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R S V P / ORANGE COUNTY : Catch XXIX : To Help Coalition, Supporters Team Up for Super Effort

More than 200 armchair quarterbacks watched Super Bowl XXIX Sunday from the comfort of John and Donna Crean’s Tara-like mansion overlooking upper Newport Bay.

The $100-per-person bash netted about $25,000 for the Juvenile Connection Program of the Coalition for Children, Adolescents and Parents. The program helps families of troubled youths identify and treat the child’s behavioral problem.

Best Seat in the House

Televisions were set up in rooms throughout the Crean residence, but serious football fans were watching the game in a small theater equipped with a huge screen and about 20 leather chairs. “Enter at your own risk,” read a sign posted on the door.

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After the San Francisco 49ers scored their second touchdown in the first few minutes of the game, some fans were ready to throw in the towel.

“This is going to be a short game,” said one.

“Let’s pop in a video,” quipped another.

The group found the commercials--especially the Budweiser bullfrogs and the truckers who battled over a Pepsi--more entertaining than the game.

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When they could tear themselves away from the TVs, guests enjoyed traditional stadium fare, including hot dogs, hamburgers and soft pretzels served by roaming attendants bearing them on long sticks. A buffet table decorated to look like a football field complete with miniature goal posts and white chalk lines was piled high with football-shaped brownies and chocolate chip cookies.

John Crean circulated among guests wearing a black-and-white ref’s uniform “to keep order.” Some party-goers were more interested in mingling than in the game.

“I really don’t care who wins,” said Patricia Gomez, board president of CCAP.

Heart of the Matter

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Donna Crean, event chairwoman, is a longtime supporter of the Juvenile Connection Program. She knows firsthand how identifying the source of a child’s problem early can prevent behavioral problems later on. Her 9-year-old grandson was once “a pain in the neck.”

“He was loud, noisy and rude,” she said. Five years ago, the Creans discovered that poor vision was the source of the boy’s frustration.

“He got glasses, and he was a different boy,” Donna said.

There are many reasons children misbehave, she said.

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“Their teeth can hurt; they could have growing pains, they might have hearing problems.” There can also be problems within the family.

The Juvenile Connection Program in Orange first helps families identify the cause of a child’s behavior problem, then connects the family to a provider who can help correct it, said Cynthia Scheinberg, executive director of CCAP.

“It’s not unusual for families to have been to five different sites for help before coming to us,” she said.

Often the children are belligerent, running away, involved in gangs, failing in school, committing petty crimes or using drugs and alcohol.

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Among the providers are three dermatologists who perform tattoo removals, psychologists and social workers, orthodontists and dentists. Service fees are based on the family’s ability to pay.

Those supporting the program included Michael Schumacher, vice president of CCAP; actresses Sandra Gould (the nosy neighbor on the “Bewitched” TV series) and Jane Withers; singer Ray Coniff and his wife, Vera; fashion critic Mr. Blackwell; Jolene Fuentes, Bob and Nicki Bernard, Phyllis Green, Patricia Boortz, Jay and Marijane Palchikoff, Stan and Donna Freberg, Paxson and Wendy Offield, John Silver, Jo Alexander, Marge Freeman, Royal Radtke, Hiangke Han and Jane Hansen.


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