Wood Craft
Ben Wood

Starlight Ball raises
$20,000 for Academy
of Arts programs

The younger set at the Academy of Arts, led by staffers Waialea Roster and Lori Admiral and volunteers Robert Lee, Jennifer Cleave Soot, Trisha Lee Tolentino, Natalie Aczon, Jenny Engle and Tiffany Tether, put together another successful Starlight Ball Saturday, raising $20,000 for youth programs. A Venetian masquerade ball was the theme and many of the 350 guests wore colorful costumes and imaginative masks. Artist Ricki Cassidy's mask, a sparkling palette over one eye complete with paintbrush, was a prize winner. Three men wore identical masks that covered part of their head with blond "hair." They said they were portraying perverts. I didn't ask more. The band Hard 2 Oppose had the dance floor jammed, playing rock and up-tempo oldies. The dancing queens were Arlette Meader in a gorgeous pale green backless gown with a skirt slit high and Tracy Wright-Corvo ...

Nora, Candes miss tsunami by two days

Athletic Candes Gentry, an Ironman competitor, and her mom, Nora Meijide-Gentry, also tore up the dance floor. Nora wore a high Thai headdress and what she calls an "Asian Princess" gown. It was low-cut. Candes was in a gown Nora made for her, showing plenty of leg, that the former Miss Hawaii wore on the Miss America runway. The women recently returned from Thailand. They left Phuket for Bangkok two days before the disastrous tsunami hit the resort city and swamped the lower floor of their hotel. They felt the earthquake in Bangkok ...

The Aloha Tower benefit Monday for tsunami victims raised more than $120,000, primary organizer Chai Chaowasaree said. Great job by all! ... Congratulations to the Halekulani's La Mer and Chef Yves Garnier and his staff for winning the AAA Five Diamond dining award for the 15th straight year. La Mer is the only Five Diamond restaurant in Hawaii and is one of only 57 in North America and the Caribbean ...

Former Punahou standout athlete, coach and teacher Dave "Mr. Punahou" Eldredge suffered a brain hemorrhage on a visit to Las Vegas and is hospitalized there at Sunrise Hospital following nine hours of surgery. Wife Jean is with him. Cards can be sent to her at 316 Dazzling Terrace, Henderson, NV 89012 ...

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Ben Wood, who sold the Star-Bulletin in the streets of downtown Honolulu during World War II, writes of people, places and things every Wednesday and Saturday. E-mail him at bwood@starbulletin.com

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