The Crowd: Events aim to help serious diseases

The spring social season will honor two of the region's most philanthropic couples on behalf of very serious causes.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) challenges concerned citizens to "Imagine a World Without Diabetes." The JDRF "Dream Gala" is set for March 12 at the St. Regis Resort & Spa.

This year the honored guests will be two of the most charming and generous people in Orange County, Marybelle and S. Paul Musco. Last week in Newport Beach, organizers threw a chic reception at A'Maree's Pacific Coast Highway salon, catered by Colette's Catering Extraordinaire and underwritten by Newport's generous Toni and Steve Berlinger.

In addition to supporting JDRF and a host of other Orange County causes, the Muscos are heading up an enormous capital campaign to raise funds to build a state-of-the-art performing arts center on the campus of Chapman University in Orange. If you are looking for a couple with both substance and style, look no further.

To support the JDRF Dream Gala, chaired by Tracy McCarter, please call (949) 553-0363 or e-mail OrangeCounty@jdrf.org for more information.

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They are among the most visible and glamorous of the Orange County philanthropists. Julia and George Argyros will step forward yet again to front the "Glimmer of Hope" gala benefiting United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County.

The spring party will take place March 26 at the Balboa Bay Club & Resort, Newport Beach, where the Argyros' will receive United Cerebral Palsy's "Impact Award" for 2011. Organizers have created the evening around the Broadway musical "Wicked," with music and performances from the show featured throughout the evening's entertainment. Cocktails and dinner will accompany a silent and live auction benefiting United Cerebral Palsy and the children and young adults they serve.

The financial support of numerous community causes sustained by the Argyros family is legendary in Orange County. It seems that they never can say no where there is a need.

For tickets and sponsor information for the ball, please contact Erin Ball at (949) 333-6452 or visit http://www.ucp-oc.org.

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From charity to culture, the Segerstrom Center for the Arts presents its next star in the popular Cabaret Series held in the wonderful Samueli Theater. Up next, operatic star Nathan Gunn will be onstage March 24 to 27, performing standards from the Great American Songbook along with new material from contemporary composers.

It will be Gunn's debut at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Pre-press is glowing with the New York Times calling his talent "triumphant" and Opera News writing that Gunn is a "Singer with unmistakable star power."

If you have not experienced a performance in the Samueli Theater, it is one of the best live musical venues in the region. Treat yourself; tickets are priced at $72 and available online at SCFTA.org, at the box office, at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, or by calling (714) 556-2787.

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The annual "Friend Raiser" benefiting the AIDS Services Foundation of Orange County (ASF) will once again be hosted by Newport Lexus on March 17 in the showroom. Redheaded whirlwind Barbara Venezia planned the party as a St. Patrick's Day celebration to kickoff the fifth season of fun and fundraising for ASF by the auxiliary known as The Friends of Dorothy Guild.

One of the special attributes of this guild is that they plan parties and events all year long and do most of the catering, entertainment, decorating and work themselves maximizing donations to ASF. As in years past, the upcoming March 17 kickoff party will feature a lavish buffet dinner prepared by the committee with support from Barefoot Wine and Bubbly as well. For more information go to http://www.friendsofdorothy.org.

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Age Well Senior Services cordially invites the community to the 2011 Captain's Ball, which gala organizers have themed around "Puttin' On The Ritz." Coming up March 5, the party will be held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Laguna Niguel and will honor Sameh Elsanadi, Jane Glenn Haas and Susan Ritschel.

Proceeds from the event, which costs $250 per person, will benefit Meals on Wheels and other senior services programs in Orange County. A cocktail reception, silent auction, dinner, dancing and live auction will fill the night with high energy for assisting seniors in need.

For last minute ticket information, please contact Becky Lomaka at (949) 855-8033 or blomaka@myagewell.org.

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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