Wild on–a good cause


    Point Dume took on the flavor of Africa as locals got together for a safari soire to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Malibu on Saturday.

    The organization’s annual Dolphin Ball took place at the home of Barry and Vicki Helman, which was transformed into an exotic outdoor game park.

    Guests were welcomed by traditional African dancers and came decked out in everything from safari suits to faux leopard coats, zebra print sarongs and pink python pantsuits.

    “It’s jungle chic,” laughed Dolphin Ball honorary chairman Linda Hamilton. “I guess that means I didn’t have to shave my legs.”

    The “Terminator II” star and Malibu mom got involved several years ago to help little Kayleigh MacGregor who had been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, and the Dolphin Ball was born. “It’s grown phenomenally,” she told The Malibu Times. “It just gets better every year.”

    Since 1997, the organization has raised thousands of dollars for CF–dollars that directly benefit children like Kayleigh. Instead of just treating the symptoms of CF, doctors are now able to focus on treating the root cause of the disease. CF Executive Director Gary Green says the outlook is encouraging. “We’re focusing more and more on drug therapy and it’s paying off,” he explains. “There are 20 new medications in the pipeline, extending the length and quality of life for people with CF.” Clearly, progress has been made. Today the average age for CF patients has been increased to 32. Only a few years ago, youngsters like Kayleigh were not likely to reach the first grade.

    As an African band played on, guests settled into a glittering outdoor dining room decorated with thatch, twinkling starlights and primitive masks. The cuisine also had an African theme. The feast featured a first course of Supu ya Maharage da Nazi (coconut bean soup), Ku Ku Paka (coconut chicken flavored with ginger, curry powder, garlic and cloves), M’Chicha (artichoke and mushroom couscous) and a killer banana cake with warm caramel sauce.

    The drinks were equally exotic. The favorite was called a Lightening Rod–an apple martini made with Rodnick Vodka. The luscious libation contained an eye-catching electric ice cube, which gave the beverage an eerie radioactive-like glow. “First you freeze them,” said Silver Comet CEO John Robert Sutton of the evening’s big novelty item. “There’s a gel in there that freezes into an ice cube, but there’s also a small battery with a light that lasts 14 hours. They’re really fun and people have just been going crazy over them.”

    Live auction items included a ride-along in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department helicopter and VIP tickets to the Billboard music awards.

    The fun-filled evening helped raise thousands of dollars for CF with everyone hoping that it won’t be long before they’re here again going wild for another reason– this time celebrating a cure.