Potential candidate holds soiree

Partygoers filed into Mesa restaurant Wednesday night for Katrina Foley's annual Holiday Soiree and Benefit, pausing at the door to sign an endorsement for the school board member's probable council run.

Foley, 46, hasn't made an official announcement, but said she is "absolutely considering" joining the 2014 race for Costa Mesa City Council.

She last served on the council from 2004 to 2010. She resigned her seat that November, during her second term, to serve on the Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board of Trustees.

"I'm looking forward to making a formal announcement after the new year," she said Thursday.

Wednesday night's benefit, attended by more than 100 people, marks Foley's fifth annual Holiday Soiree at the trendy restaurant.

"This year's event was the biggest turnout we've ever seen," said Foley, who lives in Mesa del Mar. "There's so many new people getting involved. It's nice to have the continuity of longtime supporters as well as the infusion of new supporters."

Proceeds from the event benefited Foley's exploratory committee, as well as local charities. Attendees also donated children's coats and food items at the door. The coats will go to the Harbor Boys and Girls Club, and the food items will be donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank.

New children's coats will continue to be collected at the police station until Friday, and canned food will be collected at Mesa until Dec. 13.

Foley, an attorney, said she has received tremendous support and encouragement from Costa Mesa residents who would like to see her run for the council.

"Since I sort of started discussing it in a more serious fashion, there have been so many people encouraging me to run and showing support," she said. "We're going to have a good solid group of supporters, and that's what it takes to win elections."

Gigi Bonilla, who attended the holiday party with her husband, Manny, and 14-month-old son, Dante, said she would support Foley if she chooses to run for council because of her dedication to improving the city and schools.

"I've known Katrina for the past two years, and I look up to her in so many ways," Bonilla said. "She's always very forthcoming and is very dedicated to Costa Mesa."

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