Photographs by Alex J. Berliner/ABImages
Nobody can take over the Bev Wil’s gilded ballroom like the original ladies who lunch—The Colleagues. Founded in 1950, the group of ladies (whose members include Nancy Reagan and Betsy Bloomingdale) raise money for Children’s Institute. Oscar de la Renta (unfortunately, unable to attend) set up a runway that practically filled the entire space and colorful evening gowns and cocktail dresses made their way toward perspective buyers. The applause-o-meter was on determining the success of each item making its way down the catwalk.
This year’s honoree was Wallis Annenberg who got up to the podium to accept her “Champion of Children Award” then immediately donated half a mil to the cause. “I’ve spend a great deal of my life as a philanthropist,” she said. “My approach is to look for the innovators, the gamechangers.” KTLA reporter/co-anchor Wendy Burch emceed getting the gals to pony up with auction items. Alas, no Nancy Reagan, but there were quite a few ringers. The ladies lunched for hours, I’m a lightweight and had to throw in my napkin shortly after dessert hit the table.