Hoag’s “Christmas Carol Ball,” started in 1966 as the “Voices of Christmas,” was held at Monarch Beach Resort, where 640 black-tie attired guests gathered to celebrate the golden anniversary. A lavish dinner, followed by a ”Dancing Through the Decades” show by the NRG Band, captured the celebratory moment.
It is hard for me to believe that South Coast Plaza is 50 years old. I remember my husband and I moving to Orange County in 1969, and the retail center was newly-opened–literally in the bean fields. There was a Sears and May Co. and a long string of stores between the two anchors. Plus, there were no high-rises in sight, only small strip malls filled with grocery stores, Thrifty Drugs, small eateries, a barber, cleaners, and gas stations on almost every corner. My, how the landscape has changed! Not only are there a multitude of high-rise buildings and a 31-year-old Segerstrom Center for the Arts and a 39-year-old South Coast Repertory, but South Coast Plaza has grown to include more than 250 stores and restaurants, with many more anchor stores, and an extension of the center across Bear Street connected by the Bridge of Gardens. South Coast Plaza, still privately owned by the Segerstrom family, is now known as the premier luxury shopping destination in the country, boasting annual sales approaching $2 billion. It is a remarkable story and one which I hope you enjoy reading in this issue.
Friends of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) hosted its annual holiday luncheon at Monarch Beach Resort for a sold crowd of 600, showcasing an engaging Ted Baker London runway fashion show, great auction items and a heartfelt CASA story by volunteer Rhonda Beylik. Photography Xuon Do/Happy Photos
Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ 43rd Annual Candlelight Concert drew accolades from its 460 guests for the onstage elegant all-white giant paper flower decor, sparkling chandeliers and stunning table design. Together with King’s performance and Lugano Diamonds’ strand of pearls, it was memorable! Photography Kimberly April, Joesan Diche, Doug Gifford
Women of Chapman’s nutcracker-themed 30th Annual “Christmas at The Ritz” holiday luncheonÂ drewÂ 375 guests to the Island Hotel for a festive celebration,Â netting more than $308,000 for Chapman University’s Dodge College, Musco Center and the Center for Science and Technology. Photography Tony Lattimore, Peggy O’Donnell
Hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, National Philanthropy Day Orange County’s 31st Annual National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon, held at the City National Grove of Anaheim, drew 800+ guests to honor nine individuals and businesses who represent the best in giving to others. Photography Tony Lattimore, Carla Rhea
The cast bronze trophy glows under the spotlight, the two grappling football players illuminated. Two men with undeniable talent and a love for the game. But, in taking a closer look, one is clearly set apart from the other. One is fearlessly dominating the other, the full force of his body explosively hitting his opponent. It is none other than Ronnie Lott.
I’ll admit, as I took a bite of one of Elyssa’s tootsie rolls, I braced myself for the tough texture and cheap-cocoa-powder taste of your standard tootsie roll candy. But, as I began to chew, the candy began to melt in my mouth. This was velvety caramel fudge, a blissful, luxurious confection. To say her “caramel mou” is far-removed from the customary tootsie roll would be a severe understatement.
Food gives booze a run for its money in the fun, fabled city of New Orleans. The trick isn’t in finding good food. It’s in seeking out excellent food in one-of-a-kind restaurants that truly reflect the city. Here are few of the best:
Galatoire’s. This gilded spot’s old world glamour is a welcome antidote to the 24/7 party raging outside on Bourbon Street. White tablecloths, quiet conversation, and impeccable European-style service. The kitchen here knows how to get out of the way and let ingredients like black drum plucked from the Gulf stand out. A worthy exception is the restaurant’s unique oysters Rockefeller, which is topped with a whipped spinach concoction dreamy enough to (almost) make you forget about the plump oysters beneath.
Segerstrom Center for the Arts has begun construction on its new Julianne and George Argyros Plaza and the Center for Dance and Innovation to be housed in the Judy Morr Theater, thanks to The Next Act campaign. The Argyroses gave a generous $13.5 million towards the project. Look for an array of free events, a café and outdoor seating on the plaza, much like a town square. A third part of the plan is the Center Without Boundaries, an effort to expand community outreach to non-cultural organizations. SCFTA.org
Werner Escher, Executive Director of Domestic and International Markets, passed away in January, 2017. He will long be remembered for his effervescent smile and his nearly 50 years of loyalty and dedication to the Segerstrom family and South Coast Plaza.
Chef Andy Ardnt began overseeing the kitchens at Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa two years ago.
“Back then we started implementing a few changes, but now we’re concentrating on a fully sustainable menu focusing on seafood,” Ardnt says.
This is exciting news for Ardnt and his team. In January 2017, the hotel’s flagship restaurant reopened as Hook and Spear. The staid menu transformed from boring Caesar salads and predictable burgers to more inventive and inspired food.
Orange County School of the Arts is a national model Article | Donna Bunce The Background Orange County School of the Arts Founder/Executive Director/President Ralph Opacic grew up in Annandale, Virginia, one of three children of a Marine and a stay-at-home mother. It didn’t take his parents long to realize that their son was musically … Continued
When Jean-Claude and Claudine Boisset embarked on a career in winemaking in the village of Vougeot in Burgundy in 1961, their first customers were friends of the family, neighbors and childhood friends. Today, the Boisset Collection has grown to be the leading wine producer in Burgundy, with a Franco-American collection of wineries on two continents and a presence in 80 countries, making it one of the worldâs leading family-owned luxury fine wine companies.
The Blue Delilahs band, formed in 2013, is composed of musicians who love music from the 1940s through the 1960s–everything from swing, jazz, blues, and rockabilly. The band had its beginnings in the early 1990s when Orange County residents Melissa Ritter met Amy Dyer in a pop vocal class at Orange Coast College and formed a pop rock band call Velvet Bleu with Christina Martin, a fellow classmate. Ritter was a chiropractor, having received her degree from Los Angeles College of Chiropractic in Whittier.
Each year March 17th marks a celebration affectionately known as St. Patrick’s Day! And, just like any other holiday, I like to know just a little bit of history about what we are toasting–and why. There is a long, dreary story to be told all about this special saint. However, let me provide you the shorter version. Patrick had a very sad upbringing. He was actually born in Britain and kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken to Ireland. He learned the language and later became a priest with a mission to minister to the Irish and convert them to Christianity. He was beloved and died, it is believed, on March 17, 460 A.D. This, then, became the day of feast and celebration in his honor.
In 1194, Carthusian monks from Provence brought monastic life and winemaking to present-day Tarragona in northeast Spain. Named for the priors on whose monasteries vines were planted and wine produced, the region, Priorat, became known for a rich, full-bodied red wine from Grenache grapes grown in hard slate and quartz Llicorella soils. When phylloxera decimated the region’s vineyards in 1893, the region fell into virtual oblivion and, until the 1950’s, grape vines were not replanted in what became one of Spain’s most economically depressed regions.