The Crowd: True Food is host for good causes

Two serious nonprofits benefited from a not-so-serious weekend of dining revelry at Fashion Island's new bistro, True Food Kitchen. On Friday evening, the Beckstrand Cancer Foundation was the recipient of proceeds from diners who had come in support of the cause. Sam Fox, president of Fox Restaurant Concepts, joined Andrew Wiel and Executive Chef Michael Stebner welcoming the cancer foundation guests. They included Lil Spitzer, executive director of Beckstrand Cancer Foundation, Marv and Jean Burton, George and Eden O'Connell, Pame Schmider, Inga Beder, Oday Shakar and Eileen Saul.

Then on Saturday night, True Food Kitchen hosted supporters of Oceana, the ocean preservation and conservation society, which will be holding its annual gala in Laguna Beach on Sept. 10 welcoming a contingent of Hollywood stars, including Jeff Bridges and Pierce Brosnan. The party at True Food Kitchen raised about $15,000 for Oceana thanks to the participation of Marsha Anderson, Nancy Christiano, James Fitzgerald, Robert Kollar, Ted and Kim Parker, Carmela Phillips, Gail Soderling, Chuck Van Cleave, Jeff and Amy Vieth and Valerie Whiting.


One of my personal champion charities, the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, is planning a summer party for Orange County friends Sept. 25 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Newport Beach. This eighth annual Endless Summer benefit will include dinner, dancing, entertainment and an auction, welcoming some 300 donors to raise funds for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, assisting children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases.

Founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas, the hospital is based in Memphis, Tenn., and it is the only pediatric cancer research center in America where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No child is ever denied treatment because of the family's inability to pay.

Individual tickets to the Endless Summer Party are priced at $195 per person, with sponsor tables available ranging from $1,250 to $20,000 per table. For more information, call (800) 227-6737 or go to


Another of the cherished events in the Newport-Mesa community unfolds Aug. 21 at the showroom of Crevier Classic Cars in Costa Mesa. The 12th annual OC Barons' Speakeasy benefiting the American Cancer Society and organized by the OC Barons' League is expected to be another sell-out event, bringing citizens together fighting cancer. This year's Speakeasy will be chaired by Kay Burra and Carol Wilken.

"I would like to see more birthdays for my grandchildren without the threat of this terrible disease," Burra said.

Soirée Catering will serve a sit-down dinner amid the fabulous cars in the Crevier barn. Some of the committee members working to create a success include Susan Ballou, Connie Cruz, Nancy Johnston, Paul Kamholz, Margo Ferris, Anne Moore, Barbara Steinberg, and the fabulous Bobbitt Williams. Since its inception in 1999, the league has raised more than $5 million in the fight against cancer. For more information, call (800) 227-2345 or go to


Last week we reported on the success of ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!), and their Newport Beach event, which raised $40,000 to assist United States military families with children facing the challenges of autism.

Vanessa Showalter was mistakenly listed as president of the organization. ACT Today! was founded in 2005 by Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh and is led by Executive Director Nancy Alspaugh-Jackson.

Showalter, who handles communications for the organization, reports that ACT Today! is planning its fourth annual Ante up for Autism gala and casino night set for Nov. 13 at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort and Hotel in Dana Point.

For more information, contact Violette Prentice at (949) 640-4401 or go to

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World