‘Oscar’ Is Winner for Cystic Fibrosis Group

OK, so it wasn’t an Oscar statuette. But it was close. To spice up the “Evening With Oscar” bash staged Monday at Antonello restaurant in Santa Ana, Alex Walder brought along a MAME award belonging to a friend.

The golden, Oscar-like trophy (awarded to interior designers for excellence) was passed, caressed, presented to “Clint Eastwood” and then carted home. “A client of mine who won the MAME thought it would be fun for the party,” he said. “I didn’t dream it would create such a fuss.”

Another “Oscar,” this one an ice sculpture, served as a centerpiece for an Italian buffet at the benefit for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Fare included chicken Florentine, a variety of pasta dishes and fruit tarts. “We wanted an ice sculpture to give this event a touch of class,” said Marianne Newman, president of Le Premiere support group, which sponsored the party. “Too bad they made his tush a little big.”

As guests entered the party, they were “greeted” by huge cardboard cutouts of celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Eastwood and Michael Jackson.


Where did the committee find the life-size wonders? “We have our connections,” said Liz Polo, a spokeswoman for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Indeed. And not just in the prop department. Seems CFF is always throwing a party. (The group was beneficiary of Planet Hollywood’s

premiere benefit, its opening--a fund-raising coup. They presented pop singer Michael Bolton at their Disneyland Hotel benefit last year. And they have a pajama/brunch party coming up right around the corner.)

“This year we’ll have about 80 events in Southern California,” said Marshall Fant, board president of the Southern California/Southern Nevada/Utah Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. “And about 90% of those events will be in Orange County. Last year, CFF raised about $1.5 million in Southern California.”


Proceeds of about $5,000 from Monday night’s affair will go toward CF research and education. “In 1989, the defective gene that causes CF was discovered,” Fant said. “And now we have a new treatment in broad testing that puts CF in a holding pattern. Soon, we will begin human tests where we counteract the bad genes with good genes.”

Fant, who lives in Villa Park, said he and his wife, Candy, became involved with CFF because they loved the dedication of the volunteers, he said.

CFF’s new Le Premiere support group is composed of “high-energy types,” said Marianne Newman. “Our goal for this year is to bring $40,000 to CF in Orange County.”

Guests were asked to dress Hollywood-style for the $55perperson event.

Newman wore a form-fitting black suit splashed with faux jewels. Ina Niday, party co-chairwoman with Newman, wore a royal blue spangled number with matching earrings.

And Sterling Haight wore everything he could think of. “I couldn’t figure out what to wear, so I threw on my pin-stripe suit, my dress shirt, my Snoopy tie clip, my biker vest, my Harley Davidson T-shirt and this hat.”

So much for glitz.