Stars Sprinkle the Slopes as the Osmonds Raise Cash for the U.S. Ski Team

updated 03/15/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/15/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

If Dick Van Patten had had his druthers, he might druther have gone Hawaiian, as Donny and Marie Osmond are wont to suggest. Instead, there he was in Park City, Utah, staring up at the Claimjumper ski run with the look that lambs reserve for the slaughterhouse. Along with nearly three dozen other entertainers, the star of Eight Is Enough had come at the Osmonds' invitation to ski in a benefit for the U.S. ski team. Only problem is, Van Patten can't ski. "Should I tell them?" the nervous novice asked a friend. "Tell your team captain," the friend suggested. "I am the team captain," Van Patten moaned.

In his misery, Van Patten had plenty of company. Comedienne Ruth Buzzi said the last time she had skied was with Lucille Ball 10 years ago—"the year Lucy broke her leg." Ruth raced anyway, as did Connie Stevens, who recalled: "I took some skiing lessons 12 years ago. Then I crashed into a building." But magician David Copperfield limited his competition to hot chocolate-drinking.

Still, there were enough slaloming celebs to satisfy the 3,000 onlookers daily and help to make the seventh annual benefit a $140,000 success. Among the hot dogs were CHiPs' Randi Oakes, singer Billy Davis Jr., Hal (Barney Miller) Linden, songwriter Paul Williams and Real People's Sarah Purcell. They were all paired with ski team champs, including World Championship gold medalist Steve Mahre. Conspicuous by his absence was Donny Osmond, who was in New York about to open in the Broadway musical Little Johnny Jones. But Marie and brothers Alan, Wayne, Merrill, Jay and Jimmy kept up the family name—on the slopes, in a parade and throughout a weekend of parties. Everything went as smoothly as a waxed ski on powder—except when a party organizer's walkie-talkie crackled with this desperate and pathetic transmission: "Marie wants some Hawaiian Punch!"

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