Enjoy the Holidays!

The holiday are here and with it the many opportunities to celebrate the season. I hope you will take a look at our Holiday Happenings feature and plan to attend some of the lovely offerings right here in our community. Not many people live around a famous Christmas boat parade called "One of the top ten holiday happenings in the nation" by…

Wine Soiree Benefits Southern California Hospice Foundation

SCHF, dedicated to helping enhance the quality of life for terminally ill patients, held its Eighth Annual "Wine Soirée Spectacular" at the Marconi Automotive Museum in Tustin, where 200 supporters gathered to sip wines, enjoy dinner, auctions and a "Start Your Own Cellar" raffle, raising nearly $100,000 for the cause.

SPIN’s 28th Annual Gala Rallies to End Homelessness

SPIN (Serving People in Need) hosted its "Gourmet Wine Pairing Dinner" for 200 supporters at Big Canyon Country Club to raise funds to help fund and assist OC families with permanent housing to avoid homelessness. The elegant affair, which included a gourmet repast, also featured a Lugano Diamonds bauble.

Arts Orange County Presents 2017 Arts Awards

ArtsOC's 18th Annual Orange County Arts Awards drew 260 guests to Segerstrom Center's Samueli Theater to honor community standouts for their exemplary arts contributions and netted $100,000 for the nonprofit's outstanding arts programs. OC Fair & Event Center CEO Kathy Kramer and ArtsOC President/CEO were event emcees. 

Ethos Contemporary Art Gallery Celebrates Second Anniversary

More than 100 art lovers attended the "Looking Forward/Looking Back" Georgeana Ireland One Woman Show in celebration of the Second Anniversary of Ethos Contemporary Art in Newport Beach. Live music and delectable hors d'oeuvres and wines were part of the mix, with 10% of sales benefiting Second Harvest Food Bank.

A Huge Bravo to Irvine Barclay Theatre Supporters

Bravo Barclay! members and Irvine Barclay Theatre supporters attended a complimentary soiree hosted by Andrei's Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails in Irvine, where the theatre's 2017-18 season was highlighted, supporters were thanked and Emmy Award-winning actor/singer Keith David, who performed at the Barclay the next evening, was introduced. Photography Doug Gifford

Discovery Cube’s “Beyond the Tide” Gala Supports Science Education

Celebrating Discovery Cube's third campus, Discovery Cube's Ocean Quest in Newport Beach, this year's ocean-themed gala drew 300 supporters and raised more than $530,000 for science education. It was announced the Hoag Foundation had awarded the Ocean Crest Cube a $550,000 grant to support its "Dive Into Citizen Science" program.

Fundraising for Literacy

The Literacy Project, dedicated to raising funds to enable disadvantaged children to increase their reading skills, held its Eighth Annual "What Dreams Are Made Of" gala at the Newport Beach Country Club. The event showcased three young students representing the thousands helped through TLP's gift of literacy. Photography Tony Florez

“Zoofari” Celebrates its Silver Anniversary

Friends of the Santa Ana Zoo's big fundraiser, "Zoofari," celebrated its 25th anniversary and netted $100,000 ($24,000 more than last year) to help with its River Otter Habitat. With zoo animals greeting guests, a whopping silent auction and sumptuous catered dinner by Parties by Panache, smiles abounded. Photography Ann Chatillon

Nation’s One-Day Charity Car Show

The 18th Annual "Cruisin' for a Cure" car show returned to the OC Fairgrounds to showcase 3,500 vehicles and offer free prostate cancer screenings, with 864 men tested and 143 advised to to seek additional help. Event founder Debbie Baker presented KSK Cancer Center of Irvine a check for $100,000. 

December 2017 Around Town

 One Wreath at a Time  The Patience Wright Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, in Laguna Beach, along with chapters in Newport Beach, Irvine, Tustin and Huntington Beach, are supporting Wreaths Across America again this year. They are asking friends, family and business associates to donate wreaths to be placed on more than 6,000 veterans’ graves at Pacific…

The Honorable George Argyros Among Distinguished Alumni Honored at Chapman Family Homecoming

A U.S. ambassador. The chief medical officer at a regional medical center. An award-winning filmmaker, whose breakout work created industry buzz.

On the Boards at the Barclay…

What do Broadway actors do when they lead the list for more Tony Awards and nominations than anyone else? They take the show on the road!

Israel: The Land of Milk and Honey

There are certain travel destinations that provoke a new sense of focus and clarity of priorities upon returning home, and a renewed passion for life; Israel is one of them. The excitement of this historic destination will consume your senses upon arriving. Close your eyes and imagine what life was like in the Holy Land more than 2000 years ago…

Holiday Happenings

 Traditional Tree Lighting Ceremony at 
South Coast Plaza  On November 16th, the Segerstrom Family hosted South Coast Plaza 36th annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at Town Center Park, adjacent to The Westin South Coast Plaza. The 96-foot white fir majestic Christmas tree, which arrived from the Mt. Shasta area of Northern California, is always a popular landmark during the holidays with…

Invite a Touch of European Tradition into Your Holiday Season

Glühwein, a spiced or mulled wine, is very popular in German-speaking countries and in the region of Alsace in France. It is a traditional hot beverage served during the Christmas holidays and throughout the cold winter months. The oldest documented Glühwein is dated to the year 1420. Count John IV of Katzenelenbogen, a German nobleman, was the first grower of…

Three Tips for Holiday Bliss

The holidays are a special time to be with my family and friends. It is something I look forward to each year. I jump at the chance to celebrate some iconic once-a-year events, such as the tree lighting ceremony at Fashion Island, the evening Boat Parade on the bay, walking through the decor-laden Roger's Garden and Sherman Gardens and of,…

UCI’s Bid to Be Most Business-Friendly University

Visitors to Irvine, and even native Orange Countians, often struggle to define what Irvine stands for. Everyone knows about the city's reputation for safety and diversity. They know UC Irvine is a great school. What people don't always see is Irvine's potential as an engine of economic growth and job creation for the region.

Mission San Juan Capistrano’s 
”Romance of the Mission Gala” a Magical Affair!

The Mission Gala showcased a magnificent concert in the ruins of the Great Stone Church by Tony/Grammy vocalist Heather Headley and presented a superb gourmet repast in the Mission's Central Courtyard for 450 guests. Net proceeds of $221,000 helped the Mission 
Preservation Foundation. Photography Lisa Renee Baker, Carla Rhea

Guests Boogie on Down at Saturday Night Fever-Themed Gala

Many of the 300 guests attending the "Saturday Night Fever at Club Laura's House" gala at the Island Hotel donned Disco attire to raise money for the services Laura's House provides domestic violence victims. Underwriting, auction items and the "Rebuild a Life" ask raised $530,000 for the nonprofit, which pleased CEO/Executive Director Margaret Bayston.

Free Wheelchair Mission Celebrates One Million Lives Changed Through the Gift of Mobility

Free Wheelchair Mission's "Miracle of Mobility Gala" with 700 supporters raised $1.5 million to fund nearly 19,000 free wheelchairs, thus 
putting in motion the march to providing the second million wheelchairs. Founder/President of the faith-based, humanitarian 
organization, Don Schoendorfer, pledged to provide the second million in half the time.

CANSTRUCTION OC Winners Announced

Thirteen local architectural, construction, engineering, planning and design teams participated in the 10th Annual CANSTRUCTION competition by using cans of food to create art. The total amount of cans (77,333) utilized were donated to the OC Food Bank to feed the hungry in Orange County. Photography Pixel That!/Brian Carter

Giving Thanks!

November brings thoughts of Thanksgiving Day and all that entails. Thanksgiving Day at our house is about family and sharing the wonderful aromas from the kitchen that make that particular meal so special. We rely on the recipes that my sister and I grew up with, and the meal never disappoints. The day is also about being thankful for so…

“Priceless” Luncheon Raises Awareness on 
Issue of Human Trafficking

Vanguard University's Global Center for Women and Justice held its fifth annual "Priceless" luncheon to raise awareness of the issue of human trafficking and to recognize individuals, businesses and organizations who have worked to protect and defend survivors. The center carries out its mission through education, research, advocacy and collaboration.

Celebrity Benefit Fitting Finale to Festival of Arts/Pageant of the Masters Season

Festival of Arts' 85th season ended with a Celebrity Benefit Concert headlining legendary performers Herb Alpert and Lani Hall, 
while the sold-out crowd viewed the festival's amazing art show and ended up in Irvine Bowl entertained by the 84th Pageant of the Masters hosted by acclaimed actor Bryan Cranston.

Long Weekend-Havasupai, Grand Canyon

In the depths of the Grand Canyon lies a place of beauty that most don’t know about. The Havasupai, known as the “people of the blue-green water,” who reside there and own the land, have been maintaining this secret and almost mythical place in tact for many, many years, but have permitted visitors to come and experience the magic of…

Tips to Listing a Home for Sale

When you live in paradise, it is difficult to consider a move. In fact, Newport Beach has one of the lowest housing turnover rates in the country. Many homeowners reach out to me when they are ready to downsize or move to a neighborhood that suits their current needs. Preparing a property for sale often takes a surprising amount of…

November 2017 Around Town

William Finnegan, an award-winning reporter, staff writer for the New Yorker and the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Barbarian Days, a memoir about his lifelong passion with surfing, is making an appearance through the Newport Beach Library Foundation on Thursday, November 9, at 7 p.m. at the Central Library in Newport Beach. Whether speaking about his experiences as a…

A Love Story in Philanthropy

Suzanne and James Mellor both recall their first meeting as love at first sight. “I fell in love with her the minute we met,” Jim says, and Suzanne adds, “I thought he was the nicest, most handsome man I had ever seen.” Married 64 years, the two met in Detroit, where they were both born and raised. Jim was an…

Fusion of the Minds

In my foolish youth, it was an unsaid rule that I never ordered fish. (This, of course, excluded lox and salmon sashimi–I never said it was a rule that made sense). Most restaurants where I dined back then served fish simply fried or just plain overcooked to the point of no recognition. Dry, flaky and too fishy–that was how I…

Three Hundred Middle School Students + One 13-year-old Grammy Nominee = MAGIC!

At 13 years old, jazz pianist Joey Alexander was already a seasoned touring professional and a two-time Grammy nominee (now a Grammy winner). He played to a sold-out audience at his Irvine Barclay Theatre debut, but the real fun began the very next morning. The Barclay’s ArtsReach brought 300 IUSD middle school students to the theater to see if Joey…

The Season of Thanks & Giving

It’s that time of year again when pumpkin spice fills the air and my Thanksgiving planning gets into full swing. We host anywhere from 10-15 guests and, depending on how many are on the base at Camp Pendleton, we often extend an invite to Marines who find themselves without family. The young adults in our family always enjoy visiting with…

New Opening: AC Hotel Irvine by Marriott

In 1977, 29-year-old Antonio Catalan, founder and president of AC Hotels, opened his first hotel of the NH Hotels Group in Spain. Twenty years later, Antonio sold his stake in the company to an Italian firm for around 70 Million Euros. It was at that time he began to develop the new brand AC Hotels. He wholly owned the company…

Thanksgiving – Be Creative but Keep the Classics

After spending more than forty years in kitchens prepping, cooking and serving Thanksgiving dinner in restaurants, hotels, and at home, I came to the following conclusion: In general, people still enjoy Thanksgiving classics such as velvety mashed potatoes, stuffing, roasted yams with marshmallows, green bean casserole, and perfectly roasted turkey and gravy. However, besides the classics, it is also exciting…

CanstructionOC 2017: The Contribution of Art to Alleviate Hunger

By now you probably have had the chance to experience and admire the outstanding Canstruction exhibits at ARTIC, South Coast Plaza and John Wayne Airport. For the 10th consecutive year, Canstruction is dedicated to raising awareness about hunger by making a difference in the lives of one-in-five children who struggle with it every day in our beloved Orange County community.…

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,…

IN FOR THE LONG TERM

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…