Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2002 | 8:25 a.m.
Helping launch Gustav Mauler's new winemaker dinner series at Sazio were a cadre of happy diners. Guests, both new to the restaurant as well as loyal patrons, responded handsomely to the October dinner featuring Mezzo wines.
Greeting his guests personally, Mauler was assisted by wife Denise and Sazio General Manager Ralph Navarino. Preparing the four-course meal were Chefs Emilo LaScala (of Spiedini) and Aaron Raeder (of Sazio).
Participating wine lovers filled the restaurant at The Orleans, among them Lou and Linda Silvestri with Dr. Neil Carmena and his daughter Janie Carmena Dilena, who was in town from the Bay Area to enjoy her 20th class reunion at Bishop Gorman High School.
Others glimpsed at the dinner were Gary Wallace with Richard Skinner, Robert and Rhonda Kotf, Dale and Lori Davidson and Chuck Widden.
Sip 'N' Shop, a delectable blend of afternoon tea and a charitable auction, was held at the Spanish Trail estate of Hope and Joe Anstett.
Presented by the Desert Sage Auxiliary of Assistance League of Las Vegas, the gracious affair was chaired by Nancy Gasho with co-chairwoman Emily Aguero, both assisted by committee members Mary Jane Wirges, Jane Fielden, Nancy Platt, Mimi Ferich, Melody Lind, Dana Park, Barbara Robertson, Erika Konopka, Linda Curler and Lana Talamas, Marty Holmes, Susan Johnson and Kim Perron.
Funds raised from the sale of 100-plus treasures will support the auxiliary's projects, including school kits to supplement the Operation School Bell program that clothes needy school-age children, and provides layettes for premature babies and books for early readers.
Presiding over the tea table at the Anstetts' home were past Assistance League presidents Linda Vause, Mary Laub, Jeanette Davis, Naomi Papworth, Cathy Askew, Patti Miller and Marla Quercia.
Enjoying the congenial afternoon were Wende Bell, April Anstett, Midge Rubinson, Kira Wirges, Chris Smiley, Sandi Tiberti, Victoria Fertitta, Rose Antonello, Maribeth Hylander, Lisa Blasco, Stephanie Finkelstein and Alice Kaufman.
Suzy Nagle, director of Tiffany & Co. at Bellagio, once again opened her splendid store to assist the Las Vegas Springs Preserve.
Hosts for the evening were Phil and Maureen Peckman, joined by Francis Beland, newly appointed director of the Preserve. Each explained that the Las Vegas Springs is the heart of earliest civilization in our valley, and the focus of a great preservation effort.
A planned project near Meadows mall, east of Valley View, includes an educational center, expanded botanical gardens, walking paths and several buildings. Plant and animal life will be highlighted, along with the rich heritage of those who have occupied our valley through the centuries.
During the evening Phil Peckman was presented with a Tiffany Mark for his efforts and commitment on behalf of the Las Vegas Springs Preserve, which he then auctioned with all proceeds going directly to this worthy cause.
Bill Snyder of Tate & Snyder Associates generously emerged as top bidder. Present for the lively program as well as a bit of pre-holiday shopping in the luxurious store were supporters Alan Feldman and Tina Roth, Sidra Kain, Stephanie Youngblood, Mark Fiero, Jeff and Janie Gale, Frank Schreck, Roger and Lynn Saunders and Judy Robinson.
Arriving in the weekend mail was the Christmas Box Festival invitation, a festive evening slated for Nov. 23 at MGM Grand Conference Center.
An annual benefit to support the community programs operated by the Sunrise Children's Foundation, this black-tie gala is a holiday favorite for many.
Opening with holiday shopping and a most congenial social hour, the dinner includes a merry round of surprises and an opulent Christmas Box auction.
Ron and Suzie Cameron, Jacques and Barbara Desrochers, Richard and Betty Hanseen, Ken Ladd, Michael and Theresa Minden, Vic and Terina Salerno and Allan and Carol Stipe are the merry elves presently at work creating this magical evening.
For details and reservations, call the foundation at 731-8373.
Having a ball
The Orleans was rocking last week as the Nevada Hospitality Foundation hosted Jazzed on Education, its fifth and largest-ever Nevada Hospitality Scholarship Ball.
A most worthy event, this gathering draws together many enterprises, among them transportation, dining, hotels, food distributors and other necessary service companies.
Its central purpose is to assist hospitality students at college, vocational training centers and, most recently, the school-to-work programs at the high school level. This year's ball celebrated scholarships for 30 students.
Festivities began as pretty girls presented arrivals with Mardi Gras beads, followed by beckoning mummers and costumed jugglers who invited all to partake of the hearty pre-dinner reception and dance music by the David Van Such Jazz Band.
Gathering early with friends were Dave Coon, Ken Anderson, George Markantonis, Greg and Lisa Carano and Michael Gaughan Jr., general manager of Barbary Coast.
Honored as 2002 Educator of the Year was longtime supporter Claudine Williams, chairman of the board of Harrah's Las Vegas, who attended with friends including Avis Jansen, Kitty Rodman and Amy Ayoub.
Well-wishers greeting Williams included Bruce Bommarito, executive director of the Nevada Commission on Tourism, Erika Brandvik of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and Karen Dorsey, president of Ellis Island and the Village Pubs.
Enjoying the scholarship awards and sparkling entertainment by Darren Romeo and Clint Holmes were Edward and Eleanore Doumani, Irwin Kishner, University Regents Thalia Dondero and Mark Alden, as well as school district leaders in vocational education Kathleen Frosini and Vicki Herman, joined by state school Superintendent Jack McLaughlin.
Seen at the benefit were Michael and Carol Harter, Jeannie Brei and Dan Langford of Pacific Color Press, who created the imaginative CD program for each guest, as well as Joan and Van Heffner, George Balaban, Bob and Nin Ansara and Mark and Chelly DiMartino.