IT’S QUITE A SHINDIG. San Diego Magazine’s annual “50 People To Watch” party is a social event. Some 1,000 watchers and watchables landed at the Jimsair hangar party site near Lindbergh Field—one corporate jet was left inside for touring —and indulged in zen-tinis, provided by Level Vodka, while noshing on hors d’oeuvres from The Prado. The Asian theme was illustrated by Wright & Company, with chic furniture from Lounge 22 and Ethos Design. Jung Chinese Martial Arts & Culture capped the evening with a Crouching Tiger–type performance.
San Diego Magazine president Jim Fitzpatrick and editor-in-chief Tom Blair presided over the recognition ceremony. Mayor Dick Murphy and almost-mayor Donna Frye walked onstage hand-in-hand. Former Chargers quarterback and current University of San Diego football head coach Jim Harbaugh was among the thousand on hand.
So were KPBS’ Gloria Penner, KGTV anchor Bill Griffith, Prudential CEO Steve Games, rocking Reeve Oliver frontman Sean O’Donnell, thespian Seema Sueko and plenty of friends, relatives and—perhaps—future people to watch.
OH, AMADEUS! When young Wolfgang was visiting Versailles during the palmy days of Louis XV, the dining circumstances could not have been more luxe than the settings created for Mainly Mozart’s Amadeus 2005.
Every year, this black-tie benefit/birthday party at the U.S. Grant gets more elaborate. To start with the basics, designers are asked to create décor for a 72-inch-round table with place settings for 10. Incorporate references to the music of Mozart and classical music in general. No Day-Glo colors, no political statements, and please, nothing avant-garde. Sounds simple. But simplicity is sent packing, and the gilding of lilies is, literally, the operating principle. Think towering columns of lilies, live goldfish in vases, masses of roses, Mozart’s visage silkscreened on table linens.
How successful is this formula? It was sold out at 350 patrons, and some $125,000 went into Mainly Mozart’s coffers for its annual summer music festival, educational programs and concerts. Reinette Levine chaired, and Martha and George Gafford were honorary chairs. Also there to dine on filet mignon and pecan-crusted halibut were Barbara and Neil Kjos, Anne Taubman and David Boyle, Debbie and Dr. Mitch Friedlaender, Pat and Chris Weil, Ken Campos and Bill Bailey, Ed Hand and Stanley Harazim, Suzanne Koch and Erik Rusch, Audrey Geisel and Alex Butterfield, Gina Dronet, Dea and Osburne Hurston and Maurice Kawashima.
This was Mozart’s 249th birthday. Can’t wait to see what 250 looks like.
CHECK, PLEASE! After the glamour of—and granted, the grueling preparations for—the annual summertime ritual of the Jewel Ball, the ladies of Las Patronas get to enjoy one of the really rewarding parts of the process: handing out the funds raised.
“Rhapsody in White” was the theme of the 2004 gala at La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club. Chaired by Micki Olin, the event netted a tidy $806,115. And at the Beneficiary Luncheon at LJB & TC, checks went to seven local nonprofits: Alpha of San Diego, the Old Globe, San Diego Habitat for Humanity, San Diego Hospice & Palliative Care, Family Health Centers of San Diego, North County Serenity House and Senior Community Centers of San Diego.
Las Patronas president Teresa Hixson was there with husband, Harry, along with Kristi Pieper, Debby Fishburn, Jennifer Greenfield, Jane Sagerman, Cindy Salvato and “Rhapsody in White” cochair Wendy Segal.
Bill Kellogg, Beach Club president and the first recipient of Las Patronas’ Spirit of Giving award, was there, along with Sami Ladeki of Ladeki Restaurant Group, this year’s Spirit of Giving honoree. Typically modest, Ladeki praised the ladies not only for their good works “but for helping my restaurants!”
Just how far into giving is Ladeki? During the luncheon, it was announced the floral arrangements were available for $20 (a really savvy charity never misses a chance to gather a little something extra in the till). After the meal, it was discovered Sami had left $300 in his envelope.
LIVING A DREAM: The All People’s Breakfast was held “In the Spirit of Martin: The Living Legacy of Dr. King Jr.” This annual early-morning celebration of Martin Luther King’s birthday at Golden Hall downtown is always a big, happy party. The 17th annual event was sold out — 1,400 were seated — and more came to find available bleacher seats for the program.
Michael J. Perez chaired, with a committee that included Ashley Walker, executive director of the San Diego Human Relations Commission, Ray Uzeta, Shirley Weber, Toni Atkins, Jerry Butkiewicz, Yolanda Leyva, Sandee Peterson, Cheryl Alethia Phelps, Robert Villareal, Veronica Albano, Pedro Anaya, George Khoury, Miyo Reff, Dr. Abdussattar Shaikh and Zak Hassanein.
HITHER AND YON: It was “The Flight of the Fledermaus” as San Diego Opera opened the 2005 season with the fluffy fun of Die Fledermaus. Music and singing, plus a swanky tent outside the Civic Theatre for patrons, much champagne and the usual black-tie artitude . . . Project Concern International, rising to the challenge of tsunami relief, declared “We Help Southeast Asia!” The cocktail fund-raiser at the Gallery on 5th was cohosted by the San Diego County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, gallery owner Uri Chartarifsky, the Mexican Cultural Institute, the House of Mexico, the United Nations Association of San Diego and Border Angels . . . It was “For the Love of the Game” as the University of San Diego’s Diamond Booster Club held its third annual baseball-based fund-raiser at the Hahn Center on campus. Everybody met the players and heard their pitch . . . La Jolla's Athenaeum Music & Arts Library launched its juried artists' book exhibition with a cocktail reception for patrons, artists and members Carolee Campbell of Ninja Press juried the show . . . The Tri-City Hospital Foundation went zydeco for the fifth annual (deep breath) Mardi Gras Charity Ball & Pageant "Masquerade du Moulin Rouge (Where Cabaret Meets Mardi Gras)" at Mission San Luis Rey. Les bontemps rolled . . . Getting into the swing of the Buick Invitational, Symbolic Motors' Patrick Van Schoote and Marc Chase teamed up with TaylorMade to host a reception for PGA players and pals. However, pool, not golf, was the game that night.
E-mail party info to Julia Beeson