Las Madrinas, support group for Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, completed its $1.5-million endowment last year for the Las Madrinas Program of Molecular Genetics. Now it's working on a $2-million endowment for Experimental Therapeutics in Ophthalmology. Traditionally, the funds come primarily from the Christmas season Las Madrinas Debutante Ball and from individual gifts.
Nineteen debutantes to be presented at the ball were feted at a sunny afternoon tea recently in Mimi O'Keefe's Brentwood gardens. Honorees--many wearing the popular mint-green in dresses and suits--stood in shade under a tree, holding their nosegays and introducing themselves to members of Las Madrinas.
Also at the forefront were Las Madrinas President Susan Johnson Hull, debutante Chairwoman Carlotta Keely and ball Chairwoman Margaret Larkin.
Some of the debutantes are volunteering this summer at the hospital. Their ball escorts and stags have also been in the spotlight. They toured the hospital and later had dinner at El Cholo and heard Dr. Charles Gomer speak on breakthroughs in ophthalmology.
Debutantes are Laura Schroeder and Anne Callaghan of Hancock Park; Hannah Cannom of Rolling Hills; Jennie Maguire of Brentwood; Maryann Baribault of La Canada; Carolyn Carlson and Cynthia Webb of Santa Monica; Jordan Hayes, Christine McRoskey and Emily Olsen of West Los Angeles; Jennifer Hutchinson, Nicole Lee and Lindsay McNiel of Pacific Palisades; DeEtte Laugharn of South Pasadena; Kathern MacKenzie, Simone Lillian Porter and Mercedes Simon of Pasadena; Elizabeth Palmer of Studio City; and Ashley McCloud of La Verne.
Bach Hits: It was just like it always is for First Cut's "Bach at the Beach" benefit at the Beach Club in Santa Monica. Moms, pops, kids. A sunset picnic on the sand. Alan Chapman as "Mr. Bach" in his curly wig, making musical puns that parents laughed at. No matter, the kids. They were building castles and throwing sand while select members of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra faced the ocean, playing Grieg, Bach, Britten and Saint-Saens.
Pam Norell West and Yumiko Yamagata co-chaired. Said President Pam Algorri, her family in tow, "This is a terrific way to introduce the entire family to the joys of classical music."
Proceeds will provide funds for the orchestra's "Meet the Music" outreach program for 9,000 middle and senior high school students in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Palate Preview: Over two evenings, Sept. 26-27, friends and benefactors of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art will attend 50 spectacular private dinners throughout Los Angeles at "Art of the Palate '96: Gourmet Dinners."
Animation studios, yachts, corporate dining rooms and magnificent homes will be the settings. Celebrities will glitterize. Top Los Angeles chefs will cook up a storm. And the museum will acquire much-needed CD-ROM gallery guides.
Monday at Eclipse Restaurant on Melrose Avenue, owner Bernard Erpicum, Harry Winston Inc. and the Art of the Palate Committee will host a preview to honor dinner hosts.
Festival of Chefs: An Olympic Festival of Chefs has members of the Long Beach Youth Home Boosters revved up for fun. Their 16th annual affair Aug. 4 on the grounds of the home will honor Yvonne Lindemann. Larry and Mary Horwitz will be named booster volunteers of the year, and Northrop Grumman will be presented the Corporate Community Award.
Co-chairs Ben and Barbara Goldberg have asked 25 of Long Beach's finest restaurants to produce champion dishes.
New Name: The newly reincorporated Pasadena Children's Guild, formerly known as the Pasadena Day Nursery Guild, has named a new beneficiary--Young and Healthy--for its fund-raising efforts.
According to President Leslie Saeta, the guild has broken its ties with the day nursery school. Its new 18-member philanthropy committee is chaired by Andrea Walker of La Canada Flintridge. The guild annually raises in excess of $50,000 at its Christmas Boutique House.
Young and Healthy is a nationally known program that pairs underprivileged children with health care by area physicians. The physicians generally donate their time and talents to children identified by Young and Healthy paid nurses who visit schools. The guild will provide extra funds for medications and procedures.
Elsewhere on the Social Circuit
Santa Marta Hospital Foundation raised $230,000 at its black-tie dinner dance at the Regent Beverly Wilshire. The hospital's Life Spirit Award went to the Los Angeles Dodgers in recognition of contributions to nonprofit community groups. Terry and Roland Seidler and Jaime Jarrin accepted for the Dodgers.
* Keeping Up: Los Angeles Classical Ballet supporters partied in the Rodeo Ballroom of the Beverly Hills Hotel, raising funds and getting a sneak preview of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" to be presented Sept. 20-21 at the John Anson Ford Theatre.
* Edward C. Turrentine was honorary chairman for the Old Pasadena "Celebration on Raymond Avenue" benefiting the Wellness Community-Foothills. The first Raymond celebration was held in 1915, and others continued until the stock market crash in 1929. Now the vicinity is an area of fashion, restaurants and design studios.
* Today: The Petersen Automotive Museum stages the "Lowriding Car Show" sponsored by Viejitos Car Club . . . The Beverly Hills Live! Summer Concert Series will be in full swing at 4:30 p.m. at Greystone Park for a performance of "Sister Angelica."
* Sue Labiner, Gaby Ross, Joan Sherwood, Annette O'Malley and Babs Sobel were among those attending the Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills luncheon featuring highlights from the Giorgio Armani fall/winter collection . . . Patriotically, for the fifth year, Chanel in Beverly Hills celebrated Bastille Day with a brunch and cocktail reception to preview fall/winter fashions.
* Mary Lou Loper's column is published Sundays.