|Martin Benson, Caroline LePlastrier and Norman A. Baker|
|End-of Season Auction|
In 1974, fourteen of these enthusiasts banded together under the name Friends of SCR Guilds, working as volunteers and sponsoring fund-raising events. By the end of the decade, membership was 180-strong with representatives from five local communities: Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Irvine, Inland Orange County and Huntington Valley.
And the End-of-Season Auction was in full swing.
|Maureen DiDomenico, Catherine Thyen and Ann Mound.|
|Tana Sherwood, David Emmes and Rosemary Sieve|
|Daphne Walker and Doris Pascale|
In 1980, that annual event—a variety show with silent and live auctions—raised $40,000. “At first, we were the only game in town so everyone who was anyone attended the SCR auction,” said another early chair, Catherine Thyen. “The event just kept on going—well into the ’80s.”
In fact, by 1985, under the leadership of Caroline LePlastier, the Guilds—which had grown to 265 members and added South County and Metro communities—threw a party to end all parties. Titled “Calypso,” the End-of-Season Auction, featuring a steel band and limbo dancers, helped wrap up the Annual Fund Campaign with a record-breaking gift of over $110,000.
Through the years, volunteerism remained a strong arm of the Guilds. In 1987 “Stagehand Docents” conducted tours for more than 1,800 people, Office Rescue volunteers provided over 750 hours of assistance to the SCR staff and hospitality committees hosted receptions for opening nights and seminars.
And the theatre-related parties continued—tennis tournaments and fashion shows co-sponsored with stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue; seasonal assemblies; an improv fund-raiser called “Theatre Tomorrow…Comedy Tonight,” chaired by Vickie de Reynal—events that added annually to SCR’s coffers.
During their more than 20-year span, the Guilds made a significant donation to SCR’s Annual Fund, but beyond that, Guild members added a heap of fun to everything they touched. Who will ever forget that dynamic duo of twins, Daphne Walker and Doris Pascale, who were happy to kick up their heels onstage, singing and dancing at fund-raisers!
Some, like Doris and Daphne, are no longer with us; others have dispersed, joining donor groups like the Friends of SCR, Silver, Golden and Platinum Circles, the Gala Committee and the Board of Trustees. Their enthusiasm still rings throughout the theatre, where they played such a big support role through its formative years and beyond. SCR will be forever grateful.