The Crowd: O.C. benefits galore

The Pacific Coast Wine Festival will unfold at Newport Beach's Island Hotel on March 3. It is the fifth event in the world of wine benefiting the Costa Mesa-based Pacific Symphony.

Advanced sommelier Jim Houston, from Charlie Palmer, will oversee the wine selection paired with a five-course dinner prepared for patrons by Island Hotel chef David Man.

The festival will also share the wine wisdom of "roaming" sommeliers and winemakers interacting with guests anxious to learn about the many varieties on display and available for tasting. In addition to the classics from the Rhone and Burgundy regions of France, newer California boutiques will be featured.

Live and silent auction items will include two rare bottles of Screaming Eagle, as well as other highly coveted wines, exclusive dining and travel packages, and luxury goods perfect for the vine connoisseur.

"The festival is not just for wine enthusiasts and collectors but also for those wishing to support music education in the O.C. while having a fine evening of food, wine and conversation," said Jayce Keane, the symphony's spokeswoman.

For tickets and information, go to or call (714) 755-5799.



The Orange County Board of Education this month recognized the Festival of Children, a Costa Mesa nonprofit dedicated to assisting children in Orange County, with its Outstanding Contributions to Education Award.

County School Supt. William M. Habermehl was on hand to congratulate Sandy Segerstrom Daniels, founder of the Festival of Children, and Board President Elizabeth Parker.


Athletes gala to benefit Orangewood

Orangewood Children's Foundation will sponsor the Athletes First Classic Gala on March 2 at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort & Spa. The gala will kick off a two-day event, including a day of golf on the St. Regis greens, where each foursome will include a famous athlete or celebrity as the fifth golfer.

Sara Bazant at Orangewood reports that more than 40 star athletes will attend. Some of the famous names front and center last year that may be returning include Matt Leinart, Clay Matthews, Mark Sanchez, Matt Hasselbeck, coach Jason Garrett, Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson and ESPN broadcaster Trent Dilfer.

For more information, go to


Friends of Dorothy fashion show

The Friends of Dorothy Guild, benefiting the AIDS Services Foundation of Orange County, are preparing for their annual spring fashion show and dinner slated for May 23.

Organizers are calling the event "The Runway Fashion Show Rave." It will take place at the O.C. warehouse of AIDS donors Susie and Kevin Coleman. New stores and designers will be featured showcasing both ladies and gents couture.

And here's an offer you may not want to pass up: the Center Club in Costa Mesa has announced, through its membership director Amanda Thomas, that it will offer 30 Center Club memberships at the $2,500 fee, then donate $1,000 from each membership to the Friends of Dorothy Guild.

To learn more, go to the Dorothy Guild's new website at

THE CROWD runs Thursdays and Saturdays. B.W. Cook is editor of the Bay Window, the official publication of the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach.

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