The Crowd: Ball features young O.C. debutantes

Carrying bouquets of cold water roses, 13 young ladies were presented to Orange County society at the 49th Newport Harbor Debutante Ball sponsored by the Children's Home Society of California.

The holiday celebration held at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Dana Point was presided over by Anne Michaelsen-Yahn, president of the Children's Home Society of California's Newport Harbor auxiliary. Abigail Michaelsen, Anne Michaelsen-Yahn's daughter, homecoming queen at Newport Harbor High School, was also among the Home Society Debutante class.

The ball was co-chaired by Kathy Stuart and Marion Palley and designed by Jeff Johnson of Square Root. Johnson chose a contemporary palate for the presentation incorporating elements of Lucite, mirrors, and dramatic lighting complementing his floral design that used purple Okara, lavender Vanda orchids and cold water roses. Floating candles and sparkling chandeliers completed the setting.

Following the formal presentation, the crowd dined and danced to the Wayne Foster Entertainment Group.

Formed in 1948, the Newport Harbor auxiliary of the Children's Home Society of California produces the oldest ball in Orange County. The event is the fundraising centerpiece of the Society, founded in 1891 in California as an adoption agency. The Newport Harbor auxiliary has raised more than $1 million benefiting Children's Home Society charities, with the recent ball breaking fundraising records.

The Children's Home Society Debutantes are:

Lindsey Adams, Kristina Agopian, Alexandra Bauer, Alexandra Chebil, Megan Kenney, Katherine Lin, Caitlin Lytle, Abigail Michaelsen, Hannah Packham, Lauren Palley, Hailey Schwartz, Olivia Smith, and Marisa Stuart.


The ninth annual Jazz in January is set for Feb. 4 and 5 at the Ocean Institute, Dana Point. The two-night fundraiser featuring fine dining and fine and mellow jazz courtesy of producer, performer and super friend of The Ocean Institute, Rick Braun, will also star jazz greats Philippe Saisse on keyboards and Euge Groove on sax.

The Friday, Feb. 4, evening will feature a wine reception and concert performance with tickets priced at $95 and $125. On Saturday, Feb. 5, the gourmet dinner and concert will feature fine fare from the Balboa Bay Club & Resort, the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort, the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort & Spa, the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, the Montage Laguna Beach and Pear Valley Vineyards, Paso Robles. Ticket prices begin at $500 per person and the much-anticipated evening is always a huge success.

Before the holidays local VIPs were invited to a menu tasting at St. Regis featuring all of the amazing culinary contributions that will make Jazz in January a very special evening. To learn more and to reserve your spot, visit, or call Natasha Berendzen at (949) 496-2274 ext. 412.

THE CROWD runs Thursdays and Saturdays. B.W. Cook is editor of the Bay Window, the official publication of the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach.

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