The Crowd: Segerstrom Center donors gather together for Candlelight Concert

Preparing for Christmas in August, the super-dedicated donors in support of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts recently gathered at the European-inspired regency estate of Roger and Tracy Kirwan for the seasonal Candlelight Concert prelude.

The Kirwans will co-chair the 2016 Candlelight with Jaynine and David Warner. Both couples share a long and generous history of lending financial and creative support to many center programs as well as helping the overall progress of the O.C. cultural icon.

Center donors arrived for the midweek gathering that flowed out of the Kirwans' elegant French manor onto a sprawling lawn hilltop setting that faces the Pacific Ocean. It was a setting suitable for narration by gusher Robin Leach of "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" memory.

The Kirwans' design squad furnished the verdant green expanse with an outdoor white canvas and leather upholstered furniture arrangements. Billowing tented canopies were placed at selected intervals for shaded seating. French blue candles flickered on tables festooned with vases that were filled with fist-size white roses.

Dressed in Newport Coast summer chic attire, ladies in flowing dresses and men in crème-colored slacks, open-collared starched shirts with monogrammed cuffs and linen sport jackets sipped champagne from the ice bar with white-gloved waiters at the ready.

Turnip Rose catering was called in to ensure a very satisfied crowd. A spectacular seafood bar was ladened on an enormous bed of ice boasting freshly shucked oysters, colossal shrimp, crab legs and more. An assortment of designer salads made from summer organic harvest complemented the seafood selection.

Sampling the shrimp were OC VIPs, including Barbara and Alex Bowie, Idit and Moti Ferder, Lisa and Richard Mirage, Janet and Cliff Ronnenberg and Marta and Raj Blathal. Also front and center was John Ginger, Dee and Larry Higby, Jackie Glass, Maralou and Jerry Harrington, Shanaz and Jack Langson, Carol and Kent Wilken and the elegant New York- to-O.C. philanthropist Elizabeth Segerstrom.

One guest commented, "I feel like I'm at a party in the Hamptons. This is very New York glamorous." Indeed.

A classical guitarist filled the sunset with melodies as Newport donors came together to underwrite the Candlelight Concert, the most important holiday annual fundraiser for the Segerstrom Center. It raises seven-figure sums to support performing arts in the O.C.

High society on four legs

From high style on the Newport Coast to the latest in fashionable socializing with your best pal Fido comes the new rage being labeled "Yappy Hour."

Move over, Happy Hour, and make room for dogs. Without question, dogs have taken over the world.

Have you been shopping lately at Fashion Island? Perhaps you are one of the folks looking at shoes in Neiman Marcus while your standard poodle sits on the chair waiting for you to try on the latest Manolo?

The new Lighthouse Café at Newport's Marina Park has taken the trend to new heights, featuring a Yappy Hour every Tuesday afternoon from 3 to 7 p.m. to welcome customers and their best pals for a little afternoon repast.

This past Tuesday, two young pet-loving entrepreneurs, Freddy Monge and Aaron Trent, were the stars of Yappy Hour. They presented their new line of doggie delicacies called Freddy's Finest Treats, all made by Freddy and Aaron using locally sourced organic ingredients.

Freddy commented, "I eat them along with the dogs when we're out for a walk. That's how safe and how healthy they are." Aaron added, "And so tasty too!"

Freddy began the foray into specialty dog foods as a busy professional dog walker and trainer. He can be seen on O.C. streets dog walking eight to 10 dogs on average. In between walks, he's baking.

All of Freddy's Finest Treats are gluten- and wheat-free. "Perfect for dogs with allergies or dietary restrictions," added Aaron.

"I've created recipes with a four-diamond chef at a local O.C. resort," shared Freddy, adding, "We then reached out to tasting authorities, both human and canine, to determine our best flavors." Presently, Freddy has three flavors, with a fourth on the way.

Freddy's Finest Treats can be found in local stores, the Balboa Bay Resort and online at www.FreddysFinestTreats.com.

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B.W. COOK is editor of the Bay Window, the official publication of the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach.

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