Sen. Wilson to Be Darling of Megabucks Benefit

They’re on their mark, getting ready. . .

And for $1,000-per-plate, 165 guests will go to the megafund-raiser set for June 24 at Willa Dean and Gen. William Lyon’s palatial Coto de Caza home.

The beneficiary of the big bucks: Sen. Pete Wilson, whose bid for governor of California has gained support from local members of the prestigious Team 100 (donors of $100,000 to the George Bush campaign). On the list: Donald Koll, George Argyros, Michael Parker, Kathryn Thompson, Donald Bren, Jim Baldwin, State Sen. John Seymour and William Lyon.

Since the Lyons opened the towering white door on their Tara-like mansion a year ago, it has been the site of some of the county’s most serious political fund-raisers. There was the luncheon last spring for President Reagan’s library, with the Reagans in attendance. And the splashy dinner for congressional aspirant Nathan Rosenberg. And now the push for Wilson that will include cocktails and a pool-side, sit-down dinner catered by Hemingway’s of Corona del Mar. On the menu: crab cakes, fillet of salmon breaded with macadamia nuts and raspberries crowned with white and dark chocolate mousse.

Update on Roosevelt Tribute: Seventeen hundred invitations have just flooded the mail for the Chapman College tribute to James Roosevelt set for May 20 at the Irvine Hilton and Towers. And guess who may be coming to dinner? The President of the United States.

When Roosevelt was in Washington recently to meet with the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, Bush made it known he would like an invitation to the event chaired by Sen. Pete Wilson.

So a white invitation, embellished with the U.S. Marine Corps seal--Roosevelt is a retired brigadier general in the Marine Reserve--was sent off to the White House. (Insiders say Bush may opt to be represented at the tribute by Vice President Dan Quayle.)

Former President Richard M. Nixon, a member of the tribute’s honorary committee (along with such political heavyweights as former President Gerald R. Ford and Gov. George Deukmejian) has already sent regrets. His phlebitis condition keeps him from traveling long distances, he told committee members. Developer George Argyros, a member of the dinner committee, offered to send his jet to fetch Nixon in New Jersey. But Nixon still said no. Tedious travel hours simply cause him too much pain, he said.

As for the honoree, Roosevelt said recently he is “pretending the event is not going to happen.”

“It’s kind of embarrassing when it happens to you. But then, it’s for a good cause, so it’s all right.”

Roosevelt, a Chapman College trustee, will receive an award for his dedication to higher education and public service. In coming years, Chapman plans to bestow an annual Roosevelt award upon a deserving student.

For young people who aspire toward a productive, public life, Roosevelt would tell them: “Become interested in something worthwhile. And never to be afraid to tackle something you are sure is right but may sound very difficult to achieve.”

And he would caution them not to take on too many projects. “I think sometimes we leave things unfinished when we take on too much. Better to finish one thing before going on to something else.”

Other members of the honorary committee include: Los Angeles Rams owner Georgia Frontiere, Renee and Henry Segerstrom, Ginny and Peter Ueberroth, Margaret and Carl Karcher and Orange County Supervisors Chairman Thomas F. Riley and his wife, Emma Jane.

Cocktails at Tiffany: Electa Anderson. Get used to the sound. The special events chairwoman of the Center for the Study of Decorative Arts in San Juan Capistrano has started the ball rolling on what may well become Orange County’s most sophisticated fund-raising collaboration.

On April 30, John Loring--senior vice president and design director for Tiffany & Co. in New York--will be feted at a cocktail bash at Tiffany in Costa Mesa. Tiffany is underwriting the costs of the affair with all proceeds benefiting the study center.

Anderson, a member of the center’s board, decided it would be a natural to bring the center and Tiffany together. “After all, Tiffany has a rich history of decorative arts.” A 150-year history, in fact. And Loring, author of “Tiffany Taste” and “Tiffany’s 150 Years,” knows that history better than anybody. Among those on the invitation list: Architectural Digest editor Paige Rense, a pal of Loring’s (he used to be New York bureau chief for Architectural Digest), and John Saladino, interior designer for producer Norman Lear’s Los Angeles digs.