Jerri-Ann and Gary Jacobs Jerri-Ann and Gary Jacobs 

Amanda Sparks Abbott, Daniel Sparks
URBAN RENEWAL: If you really want to accomplish some civic improvements, put Jennifer Greenfield in charge. For opening night of the San Diego Symphony season, she and her committee took a godforsaken patch of asphalt across from Copley Symphony Hall, and—with a tent, some scarlet and “butterscotch” drapings and an alfresco cigar lounge—turned it into the most luxe, lush, swank, elegant (fill in superlative here) venue one could imagine. And frankly, my dears, I know some of you have quite an imagination.

Thus, “Opus 2004” started in the tent with champagne and caviar and offerings from an ice martini bar—a little wherewithal to get through the incredible offerings of the symphony, under the baton of new music director Jahja Ling. There on stage with maestro Ling were Sir James and Lady Jeanne Galway—yes, those Galways. (Did you know? Lady Jeanne Galway plays a 24-karat Muramatsu flute.) By concert’s end, listeners were in paroxysms of aesthetic delight. As if Tchaikovsky, Bizet, Gounod and the Galways weren’t enough, we all went back to the tent for dinner, dancing, those ice martinis and other general festivities.

Jennifer Greenfield was there with husband Richard, along with symphony angels Joan and Irwin Jacobs and Gary and Jeri Ann Jacobs, Sook and Ron Hansen, Jack and Candace Berkman, Stacy Cromidas and Ruth Gilbert, Sheryl and Todd Duncan, John and Bette Lynn Nersesian and Debbie Seid.

Peter McCreight, Michael Noon, Kent Thompson
Peter McCreight, Michael Noon, Kent Thompson
Raj Vijaya Pratha
Raj Vijaya Pratha  
TOP DOCS: If, say, you were feeling the first flutterings of an impending myocardial infarction, or the early stirrings of a fractious appendix, the place to be was the San Diego Magazine party for San Diego County’s top doctors.

The dinner-dance, at the downtown Omni Hotel, was simply crammed with the people you want to go— well, actually, run—to if you have such symptoms. How do we know? Simple. The San Diego County Medical Society polled members in each medical specialty to name their top colleagues, and voila, the mag’s Top Docs list.

Publisher Jim Fitzpatrick welcomed everybody to the festivities in the ballroom. Peggy Pico, the TV nurse everybody watches on Channel 7/39, was on hand for introductions. Editor Tom Blair—he gets med cred because his father was a doctor—was doing double duty that night as entertainer, singing with the big-band Society Beat, led by Kevin Esposito.

Dr. Leonard and Betty Kornreich were there (he’s in pediatrics) and Dr. Mark Nespeca, who brought wife Danielle Weymouth Nespeca and his parents, Packy and Marian Nespeca, Dr. Brian Reagan, Dr. Manoj Motwani and Darrese Webb, Tom Gehring (he’s the executive director and CEO of the San Diego County Medical Society) and Dr. Catherine Moore, Dr. Bob Hertzka and his wife, Roxana Foxx, Dr. Leon and Jewel Kelley, Dr. Carol Young and husband David Leighton and Dr. Gene W. Rumsey.

Margaret Radford, Amanda May
Margaret Radford, Amanda May
Kellie McCormick, Courtney Weiss
Kellie McCormick, Courtney Weiss

LADIES, LITERATURE AND LUNCH: An outbreak of bookishness hit the luncheon scene for two events. First came the Women Together Luncheon, which has an imminently sensible idea. The event began 16 years ago, when a very, very, very savvy group of women from Catholic Charities, Episcopal Community Services and the YWCA decided to pool their resources —mainly, mailing lists and lots of smarts. They all help women—victims of homelessness, domestic violence, substance abuse—so it was a natural to host a joint affair.

This year’s luncheon at the Manchester Grand Hyatt was hosted by newswoman Margaret Radford of NBC 7/39 and chaired by Linda Altes. The speaker was Gail Tsukiyama, author of Women of the Silk and The Samurai’s Garden.

Leslie Solomon, Marcia Wolochow
Leslie Solomon, Marcia Wolochow

Meshelle Stanfill, Vanessa Torres, Stephanie Palomino  

WORDS ALIVE also has a fabulous goal: literacy. Its volunteers read to preschool kids, lead book discussion groups in juvenile hall and generally do whatever it takes to get atrisk kids reading.

Their inaugural luncheon (sold out!) at the Hilton Torrey Pines had a double feature: Indian novelists Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni and Indu Sundaresan. Divakurani is author of the novels Mistress of Spices and Sister of My Heart. Sundaresan penned The Twentieth Wife and The Feast of Roses. Words Alive founder Leslye Lyons was there, along with event chairs Leslie Solomon and Marcia Wolochow, plus Deanna Goldberg, Dr. Neysa Whiteman McBaisey, Cindy Polger, Linda Lenhard and Hema Lall.

phyllis diller
Phyllis Diller
FILM-FAN FUN: If they awarded Oscars to film festivals, it would be a sweep for the third installment of the annual San Diego Film Festival, played out over five nights in the Gaslamp Quarter. A record 13,000 fans attended screenings of more than 80 films from around the globe. And the festival parties were duly represented by Hollywood glitterati young and old.

Among them: actors Rick Schroeder, James Van Der Beek and Soleil Moon Frye; legendary comic Phyllis Diller, honored on her retirement with the Governor’s Award; and La Jolla’s own Oscar-winner Cliff Robertson, who accepted the San Diego Magazine Lifetime Achievement Award from publisher Jim Fitzpatrick (who, in turn, accepted the festival’s Crystal Vision Award for the magazine).

Stephanie May
Stephanie May 
HITHER AND YON: Social butterflies were definitely out for the San Diego Telecom Council’s do, this year a benefit for the Monarch School. They transformed the deck of the Midway with an alfresco cocktail venue and a tent for dinner and dancing. Whimsy came from the walkthrough butterfly aviary. . . . Speaking of butterflies, the Butterfly Ball at La Costa Resort benefited Fresh Start Surgical Gifts, which helps disadvantaged kids disfigured by birth defects, accidents or disease . . . More flying: Claudia and Bill Allen’s Allen Airways Flying Museum was the site for “Wings of Dreams & Flying Machines,” the fund-raiser for San Diego Hospice. The Allens, Virginia Mondayand Marilyn Boesky chaired the evening of dinner, dancing, casino games and ogling airplanes . . .

The 35th Día del Sol—by the Beach and Country Guild of the United Cerebral Palsy Association of San Diego—featured a Nordstrom fashion show at the Rancho Santa Fe estate of Sylvia and Walter Lim. Terri Davis, Cele Huntzinger, Carole Morrison and Patti Wiggins chaired . . . The emergency and trauma departments were beneficiaries of the 35th Mercy Ball, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt . . . “Magnificent Mutts” was the theme of the 18th Fur Ball benefit for the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA. Gilbert Meza, Patti Mix and Lori Walton chaired the alfresco evening at the society’s Campus for Animal Care. The invitation encouraged all to bring their well-behaved pets and promised “fun activities for dogs.” People, too, of course.

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