THE CROWD:Founders’ Brunch yields $1.2 million


Hoag Cancer Center’s Circle 1000 recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, raising nearly $1.2 million at the annual Founders’ Brunch. More than 600 elegant guests turned out for a morning confab at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel and Spa at Fashion Island.

The Monday morning event introduced guest of honor Lou Holtz, college football legend, to the crowd. It was an inspirational gathering, bringing together dedicated supporters of the Hoag Cancer Center, many of them survivors themselves, with committed professionals who work to bring the latest technology and treatments to help those fighting cancer.

Chaired by Karen Linden, with assistance from founding chairman Sandy Sewell, underwriting chairman Lynn Thomas, and a committee that included Lin Auer, Hyla Bertea, Vicki Booth, Mary Buckingham, Janet Curci, Jacqueline Dillman, Arden Flamson, Jodi Greenbaum, Stephanie Grody, Gail Kirwan, Marcia Martyn, Judy Steele, Ginny Ueberroth, and Virginia Zenz, among others, the event was an enormous success.

Special thanks were bestowed on Susan Bartlett for her generosity in providing the flowers for all the tables. Founding chair Sandy Sewell was also honored for her dedication over the last 20 years in helping to build the Patty & George Hoag Cancer Center.

Major donors for the event included Julia and George Argyros, Susan Bartlett and Edouard de Limburg, Jean Bellwood Arden Flamson, the John Curci family, Gail and Roger Kirwan, Marge and Jeff Lewis, Karen and Tom Linden, Priscella Moore, the Schmider family, Sewell and Ginny and Peter Ueberroth. Also supporting Hoag were Martha Macnab, Judith Swedlund, Pat Beckman, Melinda and Tony Moiso, Cara and Michael Shapiro, Jean and Tim Weiss, Sue and Larry Werner, Sue and Greg Brakovich and Marion Knott.

Following brunch, Lou Holtz, author of three New York Times best-selling books and producer of three highly acclaimed motivational videos, stepped up to the microphone and shared with the crowd his account of how his wife, Beth, battled stage IV squamous cell throat cancer, survived, and is today 10 years cancer-free. Holtz, considered one of America’s top motivational speakers, serves as an analyst on television for ESPN.

“I was pleased to speak about a subject that touches so many lives,” he said.

Holtz was both inspiring and amusing.

“I hope that the audience was both encouraged and inspired to continue in their support of cancer research and treatment programs,” he said.

Instead of spending time in committees and attending meetings, Circle 1000 members express their support by attending one single event each year — the Founders’ Brunch — and making a direct gift in support of cancer research, cell biology lab, and programs offered through the cancer center.

Spotted in the crowd were Greg Dillion, Melinda and Ken Lipinski, Elizabeth Stahr, Pat Allen, Kim Weeks with daughter Kelli, Margie and Larry Smith, Juanita Firestone, Maureen Pierce, Lin and Al Auer, Sally Welsh, Gay Pivaroff, Barbara Aune and many other caring benefactors.

Since its inception in 1988, Circle 1000 has contributed more than $8 million for cancer programs at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian. Funds raised on this 20th anniversary celebration truly raised the bar of philanthropy for the Hoag Cancer Center.

  • THE CROWD runs Thursdays and Saturdays.
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