There were so many reporters, photographers and TV cameras at the news conference yesterday that one would have thought a candidate was announcing for president or bailing out of the race. All the attention, however, was for superstar Paul Newman, who has given to charity all the millions of dollars in profits from his salad dressing, popcorn and other food products. This time, Newman and his favorite charity were on the receiving end as he, his wife Joanne Woodward and their daughter Nell appeared at the Madison Hotel to pick up a check for the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a special place for children who are battling leukemia and other forms of cancer.

The check was for a tidy $5 million, presented by Saudi Arabian Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan on behalf of Saudi Arabia's King Fahd. Prince Bandar said the gift is to be used so that seriously ill children can experience some of the "joys of childhood ... to live just as healthy children do ... to allow them to be children." The camp will accommodate 360 children between the ages of 7 and 17 each summer. Newman was visibly moved by the gift and spoke with some difficulty in thanking the Saudi Arabian government for its generosity. Nearby, Woodward smiled broadly, her ever-present knitting needles clicking away. Out and About Rep. Patricia Schroeder has caught considerable flak for the "cutesy" way she has of signing her letters with a friendly little smiley face. But she's not the only one to use the beaming little face, or even the only politician. Sen. Rudy Boschwitz has been sending out fund-raising letters on Republican Party stationery signed "Rudy" and adorned with the cute little smiley face. Strange, no one has criticized him ...

Sheldon Tromberg, a man for all seasons who has been a drama and movie critic at Channel 7, a talk show host at radio stations WWRC and WOL, a movie producer and a script writer, has now become an actor. The broad-mustachioed, unfailingly dramatic Tromberg was in Durham, N.C., last week for an appearance in "The White Girl," the first feature film produced by Tony Brown, whose television show "Tony Brown's Journal" is said to be the country's longest-running black-affairs television series ...

Hospital Report: Former president Jimmy Carter picked up his brother Billy at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta over the weekend to take him to the family home in Plains, Ga. But the 50-year-old Billy became nauseated from the treatment he has been undergoing for inoperable pancreatic cancer and had to be taken to another hospital in nearby Americus ... Alf Landon, the grand old man of the GOP, was not released from the hospital yesterday as had been expected. The 100-year-old former Kansas governor, who ran for president in 1936, is still recovering from bronchitis and will be hospitalized a few days longer. His condition is listed as satisfactory ...