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Off to See Museum ‘Splendors’

Los Amigos del Pueblo’s aim is lofty: raise funds at a Sept. 21 gala to bus Latino schoolchildren to the “Mexico: Splendors of Thirty Centuries” exhibition opening Oct. 6 at Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

“The whole object is to help young kids see the exhibit, be proud of their heritage and know that there is an alternative to drugs and gangs,” said the city’s El Padrino (godfather) John Bowles, a prominent businessman long active in Los Angeles. (The title is traditionally bestowed by the merchants of Olvera Street and has been held by only three others: Harry Chandler, Leo Carrillo and Hernando Courtright.)

Museum officials will join in sponsoring the affair. Tichi Wilkerson Kassel is benefit chairman. Lauro Neri, Amigos president, is involved, along with Hannah Carter, Mary and Stuart Davis, Clifford and Judith Miller, Helen and John Maher, Jo Ann Davis and JoAnn and Julian Ganz.

The black-tie dinner-dance at the museum will feature Mexican-inspired cuisine. The annual Hernando Courtright Memorial Awards will be presented by the late hotelier’s daughter, Carina Courtright of New York, to Alice O’Neill Avery, former Ambassador to Mexico John Gavin and his wife Constance Towers Gavin and to Dr. Franklin D. Murphy.

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HORSING ABOUT: The Peninsula Committee of Childrens Hospital is serious about its 34th annual Portuguese Bend National Horse Show Sept. 6-8 at the Empty Saddle Club in Rolling Hills Estates. Funds go to the neonatal unit at the hospital, according to president Vicky Lee and chairman Karen Learned. Over the years the committee has given $2 million to the hospital. Joanne DeLuce heads the adjunct members’ barbecue and hoedown with the Western music group Floyd Country Boys Sept. 7. . . .

Joan Irvine Smith’s Oaks Fall Classic at The Oaks (her oak-lined equestrian center in San Juan Capistrano) is taking on major proportions. The heiress and her mother, Athalie Clarke, in the past have hosted an annual spring luncheon to spike interest in grand-prix jumping. Now comes a new fall benefit. The affair Sept. 13-15 features a gala hunt breakfast to benefit UC Irvine College of Medicine. That day, The Oaks Grandprix Jumping Classic will offer prize money in excess of $100,000. The total purse for jumping events over the three days will be $180,000. Smith wants the event to be like the traditional hunt breakfasts served to Eastern society after cross-country hunts. When she held such affairs at her estate in Middleburg, Va., she flew in socialite Bunny Mellon’s favorite chef from New York. Tickets are $100.

GRAND OPENINGS: Though it’s done a brisk business since early August, the elegant Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel celebrates its grand opening Sept. 26 with a major cocktail party. Michael D. Kadoorie, chairman of the Shanghai Hong Kong Hotels Ltd., and Robert Zarnegin, the Peninsula Beverly Hills executive chairman, will greet guests. In another festivity, about 65 women who have given more than $100,000 each to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center endowment fund, will be feted at a luncheon Sept. 11.

Chasen’s is the restaurant where the elite drop in for chili as well as call months ahead to book rooms for their dearest soirees. Every President since Franklin D. Roosevelt has passed through its beveled- glass doors. Now, for the first time in its 55-year history, Chasen’s has decided to open for lunch, beginning Oct. 1. Southern belle owner Maude Chasen couldn’t resist the pressure. Her grandson Scott McKay will take a lead in the luncheon operation.

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KUDOS: United Way’s Alexis de Tocqueville Society will salute former President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, at its annual black-tie dinner emceed by Bob Hope and chaired by Lodwrick M. Cook Sept. 11 at the Ritz-Carlton Huntington in Pasadena . . . Marilyn Tucker Quayle, wife of Vice President Dan Quayle, will be honorary national dinner chair for the Rainbow Guilds 20th anniversary dinner-dance Oct. 5 at the Beverly Hilton. Proceeds go to the Amie Karen Cancer Fund at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Camp Rainbow for sick kids . . . Five Acres has a bundle of new board members including Dorothy Shea, Randolph G. Wilson, Richard King, both Susan and Stephen Chandler, A. DeWayne Lupton and Margie Eddy-Forbes . . . The UCLA Internship Program celebrated its 25th anniversary Sunday at the Brentwood home of Roger and Linda Howard, honoring Alexander White III, retiring from the university . . . Ed Cholakian will receive the Nelle Reagan Award for community service at the Olive View Medical Center Foundation’s dinner at the Odyssey restaurant in Granda Hills Sept. 13.

SUMMER FUN: Connie and Gordon Fish welcoming Southland friends at their cocktail party . . . Bitsy and Dick Hotaling honoring Alicia Elder and her fiance David Westhem at a library shower at the Valley Hunt Club . . . Lee Minnelli enjoying the races at Saratoga with her pals Mary Lou and Cornelius (Sonny) Vanderbilt Whitney . . . The tide wreaking festive havoc on the party Chou and Rod Devin and Mudge and Laird Facey hosted on the sand at Bel-Air Bay Club for to-be-weds Lisa Up de Graff and John Alphson. Water gushed in during dessert, causing guests to shriek and scramble from beach chairs set around low candle-lit tables.

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PAST PERFECT: Veva McKee, hosting supporters of the University of California Botanical Garden at the California Club . . . President Holly Davis and San Marino League members, welcoming new provisionals including Mary Lou Hammon, Jane Packer and Claire Slaught . . . Los Angelitas del Pueblo, tour guides for El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument, celebrating a 25th year of community service at Avila Adobe with Georgia McKay and Kitty Donchin in charge.

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