The Crowd: Gala raises money for cystic fibrosis

The 27th annual Cystic Fibrosis Gala unfolded at The Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa, drawing a sellout crowd of 440 donors and raising an impressive $731,000 net for cystic fibrosis research and care.

Chaired by Dan and Gayle Demsher with support from gala committee members Karen Hall, Nancy Mallory, Katie Horwich, Dean Gerrie, Danni Good, Gail Isen, Stephanie Kahle, Helen Johnson and C.F. Guild President Sue Hook, the party was one of the best in recent memory.

The June 5 evening affair greeted the crowd with the ever-popular Martini Bar and silent auction bidding. The Marriott served a multicourse dinner punctuated by entertainment courtesy of master of ceremonies Shawn Parr, radio host from KKGO Radio, and an emotional tribute from Stacy Motenko, 23, a young lady fighting C.F.

Motenko shared her challenge during this past year of coming to grips with the loss of her dear friend Emily Haager, also suffering from C.F.

The annual top honor, known as the "C.F. Breath of Life" was bestowed upon Bill and Jenny Klein for their "unwavering support of the C.F. Foundation," said Sue Hook, adding, "Bill and Jenny Klein pledged to match every dollar raised in our fund drive called "Bid for a Cure."

At the end of the evening the total, with the Kleins' generous match, came to $269,170.

Live auction items, sold by emcee Parr included Lakers final playoff tickets, trips to Europe, the Caribbean and New York with business and first class accommodations on American Airlines.

Big excitement in the bidding came with the offering of Lady Gaga tickets. Men's and ladies Baume & Mercier watches donated by Traditional Jewelers, valued at more than $7,500, were the raffle prizes of the night going to Stan Stremick and Adele Walsh.

In addition to Bill and Jenny Klein, Traditional Jewelers and American Airlines, major funding for the event came from such generous underwriters as Pat Hitchcock O'Connell, Helene Galen, Ken and Debbie Johnson, Tom and Peggy Ling, Doug and Kristi De Cinces, Todd and Sue Klug, Mike and Mary Zollman, Ron and Dianne Higgins, event chairs Dan and Gayle Demsher and corporate donors BJ's Restaurants, Inc., Lithocraft, Charles Schwab, A-Med Health Care, IREM and Ramat Medical.

Additional Newport-Mesa support came from David and Stephanie Close, Robert and Judy Cristiano, Jim and Diana Dunne, Paul and Rachelle Gale, Bob and Carolyn Waltos, Mike and Shannon Russell, and Scott and Susan Jackson.

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