The Crowd: Lecture delivers more than decorative tips

The Decorative Arts Society welcomed author and designer Adam Lewis, who spoke about "The Great Lady Decorators," also the title of his book, on Nov. 12.

Lewis autographed copies of the book, which focuses on female designers in America from 1870 to 1955. The lecture attracted a wide range of patrons supporting the charitable work of the society, which raises money from its annual series of Decorative Arts programs. This season's runs through April.

The Lewis event was the second in the series, which began in October with a presentation from Wolfram Koeppe, curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The third presentation will take place Feb. 11 and will feature Brian Coleman, author, editor and psychiatrist.

On the evening prior to the Lewis lecture, Decorative Arts Society patroness Merrilee Harris opened her handsome Spanish Colonial home on the Balboa Peninsula for the very popular pre-event reception welcoming the guest of honor and providing an opportunity for society members to meet and mingle with the esteemed lecturer. More than 100 guests converged at the Harris residence, which the hostess shared was inspired by her grandparents' home on Little Balboa Island. In the crowd was society president Ann Dennis, who told guests that 2014 will mark the 20th anniversary of the society. Also on hand were Carol and Bruce Andrews, Linda and Denny Campbell, Mary and John Carrington, Barbara and David Cline, Marion and Peter Hartwich, Judy and Jim Montgomery, Mary Anna and Arthur Jeppe, and Kate and Sam Roth.


Shelter celebrates 25 years

The Ritz Carlton Hotel Laguna Niguel was transformed into the style of "The Great Gatsby" from the Roaring Twenties for a Nov. 1 gala hosted by the Friendship Shelter.

Founded in 1988, the Friendship Shelter in Laguna Beach was the brainchild of a group of neighbors in Orange County who realized that there was a growing problem in what was a mostly suburban affluent bedroom community. That problem was homelessness, with many of those suffering from drug or alcohol dependency as well as serious mental health issues. This month those dedicated founders joined with a large contingent of supporters to recognize a milestone in which 7,000 lives have been assisted by the shelter during those years.

Co-chaired by Keiko Sakamoto and Faye Hezar, the evening was made possible due to the work of dedicated citizens including Jeri McKenna, Teddie Ray, Elyse Roberts, Pame Schmider, Ben Simon, Cyd Swerdlow, Todd Anderson, Joni August Brice, Paul Fenner and Michael Botsko of Tiffany & Co. at South Coast Plaza, to name a few.


Foundation recognized

The fourth annual Literacy Project Foundation luncheon unfolded Sept. 25 at Big Canyon Country Club in Newport Beach.

More than 275 guests attended the event, which raised an impressive $70,000, doubling the proceeds from the previous year.

Literacy Project Foundation serves at-risk children who are not proficient in English in order to prepare them for success in school. Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait presented a civic proclamation to the crowd, recognizing that the foundation, which works with children in the Anaheim School District, raised more than $350,000 that helped 2,400 children improve their speaking, writing and reading skills.

The praise from Tait was only the beginning of tributes from an impressive list of community advocates who acknowledged the foundation's work. Among those in attendance were Sue Johnson, superintendent of the Savanna School District, Newport Beach Police officer Todd Vinson, Newport Beach Fire Department Asst. Fire Chief Kevin Kitch, Dixie Arnold, associate professor at Vanguard University, and designer Annie Foster Freedland among the local patrons supporting the work of the Literacy Project Foundation.

The annual luncheon was sponsored by Tourbillion Boutique and Omega represented by Omega's United States' brand president Gregory Swift and Tourbillion's South Coast Plaza representative Aimee Richter. Annual awards were bestowed upon Ed Arnold, "Distinguished Humanitarian," Doug Freeman, "Corporate Partner of the Year," Christina Romney, "Master Teacher of the Year," and Barbara Shangraw, who was recognized as "Dream Maker of the Year."


Haircuts helping kids

For more than 12 years, the Images Salon in Corona del Mar has sponsored a "Cut-a-Thon," donating 100% of revenue from salon services to assist the children living in the care of Childhelp, which works to prevent and treat child abuse.

The fundraiser, which took place Sept. 15 with all of the stylists contributing their services, raised $14,225.

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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