Beach Benefit Collects Sand Dollars for Center
The hosts knew the precise height and time of high tide: 5 feet, 8 inches, due at 9:45 p.m. They’d checked the paper. Still, they worried.
“I can just see it--'Sorry, you have to go now. Surf’s up!’ ” joked Linda Ward, one of four sponsors of a dinner party at Emerald Bay beach on Saturday.
“Black Tie at the Beach” was the first of a series of fund-raisers planned by members of Center 500, a support group for the Orange County Performing Arts Center. The $80-per-person benefit brought 14 guests onto the sand for an elegant dinner prepared and served by Linda and Richard Ward and Janice and David Pallinger.
Beach Blanket Update
The tables were set with crystal and fine china, arranged on antique lace tablecloths. The menu included crab with curry, orange-glazed chicken, rice with cinnamon onions, raspberry mousse. From the boom box wafted background music by jazz popsters David Sanborn and Dave Grusin.
At dusk, the hosts made last-minute preparations in their kitchen-by-the-sea. Linda Ward loaded stuffed mushroom caps onto a silver tray, Janice Pallinger filled wine glasses with the first round of Chenin Blanc.
“In Southern California, everybody likes to be outside all the time,” explained David Pallinger. “But you know how Orange County people like to get dressed up to go to a party? We thought: put it together. That’s how we came up with the idea.”
Location, Location, Etc.
The Wards and Pallingers picked their beach--a private stamping ground for residents of Laguna Beach’s Emerald Bay enclave--for its easy access (only a few stairs down to the sand) and liquor rules (drinking is OK).
Thanks to friends of Janice Pallinger who live in the tony development, guests motored past the security gates, proceeded through a tunnel under PCH, and arrived at the secluded beach just in time to see the day’s last bodyboarders ride the cove’s gentle waves.
“This is incredible,” sighed Susan Krabbe, who with her husband, Moe, was the first guest to hit the sand. The Krabbes promptly took their shoes off and padded off to the water’s edge, wine goblets in hand, to drink in the view.
Among Center 500 members dressed-up and barefoot for the night were Rhona Weinberg-Gewelber and Linda Ogawa, Andrea and Bob Clark, and Stephanie Splane.
Janice Pallinger topped her black skirt and white shirt with a spotless lace-trimmed apron--an expanse of crisply ironed, snow-white cotton that looked unused.
“I bought that apron for her 10 years ago, hoping she’d learn how to cook,” Pallinger’s husband teased. “Does this look like an apron that gets a lot of use?”
“What can I say?” Janice shrugged. “I use a lot of bleach.”