Around Town

Around Town 37

The 130-room Lido House, the much-anticipated boutique hotel situated on the former Newport Beach City Hall, has broken ground! The hotel’s owner and developer is Newport Beach-based R.D. Olson Development. The hotel plans include meeting and retail spaces, a spa, a three-meal restaurant, a Kean Coffee, and a pool and recreation area. Equipped with shovels and hard hats, Bob Olson, president/CEO of R.D. Olson Development, joined with Newport Beach Mayor Diane Dixon for the ceremonial groundbreaking. Olson said the hotel’s design will feature a crisp Newport Beach nautical flair that merges with classic Cape Cod-style architecture.

JDRF’s Platinum Dream Gala

JDRF's Platinum Dream Gala 5

JDRF Orange County Chapter’s 20th anniversary Dream Gala drew 500 guests to The Ritz-Carlton to raise more than 
$1.1 million for type 1 diabetes research. Besides a sumptuous repast, the evening highlighted some showstopping live auction items, including tickets to the Ralph Lauren Spring 2017 Runway Show.

Loving the Arts!

I have loved the arts my entire life. I must admit it has mainly been the performing arts, since I began singing solos for audiences when I was in sixth grade and all through high school and college, when I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Illinois Wesleyan University. Then, it was on to teaching vocal music in Angola, Indiana, before my husband and I moved to Orange County, and I taught vocal music (K-8) in Fountain Valley for six years. If it weren’t for a superintendent who didn’t like music, I would have continued teaching into retirement. It didn’t stop me from singing, however. I sang with the William Hall Master Chorale (formerly the Master Chorale of Orange County) for 25 years and continue to sing with the 120-member chancel choir at Trinity United Presbyterian Church in Santa Ana.

Women in Business Shine!

Women in Business Shine! 5

Orange County’s Business Journal’s 22nd Annual Women in Business Awards Luncheon drew 900 guests to Hotel Irvine to see five accomplished ladies honored: Nella Webster-O’Grady, Kimberly Sentovich, Robin Follman-Otta, Lisa Wolter and Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks. Lisa Vogel, former WIB honoree and co-president of RAJ Swim and SwimSpot, delivered the keynote address.

CHOC Follies’ “Carly and the CHOCO Factory”

CHOC Follies' "Carly and the CHOCO Factory" 5

The 19th Annual CHOC Follies drew more than 2,400 people to four performances at the Robert B. Moore Theatre in Costa Mesa for a magical “Carly and the CHOCO Factory” original performance featuring nearly 100 volunteer singers, dancers and thespians. The effort supported CHOC’s musical therapy program. Photography Johnny Buzzerio

‘An Evening of Gratitude’

'An Evening of Gratitude' 5

Saddleback Memorial Foundation’s spring black-tie gala, “An Evening of Gratitude,” drew 450 physicians, donors and guests to St. Regis Monarch Beach, where the benefit kicked off I’Magine, a three-year space redesign project for Saddleback Memorial Medical Center, netting more than $250,000 for the cause.

Visual Arts in Los Angeles

Visual Arts in Los Angeles 8

I’m ensconced in a small dark room, balancing on a narrow platform over a shallow pool of water when the door is shut behind me. Suddenly, I’m thrust into the world of light and mirrors, where I’m reflected within the Infinity Mirrored Room, created by Yayoi Kusama, at The Broad, Los Angeles’ newest art museum.

Laguna Dance Festival’s September Season

Laguna Dance Festival's September Season 3

Mark your dance calendar for September 21–25 for the award-winning Laguna Dance Festival’s 12th year, which will bring three renowned dance companies to Laguna Beach in its quest to showcase new and established dance companies and artists, increase public appreciation and provide quality dance education.

All in the Family

All in the Family 1

This year marks a notable time for a local Corona del Mar family. The Avilas and their El Ranchito restaurants celebrate their 50th anniversary. In 1966, when the first eatery opened its doors in Huntington Park, owners Salvador and Margarita Avila had no idea that a $2,000 investment would eventually lead to such a successful and sprawling family empire.

Elevate Your Tailgate Cocktails

Elevate Your Tailgate Cocktails 1

With football season in full swing, throwing a winning tailgating party is a must. Fire up the grill and mix up some great cocktails to keep your party going strong from kickoff to the final horn.
This year, take your game to new heights by putting an unexpected twist on traditional tailgate eats and drinks. Ditch the wilted stalk of celery and soggy slice of bacon and bolster your Bloody Mary with any variety of sausage–a game-changing play sure to turn heads, experiment with different flavors in your garnish and earn the respect of your comrades.

Olive Crest’s Jimmy Wayne Concert

Olive Crest's Jimmy Wayne Concert 5

Award-winning country singer/songwriter Jimmy Wayne entertained 320 guests at the House of Blues, telling his homeless/foster care story to raise awareness for the need to help youth in crisis. He also signed copies of his new book, Walk to Beautiful. Funds raised benefited Olive Crest’s Project Independence. Photography Tony Lattimore

Women in Focus’ 17th Annual Conference

Women in Focus' 17th Annual Conference 5

Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts welcomed a crowd of 400 to its Women in Focus conference in Folino Theater, where students, alumni and supporters gathered to hear a spirited discussion by a panel of award-winning women producers and directors, moderated by producing veteran Denise Di Novi.

ROC: Real Office Centers

ROC: Real Office Centers 4

ROC (Real Office Centers) is a Newport Beach-founded-and-based office space company designed to cater to Newport’s thriving innovative community of entrepreneurs, small businesses and companies that want to work in an inspiring and collaborative workspace.

New Kid on the Block

New Kid on the Block 11

“I’m resuming my love affair with Orange County,” says a smiling Richard Bryant, executive director of the Marybelle and Sebastian P. Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University. “I’ve lived all over the country, and I feel like I’ve come home.”

An Icon Moves On

An Icon Moves On 11

To say he is a force of nature is certainly apt. For anyone who knows Jim Doti, the description “Pied Piper” comes to mind. If you met Doti during his 25-year tenure as Chapman University’s president, you easily found yourself following his lead. Not only has he put the 8,000-student university on the map, he has brought supporters far and wide to its banner.

Back to School: The Journey

Back to School: The Journey

Let’s face it. Going back to school is a dream for kids. They get to see their friends, eat cafeteria food, get shiny new backpacks and even wear new clothes.
But, it’s work for Moms. I was thinking about what got me through it. What were my “keys to success” for the various stages in this endearing process?

A Community Celebrates

A Community Celebrates 14

September 29, 1986 is the date that changed everything for the performing arts in Orange County. The county officially celebrated the opening of its own performing arts center. 
Originally called the Orange County Performing Arts Center, the new Center’s 3,000-seat Segerstrom Hall was packed on opening night to hear Zubin Mehta and the Los Angeles Philharmonic perform, along with the county’s two master chorales–Master Chorale of Orange County and Pacific Chorale–as well as acclaimed soprano Leontyne Price and actor James Whitmore’s narrated performance of Aaron Copland’s A Lincoln Portrait.