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…

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

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.

January 2018 Around Town

 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…

2017 American Institute of Architects OC Design Awards.

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!

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…

BRAVO! 
CHAPMAN UNIVERSITY’S COLLEGE OF PERFORMING ARTS TURNS 10

Chapman University’s College of Performing Arts turns 10 this year, marking a decade as a cultural leader in Orange County and a preeminent training ground for the entertainment industry’s next generation of artists.

On the Road to No. 1

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

Hula, Opera and Organs, Oh My!

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.…

BEYOND POLITICS

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

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…

Vocational Visions’ “Masquerade Ball” Delights!

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

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!

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 

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…

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. 

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.

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

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…

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. 

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!

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…

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…

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…

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.

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,…

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.

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.

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…

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…

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…

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.

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…

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…

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…

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