The Crowd: A psychedelic night for fundraising

They called it the "Time of Your Life."

The UCI Mind Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders took the crowd back to the psychedelic 1960s to raise funds forAlzheimer'sresearch at the institute.

And raise funds they did. Some 500 guests replicating the Twiggy mini skirt for the ladies and the Nehru jacket for the men converged upon Costa Mesa's Center Club for a fabulous party that was non-stop energy.

Organizers decorated the Center Club in sectors that included a Motown Room, a British Invasion corner, a Beach Boys surf's up lounge, a TV Land living room suitable for the Cleaver family of "Leave it to Beaver" fame, a Sinatra swinging Supper Club and finally a "futurama" view of the "new age" fit for the Jetsons.

The $200 per-person ticket, plus underwriting and other donations, will hopefully take the donated tally to UCI's goal of raising $100,000.

The festive evening featured flowing cocktail bars and food stations geared to the various themes of the rooms. Motown had scrumptious short ribs. Surf's up featured ahi bites. And the British Invasion had what else but fish and chips, watercress sandwiches and a very proper English dessert bar.

The affair was co-chaired by Marc Carlson, Jacqueline DuPont and Linda Young. A committee of nearly 50 local supporters of UCI Mind made the evening possible.

Some of the standouts included Mary Davidson, Rita Goldberg, Alison Hahn, Jodi and Vince Ferragamo, Mima and Dale Ransom, Ed Schrum, Alaina Stamos, Frank Talarico and Gini Kay. Co-chair Linda Young, president and managing partner of Elite OC Productions, LLC, was in charge of decorating the party to the max.

A contingent of generous corporate support assisted in the task. Among those deserving credit were Brite Ideas Lighting Co., Fresh Murals, Asher Entertainment, Classic Party Rentals, Kool Party Rentals and Vasin Signs, to mention a few. Event sponsors included Silverado Senior Living Homes, St. Michael Hospice, Sunrise Senior Living, Vista Gardens Memory Care, Irvine Cottages, Sonnet Home Health, Atria Senior Living and In Home Care Solutions.

Spotted in the crowd were Harry Bubb and Patricia Ellis, Emily Crean Volger and Daniel Flynn, Bill Edwards, Victoria and David Collins, Suzanne and Loren Shook, George Kiviroglu and Larry Arnold.

Also supporting Alzheimer's research were Christi Bennett, Suzy Casey, Carrie Gray, Laura Huerta, Mimi Johnson, Laura Lane, Diane Mondini and Macelo Soares.

UCI Mind spokeswoman Linda Scheck offered: "Alzheimer's research is our only hope. Alzheimer's is happening to 4.5 million Americans. Today, every 69 seconds, someone new develops the mind-robbing disease. Costs associated with caring for Alzheimer's patients are currently estimated to exceed $1.1 trillion. And as the baby boomer population ages the potential numbers of those afflicted will gown exponentially."

Scheck joined with the event chairs urging the crowd to donate whatever they could afford to help the research at UCI Mind "inasmuch as funding is urgently needed to meet massive increasing costs."

UCI Mind is Orange County's only federal- and state-designated Alzheimer's disease research and clinical center. For more information go to

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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