The Crowd: Hoag Summer Classic raises funds for hospital’s projects

Summer on the Orange Coast welcomed the 2017 Hoag Summer Classic at the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort.

A massive turnout of more than 1,400 guests came together to celebrate a summer tradition in Newport Beach hosted by the Hoag Hospital Foundation and its 552 Club.


Organizers labeled the event, "A MidsummerNight's Dream," ultimately raising $245,860 for the hospital.

Co-chaired by Megan and Jonathan Acosta and Caroline and Andre Vovan M.D., the annual food and music festival — which was inaugurated in 1998 — has cumulatively raised more than $2 million for Hoag projects.


Flynn Andrizzi, president of Hoag Hospital Foundation, welcomed and thanked generous underwriters including Gina and Jeffrey Cereda, Steven Fainbarg, Mara and Keith Murray, Steven Silverstein, Larry Felix, Marilyn McIntyre, and Karen and Tom Linden.

Major foundations supporting Hoag and the event included the Gross Family Foundation, the Andrei Foundation, the Stanley Ekstrom Foundation, the Larkin Family and the Feuerstein Family, among others.

The crowd sampled food and libations from some 41 of O.C.'s top restaurants.

Some of the bistros participating were Back Bay Bistro, Bayside Restaurant, the Cannery, El Cholo, Muldoon's, Rusty Pelican, Sabatino's and Water Grill.

Let the music play on

An early summer gala for Pacific Symphony Orchestra took on the theme of the Roaring '20s and the glamour of the Gatsby era.

A whopping $1.5 million was raised for symphony programs. Upwards of 500 guests converged at Hotel Irvine for a return to the jazz age provided by the music of JT and Friends.

The enormous party was chaired by symphony board member Ginny Davies and was sponsored by Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin of Newport Beach joining Regency Air Private Charter.

Symphony VIPs welcoming the crowd were president John Forsyte and music director Carl St.Clair.

A jazz age dinner was created by the hotel's executive chef Michael Beck, beginning with a velvety cauliflower soup followed by a Cabernet poached pear salad and an entree of lobster and filet mignon. Dinner service was enhanced by musical interludes from Pacific Symphony artists.

A major auction led by Jim Nye brought in significant dollars offering fabulous vacation travel packages. Donors in the crowd included stalwart Symphony supporters including Catherine and Cameron Emmi, Pat and Bill Podlich, Tam Tran, Heidi and Barry Aronoff, Roberta and Howard Ahmanson and Michele and Brian Maryott.

The VIP crowd danced the night away to the incredible music of JT and Friends thanks to the longtime generous support of bandleader and tech executive John Tu of Kingston Technology.

Ellis Island Medal of Honor recognizes O.C. citizen

The National Ethnic Collation of Organizations (NECO) bestowed it's Ellis Island Medal of Honor awards to 100 Americans across the country in a recent ceremony in New York.

Among the honorees was Orange County's Anne Shih, chairwoman of the board at Bowers Museum, Santa Ana.

Born in Taiwan, Shih emigrated to the United States in 1979 becoming involved with Bowers Museum in 1996. Over the last two plus decades, her passion for the museum has made tremendous strides elevating the culture of Orange County through her unbridled energy, intelligence and creative spirit.

Shih has been instrumental in increasing Bowers' membership by almost tripling the number of local citizens and she has participated in bringing significant exhibitions, including the legendary Terra Cotta Warriors from Xian, China to the museum.

Working with museum director Peter Keller, she has established Bowers Museum as an international presence on the West Coast.

For her efforts with the museum as well as her involvement in other civic, cultural, educational and charitable causes in Orange County, the Ellis Island Medal was presented to her as an American who has chosen to preserve and celebrate her Chinese ancestry while embracing and exemplifying the best values of the American way of life.

2017 marks the 30th anniversary of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

In past years, it has been bestowed upon seven U.S. Presidents, Supreme Court Justices, journalists including Walter Cronkite, athletes including Muhammad Ali and Arthur Ashe, among many others.

Shih will share her 2017 honors with Buzz Aldrin, Sherry Lansing, John Kasich, S. Paul Musco, and Garo Tertzakian.

A hole in one for Olive Crest

The Tommy Bahama 18th Annual Pacific Coast Classic Golf Tournament and Celebration Dinner unfolded at the Monarch Beach Golf Links, Dana Point.

The golf tournament, considered one of the finest on the Orange Coast, attracts a large field of players in a format that is a 4-person team scramble with a shotgun start.

The day on the greens was followed by a celebration dinner and auction held at Tommy Bahama's Island Grille in Newport Beach.

Tim Bauer, executive development director of Olive Crest Orange County, commented: "The Tommy Bahama organization has gone above and beyond to be a champion for vulnerable children, helping to transform the lives of abused and at-risk children in our community. We cannot thank them enough for assisting Olive Crest in raising over $1.5 million to date from this golf tournament which has provided critical services for children and their families."

Also welcoming the crowd to dinner at Tommy Bahama was West Coast regional manager Debbie MacDonald, joining Newport restaurant general manager Chat Rutan.

Olive Crest serves nearly 3,000 children and families each day throughout California, Nevada and the Pacific Northwest.

To learn more about their work visit

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