Costa Mesa mayor hosts annual Holiday Soiree and charity coat drive

Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley, center, looks on as Matt Fitt, left, and Dynah Frieden donate jackets during Foley’s 11th annual Holiday Soiree and Kids Coat Drive on Thursday.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley hosted her 11th annual Holiday Soiree and Kids Coat Drive Thursday.

The event, held in Folks pizzeria at the Camp on Bristol Street, raised money for Foley’s 2020 state Senate campaign. There was a suggested contribution of at least $37 for attendees during the online RSVP process and the event also offered sponsorship opportunities ranging from $100 to $9,400.

During the event, Foley also collected coats that will be donated to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast. Foley said she has invited public safety representatives, City Council members, City Manager Lori Ann Farrell Harrison and the Los Angeles Chargers cheerleaders to join her to drop off the coats later this month.

Guests add to the pile of coats and jackets donated during Thursday’s event.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Last year’s drive collected 192 coats. Foley said the goal is to collect 500 this year.

Drop-off boxes at several locations — including Foley’s law office, 1600 Dove St. #101 in Newport Beach; Bond Sanchez-Gordon, 17500 Red Hill Ave. #100 in Irvine; the Miguel’s Jr. restaurant at 141 E. 17th St. in Costa Mesa and the 2020 campaign office for state Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach) — will continue to take donations until Dec. 16.

Foley said another drop-off box is available at the Police Department, 99 Fair Drive, but she did not include that location on the Holiday Soiree event flier “out of respect to separate the campaign event and the drive.”

Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley arranges a box full of coats and winter jackets during her annual Holiday Soiree. Donations can be dropped off at select locations until Dec. 16.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)


The event has previously been the target of complaints, including from former Mayor Jim Righeimer in 2014 and former Planning Commissioner Colin McCarthy in 2017.

McCarthy alleged the event was deceptive political fundraising in the guise of charity, but the California Fair Political Practices Commission cleared Foley after it found no evidence of a violation.

“I’ve been doing this for 11 years. Bah, humbug is what I say,” Foley said about the past criticism.

For more information about how and where to donate coats, call (949) 502-8800.

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