Thieves Market May Steal the Scene in Santa Monica

Times Staff Writer

The best things in life come back. Hurray for the UCLA Art Council, about to revive its blockbuster Thieves Market next Oct. 27-28 at the Santa Monica Airport Center. Council president Connie Nagler made the announcement this week at a tea at the Brentwood home of Lee and Lawrence Ramer.

The legendary biennial Thieves Market raised nearly $2 million between 1966 and 1982.

Marian Mandel and Muriel Simkin launch the Gala Preview Party and Auction the night before the public event. Lots of veterans of past Thieves Markets are the guiding lights--Hannah Carter, Carmela Speroni, Judy Murphy, Yvonne Lenart.

PAST PERFECT: Alice O’Neill Avery and all the family--Dick and Donna O’Neill, Tony and Melinda Moiso, Jerome and Mary Moiso, Douglas and Diane Avery, Mac and Trina Shattuck and a bundle of others--hosted their cattle branding and barbecue at the Rancho Mission Viego. This year’s roundup was a salute to the late John J. Baumgartner Jr., a good friend of the O’Neill family.


KICKOFF: Marilyn and Robert Ehrman and the Los Angeles Music Center Opera League host dinner March 22 at Figueroa Plaza both in the Plaza building and the Imperial Bank to honor donors to the Opera League Fantasy Raffle.

Later, Marilyn and co-chairman Pat Moreno will shepherd donors to the Music Center for a dress rehearsal of the Los Angeles Music Center Opera production of “Otello” starring Placido Domingo. It’s not coincidental that Rococo will plan the dinner--the Ehrmans are the owners.

More than 200,000 families will receive $5-per-ticket raffle packets, with a Mazda 929 Luxury Sedan the grand prize. The goal is to net $150,000.

STARNIGHT: It was an all-star night. June Haver, chairwoman of the Childhelp USA Starnight razzle dazzle to salute humanitarian efforts by the National Football League Players Assn., put on the Lowell-donated fur and bid it up to boost the night’s net to more than $500,000 for abused children. Father Maurice Chase asked God “to erase the children’s tears.” Comedian Norm Crosby got raves of “the best” with his routine. Bob Hope popped in from Florida to receive the Sports Fan of the Century award.


Both Sara O’Meara Sigholtz and Yvonne Fedderson, Childhelp founders, got standing ovations for their lifetime dedication to helping children. Dave Duerson of the Chicago Bears was named Humanitarian Player of the Year; Ron Mix, San Diego Chargers, was cited for Career Achievement.

Carmen Plunkett, who is blind, was honored as Parent of the Year, and led on stage lovingly by her son, former Los Angeles Raiders quarterback Jim Plunkett. Carol Anderson, wife of Pittsburgh Steeler kicker Gary Anderson, received the Humanitarian Woman of the Year award.

AGENDAS: Former President Gerald Ford and builder Ernest Hahn are active chairmen of Wildlife Gala II Friday evening at the Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage. The black-tie soiree raises funds for the Bighorn Institute in Palm Desert, which seeks to inoculate young bighorn sheep against debilitating viruses . . .

For her underwriting of the Blue Ribbon Holiday Festival for children in May, the unassuming Harlyne Norris of the Norris Foundation will be honored at a luncheon by the Blue Ribbon today at the Bistro . . .

Lucie Arnaz (Lucille Ball’s daughter) sparks the Valley Presbyterian Hospital Foundation “An Evening with Stars” Saturday at MGM Filmland. Tickets are $225 . . .

A Chorus Line of Care, the 300-member troupe that performs without fees for charitable causes (and includes Susan Anton, Lucie Arnaz, Bert Convy, Reece Holland), will be feted at Casa del Sol AIDS Hospice’s first Care Award Friday evening at the Century Plaza . . .

Members of the Hathaway Valley League put on western duds Sunday evening for a Western Rendezvous benefit dinner and silent auction at the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum. President Lori Singman and chairwoman Kathy Hill will direct the net to Hathaway Children’s Services for neglected children.

CELEBRATIONS: Ten years of achievement will be celebrated by the National Assn. of Women Business Owners (Los Angeles chapter) Tuesday evening at the Beverly Wilshire. Olivia Newton-John wil be named Celebrity Business Woman of the Year based on the success of her store, Koala Blue. Bonnie Barnett will be named Business Woman of the Year for her Glendale-based consulting company Glen Hill, International . . .


Ginger Krueger is at the helm of Casa Colina Neurological Learning Center’s 10th anniversary party March 18. It’s to be a benefit tour (tickets $125) of the homes of four art collectors: Hannah and Russ Kully’s contemporary prints, Martha and Tom Armstrong’s historic home, and Howard and Gwen Laurie Smits contemporary ceramics. The last stop will the home of Betty and Brak Duker, where guests will dine and dance and see paintings by American artists . . .

Celebrating their 60th year of community service, the Pasadena Junior Chamber of Commerce goes black-tie to raise funds for the “Just Say No” Foundation on Saturday at the Pasadena Hilton. Michael Gross is honorary chairman.

ESCALATION: Wings supporters of Childhelp USA will be leaping, loping and prancing their way to “Magical Jungle,” a luncheon and fashion show Sunday at the Beverly Wilshire. Wings’ image ambassador Mary Ann Mobley will be safari-center.