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!

“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.

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…

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.

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…

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

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…

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.

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…

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…

Summer Fun!

I always love summer. Here we are approaching celebrating our nation's birthday on July 4th and all that entails–family gatherings, barbecues, picnics, fireworks. You know that whatever the weather, summer is really here! This summer, our community is celebrating the 50th birthday of one of our community icons–Sherman Library and Gardens. The history of the community mainstay is fascinating. To…

Balboa Island Artwalk Delights!

The 23rd Annual Balboa Island Artwalk brought out hundreds of people to ogle the works of more than 100 participating artists offering paintings, jewelry, pottery, blown glass, sculpture and photography. Added live music along the way only made the picture perfect day more perfect. Photography Ana Launes

Surfing Icon Laird Hamilton’s Documentary Opens Newport Beach Film Festival

The 18th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival proved once again that people love film, as 50,000 people attended the eight-day extravaganza, which showcased the West Coast Premiere on opening night of "Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton." The festival screened more than 350 films, representing 58 countries.

United Cerebral Palsy Honors Dr. Jennifer Simpson and Hoag Hospital

UCP-OC held its "Life Without Limits" gala at the Balboa Bay Resort, where $275,000 was netted to help children and families affected by cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome and developmental delays. Dr. Jennifer Simpson received the Individual Impact Award and Hoag Hospital the Community Impact Award. Photography Jon Didier

Circle 1000 Celebrates its 30th Annual Founders’ Brunch

The 30th Annual Circle 1000 Founders' Celebration Brunch, held at the Balboa Bay Resort, drew 350 guests to hear featured sparker Joan Lunden, award-winning journalist, bestselling author and cancer survivor. Circle 1000 has raised more than $18 million for the Hoag Family Cancer Institute. Photography Ann Chatillon and Kevin Warn


The cicadas’ song echoes through the trees that dot the grounds surrounding Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens. Perched above the winding paths lined with lush plants, colorful flowers and stone fountains, sits a wooden restaurant helmed by chef Richard Mead. For locals, the name should be familiar. Chef Mead owned two celebrated eateries called Sage–one in Newport Beach and the other…

July 2017 Around Town

Up until recently, Daily Pilot columnist Bruce Cook has been silent about his need for a kidney to save his life. He had a “coming out” party hosted by Balboa Bay Club matriarch Carole Pickup in the resort’s Grand Ballroom, where 400 of Bruce’s friends showed up in support. Guest speakers included Newport Beach Nephrologist Dr. Eric Weschler, his partner…

The 2017 Festival of Arts Fine Art Show

For Festival of Arts’ Board President Fred Sattler to recall his first memory of the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach isn’t difficult. “Summer of 1965,” Sattler says wistfully. His then fiancé, now wife, was a Laguna Beach resident at the time. “She took me to the Festival,” Sattler recalls, “and I’ve always remembered it.”

A Community Icon Turns 50

It is doubtful Arnold Haskell, founder of Sherman Library and Gardens, ever dreamed he would be establishing a historical research library and horticultural learning center in Newport Beach when, as a young man in 1914, he accepted the job as personal secretary to Moses Hazeltine Sherman, one of the most prominent and successful businessmen in Los Angeles.

Picture Perfect Picnics

July is a month filled with backyard barbeques, concert picnics on the grass and impromptu cruises around the Newport Harbor in a Duffy Electric Boat. No matter what we are doing, if great food and wine are on the menu, I am one happy lady! Here are some of my favorite spots to grab some grub without breaking a sweat…

July 2017 Road Trip

Japan is one of the hottest destinations for 2017. A significant language barrier has deterred many travelers, as English is fairly uncommon and thousands of characters compose the kanji alphabet. However, it does not take long for the distinguished culture to overshadow this challenge. Shortly after observing the order of everyday life, attention to detail, extreme cleanliness and formal etiquette,…

Ode to Men!

Father's Day is celebrated Sunday, June 18th this year, and we are pleased to feature Newport Beach Police Chief Jon T. Lewis and his family on our cover. Lewis is a loving husband to his wife Darcy and a dedicated dad to their children Claire and JT. Declaring his family as "the most important thing in my life," Lewis carries…

CHOC Follies XX Nets More Than 
$1 Million for CHOC Children’s

More than 2,500 people took a trip back to the 1950s at the Robert B. Moore Theatre in Costa Mesa to enjoy 85 volunteer business and civic leaders performing in the 20th Annual CHOC Follies, dubbed “CHOC Around the Clock–We’re Twistin’ and Returnin’ to the Happiest Days in OC.”

Leading Alzheimer’s Supporters Honored at AOC Gala

Alzheimer’s Orange County’s 19th Annual “Care Support Cure” Gala, held at the Pelican Hill Golf Pavilion, drew nearly 300 guests to raise funds for the nonprofit’s no-cost care and support programs and services. Guest speaker Kim Campbell spoke about her role as caregiver to legendary country music star Glen Campbell.

Adoption Guild Features Fashion Island Fashions at Luncheon

The 56th Annual Spring Adoption Guild Patroness Luncheon at the Newport Beach Country Club attracted 260 guests for a lively fashion show, tasty lunch and tempting silent auction. More than $100,000 was raised for Holy Family Services Adoption and Foster Care outreach. Photography Ann Chatillon

Heartfelt Luncheon Raises Funds for CF Research

The Cystic Fibrosis Guild's Annual Luncheon drew 280 guests to the Hilton Orange County, where nearly $100,000 was netted for cystic fibrosis research. Brice Baumgartner spoke about living with CF and surviving a recent lung transplant, and 14-year-old Grace Rose Bauer, who has CF, showcased her fashions. Photographer Sebastian Moreno

OC Heart & Stroke Ball Touts Healthy Diet

The 36th Annual OC Heart & Stroke Ball, hosted by the American Heart Association, drew 300 guests to The Ritz-Carlton for a “Color Your Life”–themed black-tie affair. The healthy dinner featured vegetables and fruits encouraged by AHA to help prevent heart disease and stroke. Photographer Rich Lasalle

Childhelp’s 31st Annual “For the Love of a Child” Benefit

Close to 400 people attended this year’s Childhelp “For the Love of a Child” Fashion Show and Luncheon at the Island Hotel. South Coast Plaza sponsored a fabulous runway fashion show, and longtime supporter Julia Argyros was presented the chapter’s Inspirational Award for her leadership and philanthropy. Photography Ann Chatillon

Island Time

Time seems to stand still as soon as you cross the bridge onto Balboa Island. The buildings, which seem to have stood the test of time, look exactly the same as they did a decade ago. The streets are small and narrow. And, many of the businesses have been landmarks on Balboa for generations. So, when a newcomer opens shop…

June 2017 Around Town

The 46th Annual Police Appreciation Breakfast, hosted by the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, was held to honor the city’s finest and to show how much residents and local businesses appreciate their work in the community. Held at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach, the turn-out was a sell-out at nearly 500 in attendance. Police Chief Jon Lewis was front and…

CASA’s Black and White Ball Nets More Than $1 Million

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) held its annual Black & White Ball at the Island Hotel, attracting 370 guests and netting $1,047,000 to support and serve abused, abandoned and neglected children. The black-tie affair featured a superb repast, tempting silent and live auction items and lively casino games.

A Dedicated Father

“I am so grateful for my wife and the life we’ve created together. Our family is the most important thing in my life,” says an impassioned Jon Lewis, Newport Beach Police Chief. “My kids are the light of my world,” he continues.

Art Stars Shine at 11th Art Star Awards

Held at event sponsor's [seven degrees] digs in Laguna Beach, 260 community and cultural leaders gathered to celebrate 
Laguna Beach Art Alliance's Art Stars. Aside from the photos, the Best Arts Program was Sawdust Art Festival 50th Anniversary and 
Laguna Beach Band and Elementary Music Program won Outstanding Arts Collaboration.

Fire Up the Burgers!

Rising June temperatures create the perfect excuse to fire up the grill. Every cookout needs a great burger, and these juicy masterpieces, stuffed with cheese and peppers, will earn rave reviews! Of course, many people argue that the burger is only as good as its toppings. Since June is recognized as California Avocado Month and National Papaya Month, these two…

Fear of Veneers?

Enhancing a smile with the application of veneers is an exciting dental treatment for those unhappy with the condition of their teeth. Whether for cosmetic or health reasons, deciding to get veneers is a process that requires careful research and trust in your chosen cosmetic dentist.

Seventh Continent Explorations

Explorers and researchers have been visiting the continent of Antarctica for decades, although throughout history, the voyages getting to the mostly untouched land have been met with tales of unprecedented struggles and defeat. Today, thanks to modern ships and experienced crew, getting to Antarctica is no longer what it once was. That being said, the Drake Passage, one of the…

DOMINGO Receives Honorary Doctor of Arts from Chapman University as Musco Center for the Arts Celebrates Its One-Year Anniversary

World renowned opera star Plácido Domingo returned to Chapman University to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Musco Center for the Arts, where he officially opened the center by performing at the grand opening concert.

Ready, Set, Summer!

June is indeed a busy month filled with birthdays, graduations, weddings and, of course, Father's Day on the 18th of June. Mid-month, the kids will be anxious for the school year to come to a close and outdoor activities and musical events will be in full swing. Here is a quick run-down of the some of my favorite happenings in…

June 2017 Local Limelight

Philanthropist Sebastian Paul Musco joined an acclaimed list of recipients, including seven U.S. Presidents and luminaries such as Elie Wiesel, Bob Hope, Rosa Parks, General Martin Dempsey and Edward James Olmos, in being awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

Let’s Celebrate Mothers!

It is time to celebrate mothers, as Mother's Day on May14th is the day set aside to do so. My mother passed on 12 years ago, and I cherish all the wonderful, loving memories she gave me throughout my life. Our Mother's Day story in this issue features Isabelle Villaseñor, whose mother demonstrated unconditional love her entire life and gave…

Table for 10’s Culinary Extravaganza Delivers!

Table for 10, orchestrated by KM Productions for deserving nonprofits, held its 11th annual culinary extravaganza for a sold-out crowd of 350 gourmands at Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa in Dana Point. More than $300,000 was divided between Vocational Visions and The Teen Project. Photography Bob Hodson, Tony Lattimore

‘Fiddlin’ Around in Ragtime’

The Hutchins Consort featured The G Burns Jug Band in a performance featuring ragtime favorites at Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club, where 107 Hutchins' supporters gathered for dinner and an auction. The $41,000 netted supports the octet, who perform on violins designed and built by Dr. Carleen Hutchins. Photography Ann Chatillon

Laguna Art Museum’s 35th Annual Art Auction

Laguna Art Museum's popular art auction, themed "California Cool," drew 350 art lovers to enjoy, purchase and bid on the works of more than 100 California artists. Together with a silent and Bonhams-orchestrated live auction, as well as a Fund-A-Need campaign benefiting LAM's K-12 children's education programs, proceeds reached $366,000.