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Footlighters Plan a Heavenly Night

Times Staff Writer

The cabaret curtain will part revealing the gates of heaven. That’s because the Footlighters are angels. In the past decade alone they have raised more than $1 million for charity. They kick up their heels each year in a fund-raising cabaret.

Now that they’re celebrating their 50th anniversary, little surprise they’ve opted for the theme, “Heaven Sent” for their Cabaret Ball on Saturday.

This year’s honorary chairman, Barbara Billingsley, a longtime Footlighter, is promising--along with president Sandra Young, ball chairman Susie Gordinier and production chairman Barbara Mortensen--that this will be the most fabulous cabaret yet. They will romp at the Beverly Hilton, raising funds for the Footlighter Child Life Center, the Harbor/UCLA Medical Center and Stepping Stone, a Santa Monica youth crisis center.

PASCAL: Glass sculptor Pascal, also known for her blond topknot and her tailored men’s suits worn with her own miniature jeweled sculptures (frequently pastel green), is being honored at a Thursday dinner party at the Bistro after her Diamond Year Retrospective at the Dyansen Gallery in Beverly Hills.

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The retrospective and the dinner celebrate her 75th birthday. Joining to host the party are Mary Jane and Charles Wick (former USIA director), Ginny and Henry Mancini and Mr. and Mrs. Helmut Swarovski (he heads the Swarovski crystal manufacturing company).

A couple of years ago Pascal was honored by the National Arts Assn. Her roster of collectors is impressive: Prince Charles, Frank Sinatra, Winthrop Rockefeller, Barbara Walters, the Vatican, U.N. headquarters in Geneva, Longacres Race Track in Seattle, even the Louvre. She is currently creating a limited edition of miniature sculptures, but, thinking big, too, she is completing a 10-year project titled “Seated Torso” from an 18,000-pound hunk of glass.

CREATIVE CONTROL: Andrea Gregg, chairman of Pasadena Junior League’s Center Stage--the major fashion show that funds the league’s community endeavors--was explaining how important it was for the league “to regain control of the creativity” of the annual fashion show it launched so successfully six years ago. Thus, this year, with a whole lot of chat, the league opted to produce the show themselves with a hired independent producer and think big and differently. They had to raise $50,000 more than last year to produce the show. That meant $200,000 was needed ($65,000 of it in underwriting) to net $115,000.

It seemed to work for the luncheon, evening party and double fashion show. Chairman Gregg, president Cynthia Perucca, first chairman Karen Goodyear (who flew in from London to support her friends) and production chairman Susan Ralston-McCormick and finance chairman Michael Ann Ewing (daughter of former Ambassador to Ireland Peter and Jackie Daily) were all in tears, happily so, by the end of the noon luncheon when the audience was on its feet cheering.

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They had hired Karen Burdett Productions to do the show, contracted independently with purveyors for the fashions, worked closely with Bonaventure’s executive chef Werner Glur (white chocolate Formula I racing cars for the evening menu). The show, in fact, started with the roar of engines and the call, “Gentlemen, start your engines,” just like Indy. That all was a subtle way to increase male attendance at the evening show (the luncheon is primarily female). “I have goose bumps,” said Andrea Gregg, who had ordered up racing jackets and white pants to be worn by her committee at weekly meetings all year.

This is a fashion show in which members, husbands and children model. The crowd was close to 1,000--including Bob Gregg, quick on his feet when son Kurt walked out in The Prep Shop togs. Dan Baker had a big grin for daughter Catherine. And most popular on the runway were Deborah McAbee, Lisa Halpern, Judy Morse, Bo Gusstafson (Polytechnic basketball star), Adam Jones, Susan Gilomen and Pamela Hillings Tegtmeyer.

FIRST-EVER: New Start for 14 years has quietly provided low-cost outpatient substance abuse counseling in Santa Monica--each year to 475 young adults and 150 teens, plus an additional 210 teens in the Santa Monica-Malibu school district.

Now, it’s on the receiving line. It holds its first-ever fund-raising dinner Saturday at DC-3, the new restaurant on the north side of the Santa Monica Airport. To be honored are Olympic Gold Medalist Jackie Joyner Kersee, L.A. Raider Howie Long, Lakers Jerry West and Orlando Woolridge, All-American wide receiver Erik Affholter and All-American quarterback Rodney Peete.

ANOTHER FIRST: For several years representatives of prestigious Wall Street investment firms have participated in a basketball tournament, giving funds to the New York Multiple Sclerosis Society. Last year the Wall Street Charity Classic moved to Madison Square Garden.

Now Richard J. Capalbo, president, CEO and chairman of Bateman Eichler, Hill Richards, Inc., and Robert Juneman, director of the Southern California Region of Dean Witter Reynolds, are spearheading next Sunday’s tourney at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood. The goal is $100,000 for MS research. The funds will come from team fees ($5,000), contributions, and silent and live auctions. We’ll tell you the names (for short) of the participating teams--Bateman, Dean, Drexel, Kidder, M. L., Merrill, Morgan, Prudential, Morgan (yes, two), Jones. Sounds like fun.

THEY CARE: Last year CARES, the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center Auxiliary, cared so much with its CARES benefit California National Horse Show that it netted $100,000 for its child and family program.

Jane Lombardo, Weta Mathies and Anita Tsuji are doing it again for the seventh annual Wednesday through Sunday at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. The National Horse Show will feature the $25,000 California National Grandprix, a member event of the Michelob-AGA Series and a World Cup Qualifying Event.

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President Carol Mishell, Polly Clark, Emily Peck and Gerry Williams have sent the invitations for the Horse Show Dinner on Friday. Bill Shoemaker will be on hand to autograph his book, “Shoemaker.” Among those riding in the show will be Bill and Marcy Shatner and Cindy Shoemaker. Admission is free every day between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. (except for the Sunday Grandprix). The evening events have tabs.

WEARIN’ O’ THE GREEN: The Los Angeles Children’s Museum’s staff, in appreciation of financial support, welcomes museum trustees and major donors for Irish grog and buffet Thursday. . . .

Jimmy Murphy will be in kilt flanked by bagpipers when the Irish and the Irish-for-a-Day arrive on a green carpet at Jimmy’s Restaurant for St. Patrick’s Day Friday. Lunching will be Don and Barbara Rickles, Ed and Victoria McMahon, Bob and Ginnie Newhart, Arte and Giesela Johnson, Sidney and Joanna Poitier and Phyllis Diller. . . .

The decor will be green and white for the Rainbow Luncheon of the Children’s Service League of the Orthopaedic Hospital Wednesday at the Beverly Wilshire. Mary Dumont plans a St. Patrick’s theme. . . .

“A Touch O’Green” goes with the Kate and Advocate benefit when Paul Conrad speaks to the Laws Affiliates of Los Angeles at brunch next Sunday at the Bel-Air Bay Club. . . .

Irish smiles will be abundant for the Mary and Joseph League’s St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Ball Friday at the JW Marriott. Joe Moshay’s orchestra plays. Leonard and Bernadette Faye co-chair. . . .

MEMORIES: Charles and Mary Jane Wick, after eight years in Washington, were welcomed home at a party at Chasen’s hosted by Betty Adams, Beverly Morsey, Betty Wilson and Virginia Milner. At one point, Wick took the piano away from Ray Moshay’s orchestra and improvised.


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