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DIAMOND BALL HAS SAFARI THEME

The Western New York and Finger Lakes Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has planned a "Safari Soiree" for its ninth annual Diamond Ball Saturday in the Statler Golden Ballroom.

A society spokesman said Friday the party is going to take place at the Statler as scheduled despite the lease dispute between Samuel's Grande Manor and the Statler Towers ownership.

Cocktails and a silent auction at 6 p.m. will precede the dinner at 7:30, and Joy Ryde will play for dancing. Shelley C. Drake, an administrative vice president of M&T Bank, is chairwoman.

Beef tenderloin, chicken Oscar and baked Alaska flambe will be among the dinner specialties.

Each woman attending will receive the traditional velvet pouch containing a gemstone, with one containing a one-carat diamond ring.

Kimberly Thach of Orlando, Fla., 13-year-old singer, leukemia survivor and the society's first official youth ambassador, will be a special guest.

Jacquie Walker of WIVB-TV will be program master of ceremonies. The chapter's Service to Mankind award will be presented to Richard J. Ryan, chief financial officer of International Motion Control.

Auction items will include bank accounts of $1,000 each from NYCE and five local banks, two round-trip airline tickets, a fur, jewelry, health club memberships, restaurant certificates, theater and weekend packages, furniture and home decor and sports and celebrity memorabilia.

Funds raised by the ball and other activities throughout the year are distributed within the chapter's area to find cures for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's Disease and myeloma and to improve quality of life for patients and their families.

Proceeds benefit the Trish Greene Back to School Program, a school re-entry program for chronically ill children after treatment named for the late chapter staff member; support of three researchers and patient aid to help defray treatment and transportation costs.

Also, First Connection, patient and family counseling; Project Share Life, marrow donor registration within minority communities in conjunction with the National Marrow Donor Program; advocacy, information and referral and patient education.

Hope Diamond sponsors are at the $8,000 level. Other sponsors are premier level at $6,000, marquis level at $3,500, brilliant level at $2,500 and radiant level at $2,000. Individual tickets are $175. For information, call 635-9111, ext. 16.

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