It was an evening all about food. Share Our Selves' 25th annual celebrity chef dinner attracted more than 300 patrons for a five-course gourmet meal prepared by many of Orange County's most celebrated chefs.
The recent Friday night event, which unfolded at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa, netted some $205,000 in support of the SOS food pantry in Costa Mesa. SOS volunteers and staff members collect food from various establishments, including grocery stores, restaurants and specialty shops, and it is distributed to low-income O.C. residents.
The spectacular dinner remains one of the most popular charity events on the Orange Coast. This year the lineup of participating culinary stars included Alan Greeley from the Golden Truffle, Alessandro Pirozzi from Alessa Laguna, Manfred Lassahn from the Hyatt Regency, David Man from Island Hotel, Franco Barone from il Barone Ristorante, Carlito Jocson and Adam Feirman from Yard House, Linda Johnsen from Filomena's Italian Kitchen, Paul Squicciarini from Culinary Innovation, Mark Gagnon for the Newport Beach Plaza and Louie Jocson from Zov's.
Wine pairings came from generous donors Kita, McCay, Windsor Oaks, Adelante, and Quady Winery. Helping to raise the financial bar, auctioneer Zack Krone offered an array of exciting dining packages donated by many of the chefs creating the evening menu. On hand to welcome the generous crowd was the dynamic CEO of SOS, Karen McGlinn. The honored guest of the night was Dr. Gwyn Parry, chairman of the SOS board of directors, who has served the Orange County community for some 50 years.
Major sponsors of the evening included Hoag Hospital, St. Joseph Health, George Hoag Family Foundation, Michael Stephens, Frome Family Foundation, Dr. Richard and Sandra Haskell, and Henry Schein Dental. Spotted in the crowd were Marylou and Wayne Shattuck, Richard and Theresa Beauchamp, Carlito and Elizabeth Jocson, Larry and Dulcie Kugleman, Kathy and Jerry Thompson, and Doug and Terri Pasquale.
Also supporting SOS were Dr. Richard and Sally Afable, Mary and Jim Buckingham, Carol and Bill Sweasy, Karen and Mike Vaca, Dr. Eric and Kristi Wechsler, Bob and Lori Warmington, and Emily and Brent Evans.
Celebrating 'The Power Of One'
Olive Crest of Orange County held its annual luncheon recently at the Westin South Coast Plaza Hotel in support of adoptive and foster families.
The event attracted more than 340 patrons and was timed to coordinate with National Adoption Month. Organizers including Tim Bauer, Olive Crest's director of development, billed the afternoon gathering as a recognition of The Power Of One.
Author David Pelzer, a New York Times best-selling writer and inspirational speaker, delivered the powerful message that every individual has the opportunity and the responsibility to make each life meaningful, to create a better world.
"Dave Pelzer has led an extraordinary life," said Bauer. "As a child he was subjected to horrendous abuse, having been beaten and starved by a disturbed alcoholic mother. Finally at age 12. Pelzer was placed in a series of foster homes, eventually enlisting in the U.S. Air Force at the age of 18."
Following lunch, Pelzer autographed his book, "A Child Called It."
Currently, Olive Crest is assisting more than 1,000 children and families in Orange County, offering support over the upcoming holiday season and into 2016. The organization has become the respected facilitator of foster children, offering the ultimate safe haven. Since its founding in 1973, the organization has assisted more than 70,000 abused, neglected and at-risk children and their families.
Funding for the organization has come from sponsors, including Kylie Schuyler, Paul Nienow, Roya Cole, Madeline and Len Zuckerman, Debbie Ferree and Steve Bernardy, as well as corporate donors including DSW Shoe Warehouse, Union Bank, Toyota of Huntington Beach, Merrill Lynch, HUB International, and Oltman's Construction, to name a few.
Olive Crest founders Dr. Donald and Lois Verleur were spotted in the luncheon crowd, along with Angels executive Dennis Kuhl, Wendy and Tim McMahan, James Woodside, Diana Cavaricci, and David and Diana Casey. To learn more about the work of Olive Crest, visit olivecrest.org.