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Candlelight, Candy and Caring


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GLITTERING: At 75, experience counts. And all that experience added up to a fabulous 75th Candlelight Ball, the diamond anniversary for this gala supporting Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. Betty Knight Scripps served as general chair for the second year. She got the ball rolling by making a $1 million challenge grant to benefit the hospital; all told, a record-setting $2.3 million was raised.

Del Mar Country Club was again the venue. Designer Kathy Wright filled the rooms with oceans of pink and cream roses, peonies, orchids and enough French tulips to make you wonder if there were any left in France. Even the chandeliers were beflowered. Betty dressed up the place in Scaasi (mint green and ruffly) and diamonds (Van Cleef & Arpels—and big). Academy Award winner and authentic local Cliff Robertson was her escort and the evening’s honored guest.

Dr. Sabina Wallach, the hospital’s chief of staff, was there, and Rosemary and Chris Van Gorder (he’s CEO of Scripps Health), Lyn and Dr. Stephen Krant, Lee and Stuart Posnock, Carol and Dr. Harold Shively, Carol and Martin Dickinson, Jim Bowers and Beryl and Ames Early. Dottie Mae and Pat Haggerty made it a family affair with sons Dr. Rick and Dr. Colin Haggerty and their wives, Rosie and Cathleen. Cathleen came with a bad knee (“Playing tennis like I was 14!”) and crutches decked with ribbons and bows.

SWEETNESS AND SPICE: Imagine, if you can, the Quidditch Stadium of Hogwarts School crafted in gingerbread masonry, candy banners flying from its towers, with a little Harry Potter made of Lego bricks suspended in midflight on his Nimbus 2000. Kate Vigderson did—and painstakingly created it for “Fairy Tales and Fantasy,” Gingerbread City 2004.

Sally Thornton again chaired this holiday fund-raiser for the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines. The city’s sucrose-based architecture was varied, from Erica Riddle’s “Plantation Christmas”—moonlight, magnolias and lots of frosting—to the scary fun of “Nightmare Before Christmas” by Thierry Cahez of Opera Patisserie.

Counterbalancing this carb-construction were bountiful offerings from local restaurants: yummy things like lamb ossobucco by Pascal Vignau of Savory, spice-seared supreme of Muscovy duck with a tamarind Chambord glaze by chef Larry Banares of the Hilton, smoked salmon and fennel salad by Matt Zappoli of Fresh.

Joining Sally and John Thornton were Marilyn Rutland (she’s president of the Epilepsy Foundation), Ofelia and John Alksne, Derrick Cartwright (he’s the new executive director of the San Diego Museum of Art), Lee Goldberg, Danielle and Dr. Mark Nespeca, Jan and Jim Fitzpatrick, Joyce Glazer, Pam and Philip Palisoul, Luba Johnston, Lee Maturo, Wanda and Fred Kaufman, Rafaella and John Bellanich and Catherine Ramirez.

FLORAL PHILANTHROPY: Things were in bloom at the Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA in Encinitas with the annual Poinsettia Ball. Maureen Ecke, widow of late poinsettia populizer Paul Ecke Jr., chaired the gala, which raised $115,000 for the Y. Local newscaster Carol Le Beau served as mistress of ceremonies, Wayne Foster Entertainment played for dancing, and Carriage Trade catered. Vida Ellner, Nancy McLennan



BUILD A BRIDGE: On a trip to Africa, the plight of women struggling to support their families by making and selling traditional arts and crafts so affected Kathleen Vaughan she came home, put her mind and ample energies to work—and thus, A Bridge for Africa was created. The nonprofit agency works with various missions, other nonprofits and camps to bring African crafts and art to sell in the U.S. “We give women the dignity of work, and by paying them a fair wage for their artistic work, we promote self-sufficiency and advance hope for future generations,” says Vaughan. Vaughan and husband John Treadway opened their La Jolla home for a “Gourmet Safari,” offering a feast for the senses. More than 150 came to enjoy the saucy blend of Indian, Middle Eastern, traditional African and, adding to the eclectic atmosphere, Samoan food and live jazz. Attendees snapped up unique items offered for sale—Zulu telephone-wire baskets, handcrafted cards and textiles, carvings and jeweled coffee spoons. In all, $40,000 and a bonanza of exposure for this worthy cause.

HITHER AND YON: Big-balloon parade, big football players, big game and, oh yeah, big old VIP Tailgate Party in the Qualcomm Stadium lot. Bank of America sponsored the pep rally for the Holiday Bowl . . . It was “An Evening of Gershwin, Ellington and More” for the Doris A. Howell Foundation’s 2004 gala at La Jolla Country Club. UCSD Professor Cecil Lytle provided the piano concert—and a rousing “Happy Birthday” to Dr. Howell in honor of her 80th. Cher Conner and Noreen Mulliken masterminded the event, raising $25,000 for the Howell Scholarship Fund . . . The Ste. Germaine Auxiliary of the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation held its annual Silver Tea at a spectacular new “contemporary Craftsman” residence on the grounds of Point Loma Nazarene College ... The Rotaract Club of Downtown San Diego and Jazz 88 presented their third annual Jazz for Juvenile Diabetes. The Caballero-Verde Quintet provided the Latin jazz tunes for the night at Thin nightclub in the Gaslamp Quarter.

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