The Crowd: SOS nets $187,000 after Chef Dinner

The Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa welcomed an overflow crowd Nov. 9 for the 22nd annual Celebrity Chef Dinner benefiting Share Our Selves. Nearly 300 guests helped raise $187,000 in support of SOS Orange Aid Project, which collects food from restaurants, grocery stores, bakeries and caterers for distribution to low-income Orange County residents.


Barons Rock for Cancer Cure

They called it "Rock and Roll for a Cure." The Orange County Barons Ball, co-chaired by Jeanie Gibson and Karyn Sanderson, unfolded recently at the Santa Ana Country Club, with proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society.

Debbie Douglas, representing the group, estimates that there are more than 11,000 people in Orange County who will be diagnosed with cancer in the coming year. Funds raised will provide medical treatment, wigs, emotional counseling, referral and free transportation for medical visits for Orange County cancer patients in need.

To date the OC Barons League has raised nearly $5 million for the cause.


Ans host CASA benefit

And speaking of causes, two of O.C.'s most remarkable women, Helene An and her daughter Elizabeth An, of AnQi Gourmet Bistro and Noodle Bar at South Coast Plaza, hosted a $50,000 charity dinner last week benefiting Court Appointed Special Advocates of Orange County, or CASA.

Three celebrated chefs created a lavish dinner for 20 guests that was billed as an "Around The World Gastronomic Feast." Ten generous couples donated $5,000 each to raise the impressive sum for CASA. Participating in the event were Josiah Citrin of Melisse and Celestino Drago of Enoteca Drago.


Segerstrom Center, LA Opera present 'Foscari'

The Segerstrom Center for the Arts recently joined with LA Opera presenting a very special concert performance of Verdi's "The Two Foscari" in the René and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.

The stunning performance featured the renowned Plácido Domingo, supported by a fully staged production and cast from the critically acclaimed Los Angeles Opera. The O.C. crowd was over the moon, offering standing ovations galore at both the intermission and the finale.

Post-performance, the crowd gathered at the chic Marche Moderne for a late-night cast party hosted by Center President Terry Dwyer. Spotted in the Marche soirée were Tracy and Roger Kirwan, Marilyn McCorkle, chair of the Guilds of the Center, Mary and Richard Cramer, Suzie and Paul Frank, Wanlyn and Benton Bejach, and the respected Debra Gunn Downing, executive director of marketing at South Coast Plaza.


Center Club hosts 'Wicked Divas'

The 2012-13 Pops concert series from the Pacific Symphony kicks off Friday with a pre-concert cocktail party at the Center Club in Costa Mesa prior to the performance of "Wicked Divas." Hosted by the Pacific Symphony League, the celebration will raise funds to support the many educational programs offered by the Pacific Symphony Orchestra.

Speaking of the Center Club, the $3-million renovation, a first in the club's 26-year history in Orange County, is set to be completed later this month and will be followed by a grand re-opening that will include a Charity Classic fundraiser which will honor Center Club founder Henry Segerstrom and his wife, Elizabeth. The event is scheduled for Jan. 31 with proceeds earmarked to benefit local charities.


High Tea and Fashion Show

The Balboa Bay Club & Resort, Newport Beach, welcomed an overflow crowd for the 23rd annual Ronald McDonald House High Tea and Fashion Show.

The Orange County Chapter of Ronald McDonald House provides low cost and often free lodging and support for families with seriously ill children being treated in local medical facilities. The event honored the memory of Gene Widdicombe, the first chairwoman of the event in Orange County. Widdicombe was also the first female McDonald's owner and operator. The glamorous retailers of Fashion Island provided a spectacular fall fashion show.

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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