The Crowd: Another year CHOC-ful of follies

The CHOC Follies recently wrapped up its 15th annual production, "Christina and the Crystal Ball: A Cinderella Story for the Social Net Set." It was a four-show run that played to some 2,300 cheering fans at Orange Coast College's Robert B. Moore Theatre in Costa Mesa.

This year's production raised an estimated $500,000 to support construction of The Voice, a project of the Ryan Seacrest Foundation at Children's Hospital of Orange County. The Voice will enable patients at CHOC to engage in creative activities while being confined to the hospital for treatment.

To date, the Follies have netted nearly $6 million in support of CHOC.

Executive Producer Gloria Zigner joined her dedicated event chairs — Leslie Cancellieri, Sandy Segerstrom Daniels and Dale Skiles — along with Associate Producer Lois Augustine, who was representing the CHOC Children's Foundation, in taking a bow at the final curtain with the production's creative staff of John Vaughan, Doug Austin and Lee Martino.

The community has gotten behind Zigner in a substantial way, and the Follies' sponsorship is impressive. A few of the patrons who make this event possible include this year's title sponsor, XCARET Family Foundation.

It joined BNY Melon, Fran Cashen, The Crean Foundation, Sally and Randy Crockett, Sandy and John Daniels, Ernst & Young LLP, Marybelle and S. Paul Musco, Ingram Micro, Eve Kornyei, Gerda and Dean Koontz and Phil and Mary Lyons in supporting the Follies, along with Henry Mayhew, Judy Morr, Susie and Steven Perry, The PIMCO Foundation, Sue and Ralph Stern, US Trust, Valerie Whiting, and Nancy and Tom Wilson.


The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Dream Gala raised more than $800,000 at the recent 2012 soirée held at The Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel.

Event chairwoman Tracy McCarter and her dedicated Dream Gala committee created an event labeled "Imagine A World Without Diabetes." The evening honored the firm of Stradling, Yocca, Carlson & Rauth in memory of Eleanor Leatherby.

A cocktail reception and tequila bar welcomed the black-tie crowd examining the silent auction and enjoying a wine tasting and vintage wine auction, while surrounded by a spectacular setting sun over the Pacific Ocean.

The ballroom doors opened to a gourmet dinner that featured a caramelized pear and candied walnut salad, and a mixed grill entrée of filet mignon and sea bass. A live auction followed, and then the opening of "Club Imagine," which created a nightclub atmosphere featuring dancing and faux casino tables.

Major sponsors of the evening included Mary and Dick Allen, the PIMCO Foundation, Stradling, Yocca, Carlson & Rauth, Toni and Steve Berlinger, Joann Leatherby and Greg Bates, and Jackie and Norm Kallan. Also making a difference for JDRF were the Leisure Society, XOJET and Rolls-Royce.


The 12th annual Scholar Awards Dinner, presented by the ARCS Foundation's Orange County chapter, recognized some of the region's brightest talents in multiple disciplines in the sciences.

ARCS, which stands for Achievement Rewards for College Scientists, finds its purpose in advancing science in America. Appropriately, the awards ceremony and dinner unfolded at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering at UC Irvine.

Barbara Hamkalo, president of the Orange County chapter, welcomed Michael R. Gottfredson, UCI's executive vice chancellor and provost. A presentation of scholars included a selection of keynote speakers addressing the state of scientific progress in America in fields such as biological sciences, medicine, physical sciences, engineering and computer science.

Eighteen students received scholarship awards.

From the School of Biological Sciences, Meredith Chabrier, Melissa Faith Davis, Elizabeth Anne Gordon and Aaron Theodore Mattfeld were honored. James Jenista, Claire Robertson, Sara Saedinia and William Winter were recognized for their work under the Henry Samueli School of Engineering.

From the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, Alexander Behm, Nicolas Mangano and Dennis Park were honored. Janice Chang, William Gordon, Timothy Do Chau Minh represented excellence from the UCI School of Medicine. Finally, from the School of Physical Sciences, Anne Kelly, John Reager, Tatyana Sheps and Angel Velasco received recognition.

Local ARCS Foundation support comes from community activists, including James and Catherine Emmi, Sue and Nicholaos Alexopoulos, Paul Campbell, William Hulings, Carol Malouf, Jackie Murphy, Judy Greenspon, France Campbell and the late Patricia Beckman.

A dinner celebration in the Beckman Center atrium followed the awards presentation. Spotted in the crowd were Diana Casey, Joan Torres, and Marion Pickens.

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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