A Delta Queen paddle-wheel riverboat, complete with smoke wafting from its stack, decorated the river dock backdrop for the Long Beach Cancer League's "Evening of Southern Splendor" at the Long Beach Hilton last weekend.
The surrounding New Orleans French Quarter ambience turned the city's benevolent into a mass of wheeler-dealer high rollers for the league's 19th annual auction. Says Frani Ridder,"Every figure isn't yet in, but we hope for a $350,000 gross and a $275,000 net."
Rosemary and Bob Westmeyer bought the West Indies trip, Cini and Ira Robb the "Seinfeld" walk-on. Judy and Gary Cooper fell in love with the poodle puppy. John and Joanne Rich were high bidders on the ballooning trip in France. Joan and John Knight took home the New York and Napa weekend trips. Joan and John Hotchkis of Pasadena phoned in their cross-ocean bid from France to win the "traveling billboard up and down the freeway." You can be sure the clever Hotchkises will dream up some exotic message. Stay tuned.
While much of Los Angeles dresses down, most of the Long Beach ladies in the crowd of nearly 450 opted for long-gown dazzle. The affair was dedicated to past league President Laura Leff and her husband, Jay, for their devotion to the auction.
IT'S ECONOMICS: Over the weekend, the Population Education Committee and Earth Service Inc. collaborated on "Our Island Earth Benefit" in Encino. Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of Jacques Cousteau, was presented the prestigious 1993 U.S. Population/Environment Award.
Guests in beach attire sipped island drinks, listened to Haitian music, piled shish kebabs and fruit on their plates before they carved into the cake, all planned by Nancy Dowey. Said Peter Kreitler, founder of Earth Service: "We are all going to break cake together. Under this cake is a fragile universe--we must take care of our Earth."
PEC founder Marilyn Brant Stuart then introduced singer Helen Reddy, who introduced Cousteau. Said the honoree: "If the rich are going to remain rich, they are going to have to help the poor . . . Man is capable of moving mountains."
Among the supporters: Christy and Grant Bettingen, Darcie and Peter Guyer, Harry and Denise Chandler, Carolyn and Jeffrey Barr, Betty and Kenneth Morgan, Maurice Van Arsdol Jr., and Robert and Kathy Gillespie.
The party was held on the site of the Assistance League of Southern California Design House III, which opened for viewing over the weekend.
ESCALATION: The Pasadena Symphony's opening gala is set for Oct. 23 . . . The California Arts Council and Andrea Van de Kamp, senior vice president, Sotheby's, join tonight for a reception at Sotheby's in Beverly Hills, kicking off the council's Wayne Thiebaud Arts License Plate . . . Los Angeles Mayor Richard J. Riordan speaks tonight at the ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) dinner meeting at the Beach Club . . . Project Restore gives California Treasurer Kathleen Brown its Los Angeles Heritage Award on Oct. 23 at a dinner in the L.A. City Hall rotunda . . . American Friends of the Israel Museum host a bacchanalian feast of food, wine and dance in the J. Paul Getty Museum atrium Saturday. Stephen Las of Christies New York will auction vintage wines. Alice Lainer and Francine Shapiro are chairwomen.
PLAID: Of course, the tables were covered in plaid for the "Forever Plaid" fund-raiser in John and Jeanine Cushman's San Marino gardens. Barbara Hughes, president of the Circle of the Huntington Memorial Hospital, was all smiles, we hear, knowing that a sizable donation will go to the rehab unit.
Some 200 guests strolled, munched, bid on jewels and listened to the original cast of "Forever Plaid." Co-chairs Liz Kneier and Ann Miller enlisted lots of support from Bill Hughes, O'Malley Miller, Debbi and Terry Lanni, Rita and Bill Whitney, Fran and Rob Lynch, Allen and Weta Mathis, Nelson Holdo, Debbi and Randy Hoffman, Kathleen and Richard Capalbo, Missy and Dennis Alfieri, Kathleen and Michael LeRoy.
TOWN WHIRL: Nearly 600 people were shuttled from the Malibu sheriff's station to Malibu Colony last Sunday for the third annual "Day at the Beach" for Planned Parenthood/World Population Los Angeles. Moon bounces, a Caribbean steel band, limbo contests, tarot cards and lots of food and ice cream will somehow translate into a $150,000 profit via co-chairs Toni Haber and Lee Bell. Hosting in the elite Colony were Haber, Lee and Bill Bell, Marie and Bill Bell Jr., Marie and Jon Feltheimer, Elizabeth and Lee Gabler, Susan and Ted Harbert, Jordan Kerner, Theresa and Warren Littlefield, Vicki and Kerry McCluggage, Nancy and Leslie Moonves, and Kathy and Harry Sloan.
The Rape Foundation hosted brunch with Lisa and Dustin Hoffman on Sunday to honor the achievement of the Rape Treatment Center of Santa Monica Hospital Medical Center, and Stuart House, the RTC's program for child victims. Marilyn and Barron Hilton loaned their estate for the affair.
Alan F. Balch, president, Flintridge Riding Club, joined American Horse Shows Assn. President Jane F. Clark last weekend to stage "Cocktails at Ringside" and an amateur jumper classic and a celebrity/World Cup rider salute to benefit AHSA's Equine Health Research Fund.
Mary Lou Loper's column is published Thursdays.