The Crowd: Paul Reiser visits Solomon Society fundraiser

The Solomon Society, a men's fraternal organization associated with the Jewish Federation & Family Services of Orange County, held its annual event billed as "'Late Night' with the Solomon Society … Cocktails, Cuisine and Comedy for a Cause."

Hundreds of men joined together for the gathering Sept. 13, which starred comedian Paul Reiser. The actor, musician and writer is probably best known for his role in the NBC television series "Mad About You."

The Solomon Society is co-chaired by Michael and David Stoll. The evening was co-chaired by Kenny Beard, Gideon Bernstein, Peter MacDonald, David Weinberg and Sam Wyman.

The event unfolded at the Grove of Anaheim with a 5 p.m. VIP reception featuring a Glenfiddich scotch tasting and a "meet and greet" with Reiser. A cocktail reception and dinner followed with Reiser's comedy show topping off the evening.

The event is a major fundraiser for Jewish Federation & Family Services of Orange County, as all attendees are requested to make a pledge of at least $1,000 benefiting the Generations Fund of the organization, which supports all variety of family services assisting Orange County Jewish residents in need.

The 2012 honoree labeled Mensch of the Year was bestowed upon Frank Ellis, co-executive vice chairman of the Jewish Federation & Family Services board. Ellis also has served as chairman of community philanthropy.

Ellis, who is a director at SingerLewak, also serves on the Disability Awareness Foundation and the Anti-Defamation League of Orange County, according to the society's website. He was selected as the honoree for his 25 years of community service in both the Jewish and Gentile communities of Orange County.

Local gents supporting the event included Newport's fashionable jeweler Moti Ferder, Jay Feldman, Marc Ecker, Davey Glantz, David Goren, Don Kaiser, Bruce Harris, Avi Marciano, Shawn Miller, Barry Seaton, Bryan Pepper, Adam Newman and Paul Vann. To learn more about the work of the Solomon Society, visit


Furniture designer draws top shelf crowd

Furniture design maven Bob Williams, co-founder of Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, flew in from New York City to greet more than 400 guests that arrived at the Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams showroom for a lavish reception honoring their new fall home furnishings collection.

The high-energy party Sept. 13 at South Coast Plaza Village was thrown in partnership with American Express Travel and Financial Services and South Coast Plaza management.

Home fashion designers created fabulous tabletop displays showcasing fall-oriented home accessories from international design stars such as Donna Karan, Bally, BVLGARI and Assouline.

Local restaurants, including Antonello Ristorante, Morton's the Steakhouse and Scott's Restaurant and Bar, provided gourmet tasting for the crowd who was welcomed by South Coast Plaza's fashionable marketing guru Debra Gunn Downing, joining VIPs Susan Franklin, Matt Langford, Dennis Silva, Elsie Sooszetojones and restaurateur Antonio Cagnolo.


Vikings hit the beach

In other men's society news, the Noble Viking Charities of Orange County held their annual Noble Viking's Beach Bash on Aug. 4 at the Balboa Bay Club & Resort in Newport Beach. The sold-out evening on the sand attracted some 100 guests raising significant dollars to assist Noble Vikings efforts working with Orange County families with children in need.

The group's primary financial goal is to raise money to support the annual Christmas Food Basket Stuffing, which prepares and donates 1,400 complete dinner baskets to serve and estimated 11,200 Orange County residents during the holidays. Some of the other charities associated with the Noble Vikings are Civic Center Barrio Housing, Homefront America Inc., Latino Health Access and Boys & Girls Clubs in Santa Ana, Tustin, Costa Mesa, San Juan Capistrano and other local communities.

The Beach Bash was also an opportunity to rally the volunteers for the annual holiday food distribution, inasmuch as some 400 people are needed to complete the task. Spotted in the crowd were Diane and Sonny Jenson, Wayne and Sherry Smith, Rick and Mary Scott, John Postma and Kristilyn Goff, Frank and Michele DiBella, David and Lilli Dabov, Catherine Emmi, Brent Robbins, Al and Bobbi Geigle, and Steve and Michelle Holbert.

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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