The Crowd: A dose of Sugar Ray for charity

The invitations will be in the mail next week for what promises to be one of the most fun and worthwhile social events on the fall social calendar.

Serving People In Need (SPIN) will celebrate its 25th anniversary Nov. 1 with a gala dinner and concert at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa. Costa Mesa-based SPIN, led by the indefatigable Jean Wegener and her dedicated development executive Kim Frazier, have organized a very special evening that will star the rock group Sugar Ray, fronted by Orange County native and lead singer Mark McGrath, performing a private concert for the Friday night crowd.

If that is not enough, one of America's most famous chefs, Charlie Palmer, whose empire of restaurants and boutique hotels stretches from coast to coast, has generously agreed to create a fabulous dinner including wine pairings working closely with the Hyatt chef, Manfred Lassahn.

Wegener shares that a recent independent report conducted by Focus Strategies of Sacramento for the OC Partnership compared 60 transitional housing programs operated by 33 providers, determining that 91% of SPIN's clients successfully completed the program and did not return to homelessness.

"SPIN outperformed the others with regard to the cost of our program and the success of our program comparing three years' worth of data," Wegener added. "SPIN's housing program makes sure the children no longer live in poverty and are stably housed at the end of the program with their parents able to afford permanent housing based on their own income."

To support SPIN and be a part of the 25th gala celebration, order tickets to the black-tie-optional party at $250 per person. Please call Frazier at (714) 751-1101, ext. 19, or email to make your reservation.


SCR opens the social season

Talk about a classy evening. Julianne and George Argyros opened their stunning Italian palazzo on the Newport bayfront for a chic dinner reception at sunset Tuesday, honoring the many patrons who have supported South Coast Repertory for decades.

In pure Argyros style, the host and hostess, with their trademark self-deprecating style, told the handsome crowd gathered in the stately two-story foyer in their home, "We are honored to host this reception in our home, but this evening is not about us. It is about all of you who have worked so hard and have contributed so much to make SCR one of the most honored and recognized theatrical companies in America."

The patron party was a chance to introduce the three wonderful chairs of the upcoming 50th anniversary gala, which is set for Sept. 21 and will unfold at the SCR complex in Costa Mesa. Welcoming the crowd of supporters were chairs Bette Aitken, Sophie Cripe and Yvonne Jordan.

The three ladies are planning what will be the biggest event in SCR history. Entertainers from the SCR family, Melody Butiu and David Burnham, joined pianist Dennis Castellano singing selections in the grand stairway. Stephen Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns" and two numbers from "The Light in the Piazza," along with a number from "Ordinary Days," delighted the audience.

VIPs in the crowd included SCR's board president Damien Jordan, SCR artistic director Marc Masterson, SCR managing director Paula Tomei, major sponsor Debra Gunn Downing representing South Coast Plaza, sponsor Mitra Parsa representing Mikimoto, and the honored guests of the evening, SCR founding artistic directors David Emmes and Martin Benson.

Enjoying the elegant buffet supper were Elaine Weinberg, Maralou and Jerry Harrington, Nadine and Bob Hall, Olivia and Andy Johnson, Arden Flamson, Linda and Tod White, Gregson Hall with the beautiful Michelle Ultimo, Ardelle St. George and Don Carnegie, Barbara and Jack Tingley, Rick Reiff, Jim Doti, Paul Folino and Elizabeth and John Stahr.


Fall fashion events unfold

Kathryn Moore's Corona del Mar-based STYLE 2020 will present two major fashion events in the coming weeks on the Orange Coast.

First up on Sept. 19, the STYLE 2020 fashionistas will welcome Karen Todman of Beverly Hills bringing her extensive collection of celebrity resale jewelry and designer handbags for a fall sale from 1 to 7 p.m. in the STYLE 2020 studio at 2711 East Coast Hwy., Suite 202, in Corona del Mar.

The public is invited to preview the collection, which includes estate jewelry from a number of international celebrities with value pricing at $100 to $100,000. For more information and to RSVP, call Lisa at (949) 723-3400 or email

On Sept. 25, the STYLE 2020 team will host an encore Fall Fashion Field Trip at South Coast Plaza. This encore presentation is a repeat of the adventure that took place in August, which was a smashing success for STYLE 2020 and its guests.

The day begins with a 10:30 a.m. private diamond lecture at Tiffany & Co., which the guests at the last field trip were absolutely fascinated with, learning aspects of the diamond industry that they had never been exposed to. A champagne lunch follows at Marche Moderne, then an exclusive fall fashion show and makeup demonstration at Saks Fifth Avenue, including a $50 Saks Gift Card to help with a little shopping. The field trip ends with a styling lecture in South Coast Plaza's private Access Suite.

The cost for the field trip is $150 per person and space is very limited. Reserve your spot at or call (949) 723-3400.

THE CROWD runs Fridays. B.W. Cook is editor of the Bay Window, the official publication of the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach.

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