The Crowd: Angelitos de Oro meet for luncheon in support of local Big Brothers Big Sisters organization

Natalie Pickup, Patti Estabrooks, Mary Lynn Rallis and Jackie Glass.
Natalie Pickup, Patti Estabrooks, Mary Lynn Rallis and Jackie Glass at the annual Angelitos de Oro luncheon. The four are underwriters or donors to scholarships.
(Courtesy of Ann Chatillon)
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Some 1,500 nonprofit organizations in Orange County serve the greater good. All function under the mission of service to others. Not all last the test of time — the changing of the guard, the passing of the generational torch, economic highs and lows.

Among the standouts is an exclusive society of women who have bonded and served together for more than half a century, beginning in what was a very new frontier as Orange County came to life in the post-WWII era. They are the Angelitos de Oro, an auxiliary of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and the Inland Empire.

Recently, some 100 active and sustaining members of Angelitos de Oro came together for an elegant annual luncheon in the dining room of the Pacific Club in Newport Beach. It was the ideal backdrop for this gathering, as the club exudes substance and style with outstanding food and service.


The ladies of Angelitos de Oro deserve the best. Since 1961 their fundraising to support the local Big Brothers Big Sisters programs has raised over $8 million. On hand to congratulate the crowd, Angelitos President Patti Boortz announced that the 2024 luncheon added $425,000 to the total — a record amount, she shared, as applause rang out.

An important aspect of the luncheon event was to present scholarship awards to recipients and introduce exceptional young advocates of the organization who serve as high school “Bigs.” These are senior students who mentor younger students in need of friendship, educational support and counsel. They are known as the “Littles.”

Sloane Keene, chief executive of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and the Inland Empire, introduced the “Bigs,” each of whom addressed the assembled women, sharing very emotional and personal stories of survival and growth against great challenge.

Trish O’Donnell, Patti Boortz, and Marilyn Wooten pose for a photo.
Among those attending the Angelitos de Oro annual luncheon, which benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and Inland Empire, were Trish O’Donnell, from left, Patti Boortz, and Marilyn Wooten, the president of Angelitos de Oro.
(Courtesy of Ann Chatillon)

Adding charm and humor to the serious purpose of the presentation, two longstanding Angelitos stepped up to the podium and brought the crowd to their knees with laughter. With no intention of turning their individual remarks into a comedy routine, Marilyn Wooten and Trish O’Donnell delivered an irreverent yet warmhearted take on the task of serving a nonprofit for so many years. If a talent agent had been in the crowd, a contract to go on the road with an act would have surely been offered.

Front and center for it all was Mary Lynn Bergman Rallis, known for her spectacular fashion sense and dramatic hats. She outdid herself this year. She joined Catherine Thyen, Kate Eastman, Cari Young, Sherry Bilbeisi, Gigi Spragins, Pam Howard and Karen Taylor. Also there to support the cause were Fran Bennett, Hyla Bertea, Jackie Glass, Sandra Pearlmutter, Pam Muzzy, Donna Bunce, Natalie Pickup, Marion Hartwich and Marie France Lefebvre.

Coming up in the fall, the annual Angelitos Shopping Card, priced at $60 and produced with support from South Coast Plaza, will again offer savings at about 100 stores and restaurants. The 2024 Shopping Card week takes place Oct. 2 through 8, with a special kickoff on Oct. 1. To learn more, visit

New OCMA exhibit

The Orange County Museum of Art is currently presenting “Yves Saint Laurent: Line and Expression,” which opened to the public Thursday and will run through Oct. 23. The exhibit is the U.S. premiere, and the first presentation in Southern California, of world-revered fashion icon Yves Saint Laurent’s legendary career. The display comes to OCMA with considerable effort and coordination, traveling from the Musée Yves Saint Laurent, Marrakech and Musée Yves Saint Laurent, Paris. Additional selections from the collection are on loan to OCMA from the Foundation Pierre Bergé- Yves Saint Laurent, Paris. A special preview of this landmark display of design was held last week hosted by OCMA chief executive Heidi Zuckerman.

“The opening of the YSL exhibition was truly extraordinary. It was my second favorite event at the museum following the 24-hour opening. To see the galleries filled with people beautifully dressed, many wearing YSL, amongst the stunning YSL dresses on gorgeously positioned mannequins, was a sight to behold!” Zuckerman said.

The U.S. premiere exhibit of "Yves Saint Laurent: Line and Expression."
The U.S. premiere exhibit of “Yves Saint Laurent: Line and Expression,” at the Orange County Museum of Art. The exhibit will run through Oct. 23.
(Yubo Dong / ofstudio)

Among the glitterati present for the debut were museum trustee Alison Hoeven, joining the director of the Yves Saint-Laurent Museum in Marrakech, Alexis Sornin as well as Elsa Janssen, director of the Yves Saint-Laurent Museum, Paris.

Respected YSL curator Gaël Mamine and exhibition designer Claudia Huidobro led guided tours of the exquisite exhibition.

The scope and breadth of the display covers decades of Saint-Laurent’s work from 1963 forward, featuring original sketches paired with photographs and mannequins adorned with original designs. In addition, curated exhibits offering jewelry, accessories, and haute couture all providing insight into the artistic imagination and brilliant execution of one man’s vision in the decorative and fashionable arts.

“The energy in the galleries was palpable,” Zuckerman said. “The celebration of simultaneously sexy and elegant is perfect at OCMA!”

One of the featured pieces in the Yves Saint Laurent: Line and Expression 2024 exhibit.
Featured is one of the featured pieces in the Yves Saint Laurent: Line and Expression 2024 exhibit at the Orange County Museum of Art. This is the exhibit’s U.S. premiere.
(Yubo Dong / ofstudio)

This is a must-see for Orange County devotees of art, fashion design and 20th-century culture that emanated in France from one man who then inspired the fashionable world with his artistry. For more information, visit