Boat parade grand marshals named


Actress Leslie Mann and Sugar Ray’s lead singer Mark McGrath will serve as the grand marshals for the upcoming Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade.

Both attended Corona del Mar High School.

“It has been thrilling to watch both of their successful careers throughout the years, and how wonderful to have them back in their hometown at the holidays,” Newport Beach & Company President and Chief Executive Gary Sherwin said in a statement.

The parade is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Dec. 17-21.


Newport family’s garden wins prize

On the north side of the bay, the Alexis family has transformed the lawn in front of their Newport Beach home into a drought-conscious garden.


Roger’s Gardens Vice President and General Manager Ron Vanderhoff presented images of the garden to City Council members Tuesday, explaining the components that made it the grand-prize winner in the 2014 California Friendly Garden contest.

There is no turf in the garden. The space is covered with a “tapestry of plants” that require little maintenance and little water, he said. A pathway winds through it.

When water does go on the garden, it goes straight into the soil and no runoff hits the curb, he added. A drain at the end of the driveway catches pollutants before they might reach the street.

“It’s a stunning garden,” Vanderhoff said.

Anyone in Orange County can enter the contest, which started in 2007.


Scarecrow contest registration

The deadline is Friday to register for the scarecrow contest in the second annual Costa Mesa Scarecrow & Pumpkin Festival coming Oct. 4-5 to Goathill Junction Railroad at Fairview Park.

Contest entry fees are $10 for individuals and $50 for businesses.

In addition to the scarecrow contest, the festival will feature pumpkin picking, food, face painting, entertainment and free train rides.

For a contest entry form or more information, visit, email or call (949) 436-5460.


Hoag foundation hosts luncheon

More than 300 people attended the Choose Nursing, Choose Hoag luncheon presented by the Hoag Hospital Foundation this month.

Novelist Dean Koontz was the keynote speaker, according to a news release.

The event, held Sept. 17 at the Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach, recognized more than $2 million raised during the past year, setting a record for 363 scholarships awarded to nurses at Hoag, the release said.

Choose Nursing, Choose Hoag has raised more than $24 million since the organization was formed 10 years ago. It has provided more than 600 scholarships for nurses’ “continued education, training and advanced degrees,” the release said.

AROUND TOWN is a weekly column about people and events in Newport Beach, Costa Mesa and Irvine. Please submit information about your fundraiser, charity event or a person deserving attention to or