 couples will congregate at the Huntington Harbour home of Steve Mansfield on Dec. 2 to enjoy “Bourbon Street Comes To Huntington Harbour.” The event will feature the celebrated Creole cooking of Bertha Pichon, who will come from Louisiana for the affair. Also on the menu: the jazz-piano sounds of Ronnie Kole. Orange County Supervisor Harriett M. Wieder is co-chair of the party with Walter Gerken, former head of Pacific Mutual, and Daniel Aldrich, former chancellor of UC Irvine.

For men only: Bob Guggenheim of Newport Beach is still smiling over the award he received 2 weeks ago from Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Orange County. The lump-in-the-throat moment came when Guggenheim took the stage at the Irvine Hilton before the 310 applauding men (no women allowed) who, it might be said, make up the lion’s share of OC’s male heavy-hitter list. Among them: Irvine Co. Vice President Gary Hunt (representing Donald Bren); George Argyros, event chairman; George Argyros Jr. (keep an eye on up-and-coming young George); Bruce Nestande; James Roosevelt; Orange County Supervisors Gaddi H. Vasquez and Don R. Roth; Republican Party Chairman Thomas Fuentes; Timothy Strader; Bill Lusk; Dick Bertea; Roger Miller and Harry Rinker.

Guggenheim was honored with a bronze sculpture of a child at the annual “Gourmet Dinner Auction” (which he founded) for his 28 years of service to the organization that matches children from single-parent homes with adult role models.

And how do men dine when they dine out in black-tie sans spouses? With style. On the mouth-watering menu: terrine of crab and lobster with Cognac sauce; quail and grilled filet of beef and marbled chocolate pate (yes, marbled chocolate pate. Don’t you love it?) drizzled with Grand Marnier sauce. There were even table favors--silver-tone photo albums. The $350 per-person stag raised $100,000 for Big Brothers/Big Sisters’ operating expenses.


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