The Crowd: A wholesome feast down at the farm

They called it "Field to Fork."

It was the annual Jewel Event celebrating the Orange County Great Park. Chaired by the park's foundation director, Teddie Ray, a June 22 evening under the stars attracted a sell-out crowd to the park's Food + Farm Lab.

Guests began the Saturday night celebration with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres while previewing a massive silent auction. Organizers went to great lengths to stress the Great Park's agriculture program at this year's Jewel event and emphasize the importance of fresh, locally grown organic foods, which was the theme of the evening's dinner that ensued.

Appropriately, the evening's meal was served "farm style" at long communal tables set up on the park's green. Great Park foundation Chairwoman Marian Bergeson of Corona del Mar welcomed the crowd, who sampled a selection of vegetarian delights and sustainably sourced seafood. The American folk band Skyline Drive entertained, as guests sampled tray-passed desserts and left the dining tables for a dance under the stars, part of the Great Park's tradition.

Ray shared that the fundraising enabled the "promised" completion of the Palm Court's Arts Complex and Great Park Gallery. The goal of this year's Jewel Event was to showcase the park's farm, food and agriculture department, with the centerpiece being the 100-acre Farm + Food Lab along with the planned community gardens.

Assisting Ray were committee members, including Lizanne Witte, Rosemary Ward, Judith Posnikoff, Janet Ray, Keiko Sakamoto, Deborah Hefter, Madeline Swinden, Christine Comp, Lynn Jochim and Barbara MacGillivray.

Major sponsorship for the 2012 Jewel Event came from Sheila and Jim Peterson, Microsemi, One World One Ocean, Janet and Walkie Ray, Judith Posnikoff and Barbara and Greg MacGillivray. Also lending their support were Brenda and Bob Currie, Pamela and Keith Curry, Michelle and David Horowitz, Marilyn and Tom Neilson, Trish and John O'Donnell, Douglas Neff, Stacy and Jeff Stone, and Dianne and A.G. Kawamura.

Formed in 2000, the Foundation for the Great Park has worked tirelessly for 12 years to support the development and operation of this future Orange County landmark. Nearly 500 guests attended the 2012 annual summer Jewel Event, with net proceeds exceeding $175,000. To learn more, please visit

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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