Nonstop Action at Junior League Benefit

Bustling about in a long pink taffeta ball gown, Junior League “Oooh la la, L.A.!” chairperson Andi O’Leary surveyed the crowd of about 475 and said, “Easily.” She meant that the league easily would make $100,000 on its benefit for services in the city.

But, it hadn’t been that easy. The Tuesday before last Saturday’s benefit, only 300 were booked for the party, and that would have created a net of about $60,000. “I wanted 450, to do $100,000,” she said. So leaguers got on the phones. Thus, there were plenty to have fun in the silent auction with the 800 items Gregrie Grayson organized for sale.

It was a long-gown night. In the crowd: League president Heather Shuemaker (in emerald green) and her husband, Jim, assistant chairs Barbara Ringhofer and Linda Slonacher, Gary and Ann Zimmerman, Jan and Robert Kern, Carrie and Peter Tilton, Gary and Maileen Phillips, Gump’s (which underwrote part of the party) Kirk Gerou, Mollie Shea and John Dietsch and Fred and Kim Ulrich. The action was nonstop: cocktails, auction, dinner, jewelry shows, cabaret gaming and a champagne dessert table.

ESCALATION: It’s not uncommon at benefits for guests to duck out early to avoid the long waits for cars. But the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum’s “Eagles Over Western Skies” affair Monday evening at the Beverly Hilton had a captive crowd listening to Alan Jackson and Randy Travis’ Western ballads and Pat Buttram’s jokes.


With aplomb, Jimmy Stewart and June and Paul Ebensteiner accepted the Western Heritage Awards. Bob Eubanks emceed. Guests included Gene and Jackie Autry, Joanne and Monte Hale, event chair James McElvany, Ernest Borgnine, Gloria Stewart, County Board of Supervisors chairman Mike Antonovich, Ed and Zee Marzec and Jo Fisher.

Frank Hathaway bought the Colt gold-inlaid .45-caliber revolver for $27,000. Said Jackie Autry, “And you stole it!”

ACCOLADES: Prominent Angelenos of all faiths took $10,000 tables in the Cardinal’s Circle to salute Cardinal Roger Mahony. He received the Life Spirit Award at the Santa Marta Hospital Foundation’s ball at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Monday.

The party grossed $250,000 to benefit the nonprofit Catholic hospital, which serves a primarily poor and immigrant population in East Los Angeles.


Four of the six tribute co-chairs--Dorothy and John Shea and Marion and John Anderson--joined Sister Guadalupe Guaneros, president of the hospital. Edie and Lew Wasserman were unable to attend.

More there: Lois and Bob Erburu, Father Donald P. Merrifield (foundation chairman), Father Thomas Patrick O’Malley (new president of Loyola Marymount University) and Marsha and Stan Hayden.

FUN TIMES: Art and economics sparked the conversation at the dinner Jim and Doreen McElvany hosted at the California Club for leaders of the Wildlife of the American West Art Museum in Jackson Hole, Wyo.

Among prominent guests were Bill and Joffa Kerr (he’s chairman of the museum and the Nature Conservancy in Oklahoma) and Eliza and Tom Chrystie (former CFO of Merrill Lynch).

Dick Cree, who wrote “Moonlight Serenade,” was there with his wife, Mary Anne. When asked, he sang the serenade, sotto voce , and got a standing ovation. . . .

The cutest night of the year may have been Marymount High School’s traditional black-tie dinner. About 400 students and their fathers sallied forth all decked out in wrist corsages, off-the-shoulder taffetas and black tie. They electrified the Regent Beverly Wilshire with their father-daughter dance contests.

Welcoming at the entrance, Barbara Overland noted she and her father had celebrated the Marymount father-daughter evening

the same way 30 years ago at the Cocoanut Grove. Proceeds go to scholarships. . . .


Charles and Susanne Donnelly hosted cocktails in their Hancock Park home for directors of the Student Conservation Assn. It raises funds to provide nature experiences for young people.

KEEPING UP: Executive Service Corps of Southern California (250 retired executives who volunteer consultation time to nonprofit groups) is headed by Jack K. Horton, former chairman of Southern California Edison. Tuesday, members heard Dennis Weaver keynote their 10th anniversary luncheon. . . .

Bridget Martens, Melinda Winston, Donna Wolff, Barbara Namerow and Friends of Robinson Gardens lunched at Valentino and listened to a glittering talk on jewelry from master jeweler Gianmaria Buccellati. . . .

Betty Williams got the Humanitarian Award at the Beverly Hills Hotel from the Children’s Bureau of Los Angeles and its foundation. . . .

Film producer Tamara Asseyev’s new book, “Always Kiss With Your Whiskers” (love advice from her cat), tickled a bunch at the book party at Spago hosted by Joan and John Hotchkis. . . .

WHIRL: Pauline Naftzger hosted cocktails at her Beverly Hills home for Friends of the First Ladies, the group of 70 who buzzed into town for a fashion whirl of Rodeo Drive (including breakfast at Hermes) and tours of presidential libraries.

Each of the Friends has given $10,000 to benefit the new First Ladies Exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington. In the coterie were Holly Coors of Golden, Colo., Betty Zable of Rancho Santa Fe and her daughter Stefanie Zable of Del Mar, and Carl Anthony, author of the recent “First Ladies: The Saga of the Presidents’ Wives and Their Power.” Lunch with Betty Ford in Palm Desert hosted by Lianne Clark was also part of the package.

Hathaway Children’s Services president Brian Cahill headed a contingent hearing Soviet pianist Irina Smorodinova’s concert at Ambassador Auditorium. . . .


Peggy and Jim Galbraith and Suzanne and Fred Rheinstein teamed Saturday to host a show of 18th- and 19th-Century watercolors at Hollyhock, the interiors boutique on Larchmont. The event benefited Childrens Chain of Childrens Hospital. . . .

Donna Lewis got Stacy Keach to emcee the Jack O’Lantern Ball at the Beverly Wilshire. Keach did the honors, too, for the Polonaise Ball starring Polish folk dancers.