December 2015 Around Town 3

Capturing Life’s Moments

The revered Figge family, known for their iconic photography business in Newport Beach, celebrated their 70th anniversary with 200 of their loyal clients, closest friends and supportive family at the Port Theater in Corona del Mar. The event featured comfort food bites, including mini-sliders, signature martinis, the musical stylings of The Hi-Fi Honeydrops and, of course, a photo booth for guests to photograph themselves at the Mad Men-themed party. The evening celebrated Bill and Melba Figge, who started the business in 1945.

‘Art in the Park’ Shines

More than 1,100 visitors attended the 12th Annual “Art in the Park” at the Newport Beach Civic Center. Presented by the Newport Beach Arts Foundation, 107 artists and artisans sold original artwork and fine crafts, with some visitors creating their own art project with the Chuck Jones animation studio. Funds generated support free “Concerts on the Green,” Shakespeare in the Park” and docent-led tours of the sculpture park each Tuesday and Thursday at 10 a.m.

Fundraising Paid Off

UC Irvine announced it has reached its goal to raise $1 billion in private donations over a 10-year period. The Shaping of the Future campaign, led by fundraising guru Doug Freeman, attracted more than 113,000 donors and invested in energy and the environment, global leadership, health, learning and the mind and support of students. More than 500 scholarships and graduate fellowships were funded and 50 academic chairs endowed. Here! Here!

The Ritz is Back!

Saddened by the closing of one of our favorite Newport Beach icons, The Ritz Restaurant and Garden has risen from the ashes and reopened as The Ritz Prime Seafood in the old Chart House location on PCH in Newport Beach. Kudos to the team for creating an elegant contemporary setting with a jawdropping waterfront view. Chef Phil Kastel’s sumptuous menu is perfection. However, in a nod to the past, it was nice to see the caviar-topped Ritz Egg on the menu.

Let’s Hear it for 60 Years!

The Soroptimist International Newport Harbor Area Club celebrated its 60th anniversary at the home of President Dalia Lugo and husband Mike in Newport Beach. Its mission of inspiring, educating and empowering women and girls, both locally and globally, has inspired many community projects over the years–providing the original land for the Girls and Boys Club of Costa Mesa, now Girls Inc. being one. Attending were the Mosaic Teens, part of the club’s new “Dream It. Be It.” initiative for mentoring and educating young girls to be leaders.

Baking for Charity

Chris Trela, Newport Beach Independent editor and adjunct professor of PR at Chapman University, has another talent–he bakes cookies. His cookies have received ribbons at the OC Fair. They’re that good! He is launching Sweet Charity Cookies this month. Monthly, he will be offering half the net profits from all cookies sales to a different nonprofit. The business name is a takeoff on musicals, such as his “Phantom” Chocolate Chocolate Chip, “Damn Yankees” Peanut Butter and “Wicked” Dark Chocolate Butterscotch. Yum!