Philanthropy is Alive and Well in Orange County!

October is our Philanthropy Issue, and we never have a shortage of nonprofits and people to feature. Jill Johnson-Tucker and Jennifer Van Bergh had an epiphany moment 25 years ago and because of their tenacity, a 50-member group called the Harvesters was born to support Second Harvest Food Bank (SHFB). The group is committed to end hunger in Orange County…

La Scala Ballet’s “Giselle” Wows Audiences

Opening night of La Scala Ballet's "Giselle" at Segerstrom Center for the Arts saw curtain call after curtain call as American Ballet Theater 
Principal Dancer Misty Copeland and La Scala Ballet and ABT principal dancer Roberto Bolle performed the leading roles in the iconic ballet. Photography Doug Gifford

AIA Orange County Hosts Eighth Annual Artwalk

American Institute of Architects Orange County hosted its annual Artwalk at Design Within Reach in Costa Mesa with AIA members, design community professionals, students and friends invited to showcase their artistic talents in a juried competition. A silent auction featured architectural products, furniture, shopping and entertainment experiences. Photography AIAOC

SeaChange Summer Party Celebrates 10th Anniversary

With Lily Tomlin and Sam Waterston featured honorees, the sold-out crowd of 400 celebrated the efforts accomplished by the international ocean conservation and advocacy organization, Oceana. Held at a coastal estate in Laguna Beach, Anne Earhart and Herbert M. Bedolfe III of The Marisla Foundation were recognized as Ocean Champions.

FIDM Museum Fashion Council Hosts Boisset Wine Dinner

A beautiful six-course dinner, themed "Fifty Shades of Grape" at Maestro's Ocean Club, was paired with wines from international vintner Jean-Charles Boisset, Boisset Collection proprietor. Monies raised were targeted for the FIDM Museum Fashion Council and its support of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. Photography Pam Nesseth

October 2017 Local Limelight

Award-winning actor and singer Keith David has had a rich career that is as diverse as it is distinguished, with several hundred theater, film, TV, and narrator credits. Among the standouts are the Broadway production of “Jelly’s Last Jam,” John Carpenter’s cult flick “The Thing,” and the wildly hilarious “There’s Something About Mary.” He currently stars as Bishop James Greenleaf…

October 2017 Around Town

The Hollywood Reporter, which annually ranks the top 25 film schools in America, has placed Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at #6, after three years ranked as #7. It shows the school is gaining stature and Hollywood is noticing. Noting the achievements of its alumni, its distinguished faculty and guest speakers, state-of-the art facilities, international programs,…

Eric Marienthal and Friends Jazz Concert Draws 1,000+ Guests

Jazz lovers gathered at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach for the 19th year with jazz saxophonist Eric Marienthal and his all-star band, plus guest artists, Grammy Award nominees Oleta Adams and David Benoit. The $150,000 raised was targeted for the 
High Hopes Brain Injury Program. Photography Sheri Determan, Peggy O'Donnell

Chapman Celebrates Outstanding Alumni

Chapman University’s annual black-tie gala, Chapman Celebrates, will honor alumnus Dale (’58) and wife, Sarah Ann Fowler, and alumni Ross and Matt Duffer (’07), creators of Netflix’ runaway hit, Stranger Things, on Saturday, November 4th, in the Marybelle and Sebastian P. Musco Center for the Arts on the Chapman University campus. In recognition for their transformative support of the university,…


ean Wegener was raised in a family that believed in giving back. “I grew up back East,” she says, “with my parents always leading by example. They considered being involved and giving back to the community one of life’s great blessings.” Wegener came to Orange County in 1972 and settled in Newport Beach where she met Sam Boyce, owner of…

A Passionate Venture

How Harvesters was Launched. It all began with Jill Johnson-Tucker, who as a member of the board of directors of Second Harvest Food Bank was asked to find more funding to help the nonprofit feed the hungry in Orange County. She turned to her good friend, Jennifer Van Bergh, for help.

Alzheimer’s Orange County Celebrates 35 Years

Alzheimer’s Orange County (AOC), formerly associated with Alzheimer’s Association, Orange County Chapter, has been providing programs and services for Orange County residents battling Alzheimer’s and dementia for 35 years.

Oktoberfest Comfort Food

One of Austrians and Bavarians childhood favorites is Wienerschnitzel, a great fit for the Oktoberfest festival. Oktoberfest has a long tradition and is known as the largest Volksfest (People’s Fair) in the world. It is an annual event held in Munich, Germany, with lots of local beer and Bavarian music.

Giving Back–in a New Way

In our home, we are very appreciative of the goodness we have and also how hard we have worked over the years. But, above it all, we are extremely grateful. We make an effort to give back and given that this issue focuses on philanthropic endeavors, it seems appropriate to share with all of you my recent epiphany.

Summer In Patagonia

This winter, head below the equator and revisit summer, taking advantage of the glorious vastness of Patagonia, with particular focus on Argentina’s most coveted ski destination, Bariloche. Throughout the summertime (December-February), Bariloche is less crowded and just as beautiful, replacing the white blankets of snow with vibrant colors of plant life. Getting to Bariloche is as easy as taking a…

2017 Michael Chang Tennis Classic Helping the Community

Another beautiful summer day in sunny Newport Beach. Excitement is in the air and lots of fun ahead of us at the 2017 Michael Chang Tennis Classic. Michael Chang, originally from Hoboken, New Jersey, set numerous "youngest player records," turning pro at just 15 years of age. In 1987, he became the youngest player to win a main draw match…

“Art of Dining” Celebrates 30 Years

With Louis Vuitton as Presenter of Orange County Museum of Art's "Art of Dining" for the fourth year running, it was again a creative, artistic affair for 250 guests. The 30th anniversary gourmet dining/honored artist benefit saluted Beijing-based artist Sun Xun and netted $350,000 for the museum. Photography Ryan Miller

Working Wardrobes Hosts a Spectacular Patriotic Evening

Working Wardrobes annual gala, themed "Red, White, Blue and You!" drew 350 guests to The Resort at Pelican Hill to honor the military and its VetNet program, a safety net for veterans. VetNet founder Harry Humphries was honored, with the nonprofit netting approximately $350,000 for the program.

Arts & Business Leadership Awards Includes “The Bodyguard”

A Distinguished Leader Award awaited Charles Zhang, Zion Enterprises Principal Founder, and a Rising Leader Award for Jesse D. Bagley, Interior Office Solutions Founder/President, at Segerstrom Center's Arts & Business Leadership Awards Dinner, followed by the "The Bodyguard" at Segerstrom Hall and post-party at Water Grill. Photography Doug Gifford

Love of the Arts

As a life-long lover of the arts, this issue is a particular favorite of mine. With feature stories on the Irvine Barclay Theatre and Arts Orange County (ArtsOC), you will enjoy hearing about what is happening with these two successful nonprofits.

“Taste of Barcelona” Dinner & Auction

Art & Creativity for Healing's annual Palette of Colors benefit took more than 300 guests to the Lyon Art Museum Hangar to help net $80,000 to support the nonprofit's emotional healing programs utilizing art and creative expression for individuals living in pain, grief, fear and stress. Photography Rick Chatillon

Pink Tie Ball is a Great Success

The 11th Annual Komen Orange County Pink Tie Ball at the Paséa Hotel in Huntington Beach was a sell-out and raised $635,000 towards the next generation of cancer research and local initiatives towards the goal of reducing the number of breast cancer deaths by 50% in the U.S. by 2026.

Olympic Gold Medalist Simone Biles Speaks for Foster Youth

Simone Biles, once a foster youth herself, was the featured speaker at Orangewood Foundation's 44 Women for Orangewood's 13th annual Scholarship Luncheon at the Disneyland Hotel, where 400 guests enjoyed the question and answer session with her mother Nellie led by NBC4's Vikki Vargas. Photography Ann Chatillon, Robert Rooks

‘Gotta Have Heart’

The Big Canyon Spyglass Hill Philharmonic Committee held its annual benefit, "Gotta Have Heart," at the Island Hotel, with 67 guests enjoying the festive dinner dance. The Retros band entertained as guests dined and bid on auction items, which helped garner $22,000 for the Philharmonic's children's programs. Photography Peggy O'Donnell


 music  Sept 8, 2017 Jake Shimabukuro  Oct 28, 2017 Jack Jones

More Than Just A Pretty Facade–Zeitz MOCAA Opens in Cape Town

The anticipation of the opening of Africa’s first contemporary art museum, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) in Cape Town, is creating a buzz that is swarming the continent. The Victorian and Alfred (V&A) Waterfront Co., the developer who owns the site, has assembled the venerable team of Thomas Heatherwick and Liz Biden to helm one of…

September 2017 Around Town

The Scott Brothers, aka Jonathan and Drew Scott, are hosts of three top-rated HGTV series, including the Emmy-winning Property Brothers. The twin brothers–Jonathan a renowned designer and licensed contractor, and Drew, a seasoned agent and real estate expert–have recorded two original tracks and written a book, and for their show, titled “The Scott Brothers House Party,” at SCFTA’s Segerstrom Hall,…

Women of Chapman Present $425,000 to Chapman University

Women of Chapman presented $425,000 to Chapman University at Balboa Bay Resort to honor support of Musco Center for the Arts, Dodge College of Film and Media Arts and the Center for Science and Engineering. The group's Student Filmmaker Endowment presented $50,000 to deserving Dodge College students. Photography Tony Lattimore

All the 
Right Reasons

Rick Stein felt he was coming full circle when he accepted the job as President & CEO of Arts Orange County (ArtsOC) in 2008. After acquiring his bachelor’s degree in English from Columbia University in 1976 and his master’s in English from Syracuse University in 1978, he had signed on as executive director of the Oswego County Council on Arts…

Things Are Poppin’ at the Barclay!

Ten years after retiring as President/CEO of the Orange County Performing Arts Center (since renamed Segerstrom Center for the Arts), Jerry Mandel got a call in October, 2015, about taking on the job of interim president of the Irvine Barclay Theatre while the board had time to fill the position. Doug Rankin, founding president of the Barclay had retired after…

21st Century Slavery

Human trafficking. Modern day slavery. The cyber-exploitation of women and children. However it is labeled, it cannot begin to describe the immense suffering borne by victims of 21st century enslavement. According to the Global Center for Women and Justice (GCFWJ), housed at Costa Mesa's Vanguard University, some 45.8 million victims, globally, are trafficked. And, perpetrators and victims of these criminal…

Rediscovering Catalina

It’s been way too long since I set foot on the peaceful island of Santa Catalina. After Labor Day weekend, places such as Catalina become a perfect escape for grown-ups. There is so much to do there my head is spinning with ideas.

Cryptocurrency: The Game Changer

Cryptocurrency is defined as “a digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.” “Hey honey! How many Bitcoins did we spend on groceries?” These words can already be heard among couples that own Bitcoin, a form of cryptocurrency created in…

“I’Magine” Gala Benefits Space Redesign Project

Saddleback Memorial Foundation's Spring Gala at Monarch Beach Resort drew 400 physicians, philanthropists and supporters to net $300,000 for Saddleback Memorial Medical Center's redesign project. The heartwarming evening featured SMMC patients telling their stories of how their lives were saved by world-class physicians, nurses and staff. Photography Paul F. Gero

“Living with Heart” Gala Benefits Mercy House

Mercy House, one of Southern California's premier advocates for the homeless, drew 340 guests to the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel for its annual "Living with Heart" gala. Together with underwriting, silent and live auctions and "Lift Your Heart" pledges, an estimated $240,000 
was netted for the nonprofit's programs.

SOS Rolls Out its 24th Annual “Wild and Crazy Taco Night!”

Share Our Selves' annual "Wild and Crazy Taco Night" drew an estimated 750 guests to taste some amazing gourmet tacos and raise money for a good cause. The approximate $100,000 netted will support the SOS Food Pantry to help feed Orange County residents at risk of going hungry.

Summer Pleasures

Summer always brings to mind my Mid-West upbringing and, as a child, catching lightning bugs in a jar, playing kick the can and enjoying family picnics. The only thing that would carry on in California would be the family picnics, and, here in Orange County, those picnics could be in a Duffy Boat!

OCBJ Honors Five Outstanding Businesswomen

Orange County Business Journal's 23rd Annual Women in Business Luncheon never ceases to amaze. The 191 women nominated for the five top slots are all impressive, and when you hear the accomplishments of the winners, you are bowled over. The 750 guests at 
Hotel Irvine all agreed. Photography Laurel Hungerford

August 2017 Around Town

Hutton Wilkinson and Manfred Flynn Kuhnert were on their game at Laguna Playhouse when they talked about the books they co-wrote–The Walk to Elsie’s and The Walk From Elsie’s. The books, called a “stunning work of historical fiction” by Harper’s Bazaar, reminisce and dazzle with tales of friendship and adventure between Elsie de Wolfe, aka Lady Mendl, the most coveted…

The 50 Best Restaurants in the World

This year, on April 5th, the world’s 50 Best Restaurants winners were revealed at an awards ceremony at the historic Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne, Australia. The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy is formed by 1,000 experts of the international restaurant scene, who oversee the selection of the qualifying restaurants each year. To provide fair representation of each region, the…

Hong Kong Indulgences

Hong Kong might be one of the most vibrant cities in the world. It’s full of skyscrapers, luxury hotels, some of the best restaurants in the world, over-the-top designer shopping and, of course, people. It’s a bit of sensory overload as there are retail windows and restaurants filling every piece of real estate on every street. A world-class fine dining…

Collaborating in Life, Love and Real Estate

One is immediately struck upon entering the home of Jim and Karen Santaniello's Eastbluff home by the sheer panoramic view of the Upper Newport Back Bay. With floor-to-ceiling glass doors and windows, the view is the main attraction.

Pacific Symphony Opts for 1920s Gala

The Jazz Age was well served as 430 guests enjoyed a night of flappers and speakeasies at Pacific Symphony's annual gala at Hotel Irvine. With a jam-packed auction and fund-a-dream bringing in more than $800,000, net proceeds were realized of more than $1.5 million for 
symphony programs. Photography Ann Chatillon

Decorative Arts Society Celebrates Famed Designer Mark D. Sikes

DARTS' "Beautiful" luncheon, named in honor of nationally-known interior designer Mark D. Sikes' best-selling book, drew more than 200 guests to the Newport Beach Country Club, where tables were gorgeous in classic blue and white decor. In a surprise gesture, Honorary Chair Julia Argyros generously donated $250,000. Photography Ann Chatillon

Never Forget Paris

Flaky puff pastry snaps between your teeth as creamy vanilla custard engulfed between each layer jubilantly squishes out. This divine creation is the mille-feuille, better known as the Napoleon, at Moulin in Newport Beach. The quintessentially French dessert is not only delicious but also extremely fitting once you learn that Moulin’s owner Laurent Vrignaud was raised in Montmarte, Paris. Each…

Sizzling Summer Salads

As August temperatures soar, this salad sizzles without heating up your kitchen! A variety of healthy greens are topped with lean grilled protein to keep you in swimsuit shape. Of course, it’s the dressing that can make or break any salad, and these unique choices of creamy goodness or a tart vinaigrette will fire up all appetites.

Sixty-five Years Later…

Joseph Edward Prentice was very clear in 1949 when he stipulated that his gift of 12 acres of land to the City of Santa Ana was to establish a park in his name with the caveat that there needed to be at least 50 monkeys on the grounds at all times. It seems Prentice had a fascination for monkeys and…

Surf City USA Kicks Off AVP’s 2017 Season

Though the skies were grey and cloudy, it didn’t stop volleyball enthusiasts and beach-goers as thousands flocked to the north side of the Huntington Beach Pier for the Huntington Beach Open on May 4-7. The event housed buzzing fans packing the general free admission seats and the limited VIP premium seats daily. The four-day event, hosted by the Association of…

Balboa Peninsula Trolley Makes Its Debut

You might have noticed a red trolley (there are four of them) traveling around Balboa Peninsula of late. The Balboa Peninsula Trolley was officially launched in late June and is providing free service to riders on weekends through September 3.

My Favorite Day of Summer

One thing I anticipate all year long is the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach. It is a marathon of a day and evening, but it is nine hours of sheer fun. This year the Festival of Arts is proudly celebrating its 85th year, and the town is all abuzz. To honor this distinction, they just completed a year-long…