As we enter February 2018, we continue to wrap up coverage of year-end holiday celebrations in the community.
Friends of Court Appointed Special Advocates (FOCASA) gathered for their holiday luncheon at Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point for tea and a fashion show.
It was the 22nd year recognizing CASA's work in Orange County. Since 1995 donors supporting CASA have raised $3.7 million earmarked to assist the work of mentors advocating for minors in the foster care system.
The 2017 event was a record breaker for CASA netting $426,000 at the annual holiday luncheon and fashion show.
Chaired by Stefanie Stamires and Marjie Zethraus and assisted by more than 60 committee members from an auxiliary group known as Friends of CASA, the luncheon attracted more than 600 guests with both their wallets and their hearts open to help foster children needing support.
The crowd was treated to a holiday fashion show which took on the theme "Time To Shine" produced by South Coast Plaza with special support from Intermix and celebrated shoe designer Jimmy Choo.
Needless to say, "Time To Shine" was a call for patrons to sparkle with holiday sequins, beads and plenty of sheen. The event featured two guest speakers.
Orange County resident Carrie Cook shared with the crowd her experience as a foster mother.
"I welcome help and resources from anyone and anything to make it all work," Cook said."But one person who sticks out above all the people is the advocate from CASA. My kids call that person 'My CASA'."
Cook was followed by speaker Peggy Mauro, a current CASA volunteer who had worked with a child in the foster care of Cook and her family.
Spotted in the luncheon crowd were Danette Dye, Sandra Gee, Annette Hellmich, Elizabeth Hopkinds, Lori Jackson, Molly Jolly, Patty Juarez, Deborah Keillor, Debra Klein, Sandi Marino, Debbie Masek, Colleen Masterson and Kimberly DeLarmar Matties.
Also in the crowd were Sarah Minakary, Jennifer Gonzales Oxen, Erika Pedersen, Sara VanDusen, Janie Wald, Jaynine Warner and Kristin Wilson.
Newport's amazing Lugano Diamonds donated an item of fine jewelry for the CASA opportunity drawing valued at $25,000 which was won by luncheon attendee Tammy Storino.
Festival of Children Foundation of Costa Mesa joined forces with the Disneyland Resort for the fifth annual "Carousel of Possible Dreams Fundraiser."
The holiday gathering raised upward of $220,000, which is earmarked to benefit 12 Orange County children's charities. They include Assistance League of Santa Ana, Changing Face of Beauty, Child Abuse Prevention Center, Family Support Network, Girls Inc. of Orange County, HOBY California, Orange County Children's Therapeutic Arts Center, Orange County School of the Arts, Seneca Family of Agencies, Talk About Curing Autism and Western Youth Services.
Festival of Children Foundation of Costa Mesa was founded by Sandy Segerstrom Daniels who serves as executive director. In its fifth year the organization has raised $1.6 million from its annual event "Possible Dreams."
In total some 480 children's charities in the greater United States have received some form of support from Segerstrom Daniels' efforts.
She commented:, "It was truly magical day full of laughter and triumphs as these wonderful charities completed their fundraising campaigns funding their individual possible dreams."
"The Carousel of Possible Dreams is a joy to host because it aligns with our focus in enriching the lives of children and their families," said Jill Bolton, director of corporate citizenship at Disneyland Resort.