|The Little Jim Club Crowns New Queen|
|March 26, 2003|
|By: Carla Zuber|
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|"Escape to Paradise" was the theme of the 51st annual Mardi Gras Ball sponsored by the Little Jim Club, but paradise was moved to a new location five days before the big event, which had party organizers scrambling to relocate the 200+ person ball (more on that later). |
Congratulations to Maria Hermanussen who was crowned Mardi Gras Queen for 2003 and took over from Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, the 2002 Mardi Gras Queen. Many of you contributed to Maria's campaign by attending the super
hot party "Babes in Toyland" last month. The crown wasn't the only sparkling bauble that Maria was proudly displaying - she also got engaged to Brian Marcus the week before the ball.
The other monarch candidates - Gwyneth J. Borden, Dr. Lisa Dana and Maria Quiros - were also commended for their outstanding fundraising efforts. These dynamos raised $130,000 for the Child Development Center at California
Pacific Medical Center.
So, back to the venue change. The ball was booked at the Ritz Carlton Hotel and just a few days prior to the event, the Ritz Carlton notified the Little Jim Club that they had double booked and there was no room at the inn. Kind
of a problem, wouldn't you say. A quick call was made to Marsha Munro Wright at the St. Francis Hotel who, along with James Healey, found space for the ball. Kudos and more kudos go the event co-chairs Kristi Hermanson
and Mary Kate Winters and their amazing committee who had to make a few hundred phone calls in the next 24 hours to relocate the party. Whew!
Guests enjoyed the tropical feeling of the evening and were entertained by a performance by the Manuia Polynesian Revue. And, what would a Mardi Gras be without Voodoo Spiced Rum Hurricanes that no doubt helped pack the dance
floor once The Fundamentals started to play.
Past Monarchs Robin Collins, Arnie Laub, Deborah Chan and Bruce Woodward were on hand to welcome another member to the Monarch's Club. Picking up a few silent auction items were Anne and Rob Hamblett. Ciro and Elisa Duarte
flew in the Florida for the annual fete. Provisional members Allison Buckley, Lisa Eichler and Jennifer Davis sold raffle tickets to the lucky attendees who won great prizes, including Dr. Scott Campbell. Mary Kate Fippinger, Barry Barsamian and Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom kept the dance floor busy. Others in attendance were Andrea Schnitzer Peinado, Tara Beering, Andree Baradat, Jenna Kerler, Julie Plunkett and Marsha Williams.