Natinal Public Radio held its first nationally coordinated fund-raising campaign last week, April 22 through 27, and as of yesterday afternoon had brought in $5,623,000 and was expecting the final figure to reach $6 million. Among the 120 celebrities who spoke over the 210 cooperating stations were actor Matthew Broderick, playwright Arthur Miller, ABC News anchor Peter Jennings and former president Jerry Ford . . .
The news media will take their turn tomorrow testifying before the second hearing of the Commission on National Elections set up by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Recommendations from the hearings, the first of which was held in March, are expected to bring about needed changes in the political process. Reporters scheduled to appear to discuss their experiences and problems at the meeting in the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel are Howell Raines, The New York Times; syndicated columnist Jules Witcover; David Broder, The Washington Post; ABC's Hal Bruno; and Judy Woodruff of PBS . . .
The Beach Boys are in town again. They're staying at the J.W. Marriott Hotel, where they will perform at the Second Genesis Foundation dinner tonight. Yesterday Brian Wilson, Mike Love and Bruce Johnston visited the drug rehabilitation program's treatment center in Upper Marlboro, where they sang two of their most memorable hits, "California Girls" and "Barbara Ann," and had some 150 youths joining in a sing-along. Last night, Madison Hotel owner Marshall Coyne hosted a private reception for the group at his hotel . . .
There's a buyer for almost anything. A van used by kidnaped heiress Patricia Hearst and the Symbionese Liberation Army in a violent getaway 11 years ago was auctioned for $1,200 to Renee Prahl of Inglewood, Calif., once wrongly accused of being an SLA member . . .