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John Spanos, Krista Niswander
John Spanos, Krista Niswander






Becky and John Moores
Becky and John Moores
THINK BIG: Big party. Big building. Big tent. Big money. The grand opening of the Rebecca & John Moores UCSD Cancer Center was not, ever so definitely not, done on a small scale.

Lee and Frank Goldberg chaired the opening, which saw 800 guests gather first in the courtyard of the new center for cocktails and hor d’oeuvres whipped up by celebrity chefs. The party incorporated the annual “Chefs Cook for the UCSD Cancer Center” into the grand mélange of the evening. Rebecca and John Moores, along with major donors Miriam and Jerome Katzin, were honorary chairs.

After the cocktail hour and tours of the new facility, everybody was off to the big white tent that held dining tables draped in turquoise satin and a very Asian-y, Clinton Walters–designed décor featuring bamboo and orchids— lots of orchids. The Hyatt Regency La Jolla catered dinner. (Lamb chops. Big ones.)

And how big was the money? Well, the new building came with a $105 million price tag. And the party raised $2.9 million; a hefty chunk of that will go toward something called a Da Vinci Robot. The device (one was on display) is used in robotic surgery.

In the crowd were Rita and Dick Atkinson, center director Dr. Dennis and Sandy Carson, Martha and Ed Dennis, Anne Otterson (she presented medals to the celebrity chefs participating), Joe Bauer (he emceed the evening), Colette Carson Royston and Dr. Ivor Royston, Sheila and Hughes Potiker, Joan and Irwin Jacobs and, making it a family affair, the Goldbergs’ three kids and their spouses—Deanna and Eddie Goldberg, Anne and Joel Nagorner and Suzi and Bernie Feldman—and their six grandchildren.

Tugg Snowbarger, Jeff Wergeles
Tugg Snowbarger, Jeff Wergeles






Ed Sbragia, Mary Donnelly, Michael Thiemann
Ed Sbragia, Mary Donnelly, Michael Thiemann

GRAPE EXPECTATIONS: Arthur Ollman, director of the Museum of Photographic Arts, refers to the weekend as “Bacchanalian.” I don’t know. I doubt if Bacchus ever had it so good.

Vintage Weekend 2005 (this was the seventh) brought in more than 500 attendees for three days of wine-centered festivities. “It’s grown every year,” says Ollman, observing that “The same people who tend to like art tend to like wine.”

Popping the cork, so to speak, for Friday’s Winemaker’s Dinner, MoPA hosted Beringer Vineyards winemaster Edward Sbragia at the Westgate Hotel. Dan Smargon and Audrey Viterbi were there, in a crowd that included Catherine and Michael Theimann, Leanne MacDougall and Donald D’Alessio, Stephanie and Art Myers, Cira and Gene Walder, Margaret and Phil Hamm (they’ve volunteered for 20-plus years at MoPA), Phyllis Kraus, Sandy and Stephen Dorros, Silvija and Brian Devine, Peggy and Jon Doellstedt, Julia Brown and Eric and Lee Zucker.

Saturday saw the Grand Tasting and Wine Auction at the Balboa Park museum. Sixty donors brought a bottle of wine rated 100 points by wine gurus Robert Parker or Steve Tanzer or Wine Spectator magazine. A case of the luxe stuff was set aside for the wine auction, and the remaining bottles were opened for tasting. Sunday afternoon, the Wine Cellar Tour began with a lunch prepared by chef Jeffrey Strauss of Pamplemousse Grill and wended its bibulous way through wine cellars of private Del Mar homes.

Of course, there was a point to all this—as if the wine weren’t enough. Funds go to support exhibitions, education programs, film series and such.

Elaine and Murray Galinson
Elaine and Murray Galinson

DEDICATED, FÊTED: The 40th anniversary of the Women of Dedication luncheon saw the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary doing what it’s done so well for these 40 years—honoring women of dedication. Rusti Bartell and Diana Lombrozo chaired the luncheon for 700 at the Sheraton Harbor Island.

This year’s honorees were the indefatigable party chair Carol Chang; assistant chief of police Rulette Armstead; Regina “Reggie” Smith (the city of San Diego observed Reggie Smith Day in 2003); Gayle Slate, founder of Kids Included Together; Marilyn Boesky, who as chair dedicated the 2003 RITZ gala to the memory of her good friend, Ken Allen, the orangutan.

Debbie Thomas Fishburn, past Jewel Ball chair, was chosen, as were Joy Frye, who, while on the committee for the first UCSD Cancer Benefit, cooked dinner for Julia Child; Betty Mohlenbrock, who started the Family Literacy Foundation; Lyn Tisdale Krant, who frequently opens her La Jolla home to local fund-raisers; Brenda Moore, volunteer for Starlight Musical Theatre, Globe Guilders and Meals on Wheels; Elaine Galinson, supporter of Planned Parenthood, the United Jewish Federation, the Museum of Photographic Arts and other institutions; Joy Glenner, the force behind four George G. Glenner Alzheimer’s Family Centers; Maureen King, on the boards of Mercy Hospital Foundation, Mingei International, the San Diego Organizing Project and more; and 92-year-old Orbee Mihalek, the first female mayor of Vista. She couldn’t make it, but husband George represented her.

Brittany Spiegel, Susan and Hali Lapidus
Brittany Spiegel, Susan and Hali Lapidus
HEARTS AND MAGIC: “Heart and Soul, a Celebration of Family” was the theme for Jewish Family Service’s annual spring gala at the Torrey Pines Hilton. Felicia Mandelbaum and Andrea and Larry Oster were the chairing troika, with a committee that included Maggie Meyer, Mary Ann Scher, Linda Platt, Jerri-Ann Jacobs, Karen Kessler, Gloria Stone and Rachel Brau.
Koji and Minako Kimura
Koji and Minako Kimura
“The Magic of Life,” the 14th annual Spinoff Auction for the Scripps Stevens Cancer Center, brought its own magic to the evening at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla. Susan Kazmarek-Biddick chaired the evening, with a committee that included Jan Fitzpatrick, Patti Young, Julie Hill, Chuck Dreyer, Laura Robbins, Bibi Kasrai, Sue Fleming, Jayne Chaffin, Julie Hill and Molly Reid.
Melvin Lumagui, Lailani Fredricks HITHER AND YON: Mingei International Museum celebrated its 27th anniversary with “A Jubilant Evening.” Darlene Davies and committee— Jeanne Jones, Maureen King and Winifred Cox—oversaw the eve at the Balboa Park institution. Audrey Geisel was honorary chair. The Marine Band San Diego Brass Quintet entertained . . . San Diego Museum of Art and sponsor Ford Motor Company Fund opened “Retratos: 2,000 Years of Latin American Portraits” with suitable festivities at SDMA . . . Neighborhood House Association’s Gala 2005 hit a lofty note with “Living the Legend—a Return to Camelot,” at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla. (No connection to “Spamalot.” Really.) Buz Schott was the chair, with a dinner committee including Vicki Rogers, Whitney Black, Grace Madamba, Lorraine Hobbs, Shawn Argent, Jenny Benitez, Janet Bongiorno, Franca DeTomasso, Roxanne Gutierrez, Liz Mantone, Carmalina Johnson, Matthew Shillingburg and Catherine Tilley.

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