Wood Craft

By Ben Wood

Saturday, February 20, 1999

Korbel pops
early for Y2K

Mug shot THE Korbel champagne people didn't wait for the eve of 2000, they got a jump on Y2K by tossing a New Year's bash Wednesday night at the Royal Hawaiian's Monarch Room. Korbel Chairman Gary Heck came from California for the affair, which included a video of historic events compiled by his son, Aaron. Kimo Kahoano emceed and Abe Weinstein led a band of jazzy musicians. The Royal's food was excellent and the bubbly flowed -- Korbel of course ...

Heart Ball nets 500 grand

THE Heart Ball at the Sheraton last weekend netted more than $500,000 for the Heart Association. Chairwoman Cathy Foy-Mahi and co-chairwoman Cathy Lee deserve pats on the back. They strived to create a party atmosphere and they succeeded, with help from 96 committee members. The ball was themed "Dance With Me" and many of the 1,100 guests danced to the hot sounds of Nueva Vida Big Thang past midnight. Rit Pierce and his Liberty House crew deserve accolades for the decor ...

MELVEEN LEED displayed a singing style similar to Genoa Keawe's at the Princess Kaiulani's Aloha Friday luncheon last week. It worked. A duet with co-host Brickwood Galuteria of KINE Radio was a high point. Another gem was O'Brien Eselu singing "Pua Ahihi" as Brickwood's wife, Lehua, and "Tootsie" Cazimero danced. O'Brien's vocal of "You Are So Beautiful" was beautiful. The Society of Seven wowed the crowd with harmony, versatility and showmanship. Those guys are tops. Cathy Foy-Mahi and Randy Hongo kicked things off with a couple of numbers...

ACTOR Paul Newman is fab in "Message in a Bottle," a tear-jerker starring Kevin Costner and Robin Wright Penn. The picture should have ended 15 minutes before it did. The photography is beautiful and so is Penn, who shines. Costner, as a widower who finds romance again, does well in a slow-moving way ... The hits just kept coming at Celine Dion's great show at the stadium last weekend. Celine went all out for the huge crowd, singing and dancing across the stage in a sexy jumpsuit most of the time. She's a powerhouse -- and a golfer, too ...

CHEF Doug Lum of Neiman's Mariposa took wife, Kelli, and kids, Sean, 7, and Taylor, 6, to the "World's Largest Maze" at Dole Plantation where Howie Mandel was filming. Sean helped Howie escape from the maze. KHNL airs the Hawaii segs Monday through Friday at 3 p.m. The Maze episode runs Tuesday ... UH football coach June Jones and Artie Wilson emcee Holy Nativity School's Pa'ina, a fund-raising dinner-auction, March 6. Luis Camacho is coordinator. Food and beverages are by Kahala Caterers. Call Lisa Ouchi-Yamamoto or Lissa Wilson at 373-3232 for tickets, $45 ...

GAL pals of Lynda Yonamine took her to Mari Frey's fashion show at the Mandarin's Plumeria last week to say aloha. Lynda's husband, Paul, is being transferred to Tokyo, where he will be president of KPMG Consulting for 30 months. Paul is the son of Wally and Jane Yonamine. Wally is one of Hawaii's famed athletes ...

Jimmy and Eileen celebrate

JIMMY and Eileen Lota marked their 50th wedding anniversary and Eileen's 70th birthday Friday at Sea Fortune restaurant. Nina Kealiiwahamana sang as the Lotas' daughter, Pat Duncan, and granddaughter, Keana Duncan, danced hula. The Lotas' son, Jimmy, emceed ... Blond Judy Jensen celebrates a birthday today at Don Ho's Island Grill and asked friends to come as blonds. Ho ho ho ... The Brothers Cazimero are at Ho's grill tonight ...

Ben Wood, who sold the Star-Bulletin in the streets
of downtown Honolulu during World War II, writes of
people, places and things every Saturday.
His columns appear online every Monday.

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