A Windy City Candlelight

With a nod to Chicago, thanks to award-winning rock band Chicago and Event Co-Chair Carol Perry’s Windy City roots, the 44th Annual Candlelight Concert on the stage of Segerstrom Hall surrounded 460 guests with a star-studded Chicago skyline. Perry’s husband and fellow Co-Chair Mark Perry is incoming board chairman.

It’s Romance Month!

Yes, Valentine’s Day is upon us. However you celebrate it, I hope it is with remembering someone very special in your life. We not only recognize our romantic counterparts but also those people in our lives who we love very much–our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, godchildren, and so on. It’s pretty expensive buying a card for everyone, but a phone call or email–even a text–would certainly work to convey your feelings.

February 2018 Around Town

 Debut of Book Detailing South Coast Plaza’s 50 Years  South Coast Plaza, a limited-edition art book by Assouline, is a retrospective that celebrates South Coast Plaza’s 50 years and traces the heritage and transformation of the incredible landmark into an unparalleled commercial and cultural icon. The beautiful book details how the Segerstrom family created a world-wide shopping destination from humble farmland. The launch, held at South Coast Plaza’s Assouline store, was attended by members of the Segerstrom family and continued at a large reception in Jewel Court.  
OC 500 Introduced

Cross Canada Train Journey – Destination and Hotel Gulde

Canada just celebrated its 150th anniversary, and our northern neighbor saw an influx in visitors from all parts of the globe to every corner of their expansive country. Canada has much to offer and each region of the country is so diverse and different from one another. From majestic natural landscapes to skyscrapers in bustling cities, an incredible way to see Canada (or most of it) is by crossing the entire continent by train.

American Ballet Theatre Honors 
Segerstrom Center’s Judy Morr

ABT honored Segerstrom Center Executive Vice President Judy Morr at its annual Holiday Benefit at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Some of ABT’s biggest names, including principal dancers, joined the party and performed. Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie lauded Morr’s efforts in “curating a world-renowned international dance program of the highest quality.” 

Enjoy an Island Getaway Here in Your Own Backyard!

Straight from the sandy shores of the Pacific Islands to our own backyard here in Orange County, Irvine Barclay Theatre is bringing an abundance of ‘Aloha’ to SoCal in 2018 with the finest in live Hawaiian music. Performances by Hawaii’s most acclaimed artists, both traditional and contemporary, are a perfect opportunity to experience a mini tropical getaway and a memorable evening of music. The artists in the Barclay’s Hawaiian Music Masters performance feature Hawaii’s cultural traditions while showcasing the amazing range and diversity of Hawaiian music played in the islands today. As you sit back, relax and take in the sounds of the Islands, it reveals that Hawaiian music culture is not just about notes played, but also about the greater “Aloha Spirit” that the music evokes about the bonds of community, nature, love and beauty.

Incredibly Sweet Indulgences

As we approach Valentine’s week and all things delicious, I am pleased to share with you some of the best homemade sweets available locally. These three entrepreneurs are “best of class” in confections and baking. I know each one of them personally, which makes this extra-sweet.

Court Appointed Special Advocates Holiday 
Luncheon Sets Record Net

Friends of CASA hosted its 22nd Annual Holiday Luncheon for 620 guests at Monarch Beach Resort and netted a record $426,000 for mentoring and advocating for foster care children. The runway fashion show was presented by Intermix, Jimmy Choo and South Coast Plaza. Photography John Watkins

Girl Scouts of Orange County Honor 
Six Extraordinary Women

Local Girl Scout alumnae were honored at the 280-guest Eighth Annual “Celebrate Leadership” event at the Island Hotel. Each honoree was paired with a Girl Scout, who created a custom art piece representative of her mentor’s leadership journey. Net proceeds of $275,000 were raised to support scouting. Photography Laurel Hungerford

SOKA University of America 13th Annual Peace Gala

“Celebrating the Vision of Peace” was the theme for SOKA’s Peace Gala held at the esteemed university in Aliso Viejo. The Voice finalist Chris Mann entertained and NBC4 weather-caster Fritz Coleman was master of ceremonies for the 488 guests. An impressive $806,692 was netted for student scholarships. Photography Robert Rooks

Pro Currency and iPro Network

The ascent of Bitcoin into the financial mainstream has brought a new asset class known as cryptocurrencies into the spotlight. They enable both commerce and trade through the implementation of advanced blockchain technology. This versatility fosters different views with respect to their classification as either commodities or currencies.

A Life Driven by the Passion for Building

Hilton Builders was created from the passion and love of a couple, Patricia and Dan Hilton. Once you meet them, you get to understand the main ingredients for their success. Love and passion for a job well done, unsurpassed attention to detail, professionalism, exquisite taste, and innovation are some of those ingredients.

How to Win in any Real Estate Market

We all want to find a deal. As the real estate market continues its historic climb, Newport buyers and sellers wonder whether the time is right for them to make a move. Sellers may be tempted to overprice their property, while buyers may hope to find a bargain based on inaccurate online estimates. Navigating this market successfully takes skill.

“Christmas at The Ritz” Dazzles!

Mona Lee Nesseth and her committee created a dazzling 31st Annual “Christmas at The Ritz” for Women of Chapman and netted nearly $291,000 for support of Chapman University. Snow sprites, toy soldiers, sparkling Christmas trees and Santa himself heralded the season for the 380 guests. Photography Tony Lattimore, Peggy O’Donnell

Destined to be Together

Who would imagine that a part-time job wrapping Christmas presents at the Robert Hall Clothes store in Santa Ana would be the place where Wylie Aitken would meet Bette Robb? With Wylie a freshman at Santa Ana College (SAC) and Bette a senior at Bolsa Grande High School in Huntington Beach, the spark was lit.

Panther Pride is Alive and Well!

Well-launched careers, memories and lifelong friendships aren’t the only lasting treasures Chapman alumni come away with when they graduate. Many also find wedded bliss.

Let’s Celebrate New Beginnings

Let's Celebrate New Beginnings

January of the New Year has arrived and with it plans for honoring resolutions. I don’t know about you, but I don’t always find that I follow through with my good intentions. There is one young lady who is very determined to follow through with hers. That person is Huntington Beach resident and star surfer Courtney Conlogue, whose love of the sport and her competitive spirit keeps her on overdrive in an effort to win titles. Right now she’s battling it out at the World Surfing League’s final world title race in Maui. However it turns out, we know that Conlogue will be back for more.

January 2018 Around Town

January 2018 Around Town 3

 Journey Back to a Simpler Time  Tom Stillwell started his own Facebook site in 2010 called “I Grew Up In Newport Beach BEFORE it was the OC,” and it now has 14,000 followers. He was recently the featured speaker at the Balboa Island Museum’s Speaker’s Series in collaboration with the City of Newport Beach Arts Commission, and 150 people showed up to the sold-out affair. Held in the Central Library Friends Room, Stillwell entertained with his amazing collection of photos and creatively produced videos to show a simpler time. He introduced the NBB4OC Project, where he will work with the Museum to interview people and preserve memories.  Twenty Years of Giving 
and Nurturing

Harvesters Net More Than $1 Million 
at 25th Anniversary Benefit

Harvesters Net More Than $1 Million 
at 25th Anniversary Benefit 9

South Coast Plaza, celebrating its 50th Anniversary, hosted the Harvesters 25th Annual Fashion Show & Luncheon in a plaza-based pavillon, which drew 450 guests to enjoy the latest fall/winter fashions and a delicious Water Grill-catered lunch. The proceeds provided three million meals for the hungry through Second Harvest Food Bank.

2017 American Institute of Architects OC Design Awards.

2017 American Institute of Architects OC Design Awards. 8

Since 2011, AIA Orange County (AIAOC) chapter president Brett Dougherty has led the student design competition, and participated in the 2017 Design Awards and Art Walk committees. Dougherty is also a director on the AIA California Council Board of Directors, as well as the California Architecture Foundation Board of Directors.

I Stand Resolute For 2018!

I Stand Resolute For 2018!

By now I have flipped the page of my brand new day-timer to January, 2018. Yes, I still use a paper calendar. And, in doing so, I know that three things are going to happen, as they do every year for the past twenty. First, I am going to enjoy a long walk along the Laguna coastline and ponder the close of 2017, reflecting on all the good and some sad things that have happened. Secondly, I am going to mentally flip through my new calendar, month by month, exploring all the trips and fun events I have planned for 2018. These all give me inspiration and topics to write about and photograph. Third, I am going to make four New Year’s resolutions, which I will promptly break (or bend)–at least one or two–but, I’m good with that.

On the Road to No. 1

On the Road to No. 1 7

Currently ranked #3 in the world, Santa Ana native Courtney Conlogue calls Huntington Beach her second home.

Hula, Opera and Organs, Oh My!

Hula, Opera and Organs, Oh My! 3

This season, Irvine Barclay Theatre is significantly expanding its ArtsReach programming with an especially eclectic menu of unique experiences for lucky participants. From reimagined Americana to traditional Hula, from classical opera to the world’s first and only International Touring Organ, these innovative educational programs connect featured main-stage artists with students of all ages in the most inspiring and transformative ways. Stressing hands-on interaction, the Barclay is creating once-in-a-lifetime experiences that foster greater appreciation and understanding of the arts.



A tightly packed town with a population of about 600,000, it is wedged between Maryland and Virginia. From its beginnings, it has always rolled out the welcome mat to people from around the country and the world. Because of the influx of energy of this power hub, the world’s capital is one of the most dynamic places on earth.

Moderne Moves

Moderne Moves

When Marchè Moderne quietly shuttered at South Coast Plaza more than three years ago, everyone admitted to having a dish that they would miss. Some spoke of decadent plates such as Chef Florent Marneau’s roasted bone marrow that spread like butter across grilled slices of toasty baguette. Others languished about his divinely simple succulent chicken with creamy whipped potatoes. The buttery flavor transported you back to your grandma’s country kitchen–even if your Nana didn’t live in the country or step foot in a kitchen. Then, there were Amelia’s desserts. Macarons and creamy custard-filled Napoleons. Confections that sometimes outshone her husband’s savory efforts.

Vocational Visions’ “Masquerade Ball” Delights!

Vocational Visions' "Masquerade Ball" Delights! 9

Many of the 290 guests wore masks and enjoyed world-famous magician Johnny “Ace” Palmer’s rabbit out-of-a-hat trick, while the evening’s highlight was a performance by Vocational Visions’ clients dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” The much-needed $60,000 provides programs, services and support to help adults with disabilities. 
Photography Ann Chatillon

“Chapman Celebrates” Wows with Honors, 
Entertainment and Gala Dinner

"Chapman Celebrates" Wows with Honors, 
Entertainment and Gala Dinner 9

The Duffer Brothers ’07 of Netflix fame for showstopper “Stranger Things” and extraordinary donors Sarah Ann and Dale Fowler ’58 were honored at the 37th Annual “Chapman Celebrates” scholarship benefit (raising $1.5 million), while 100 Chapman student performers wowed guests. Dinner and dancing was the frosting on the cake! 

National Philanthropy Day Inspires!

National Philanthropy Day Inspires! 8

Nearly 800 guests attended the 32nd National Philanthropy Day of Orange County’s Awards Luncheon at the City National Grove of Anaheim. Hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Orange County Chapter, the “Celebrating Passion for a Cause”- themed event honored standouts in philanthropy. 
Photography Tony Lattimore and Carla Rhea