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More Than 3 Million Reasons to Smile

Theatrical Gold, South Coast Repertory’s landmark 50th Season Gala Ball, set the gold standard for fundraising parties in Orange County on Sept. 21. The event raised more than $1 million in a single evening, the largest amount raised in the gala’s history. In a surprise presentation, Julianne Argyros presented the organization with a $2 million check on behalf of the Argyros Family Foundation.

More than 400 people attended the event. The theater company transformed the Folino Theatre Center into a party venue, with dancing and al fresco dining, plus entertainment on both stages

Partygoers were greeted by Julianne and George Argyros, Board President Damien Jordan, Artistic Director Marc Masterson, Managing Director Paula Tomei and the three Theatrical Gold Vice Chairs Bette Aitken, Sophie Cripe and Yvonne Jordan. The evening’s honorees, Founding Artistic Directors David Emmes and Martin Benson, joined the group.

“When we began planning tonight’s Gala, which we called a party 50 years in the making, we dreamed big because we wanted to show the world what South Coast Repertory was all about,” said Honorary Chair Julianne Argyros in a news release.

South Coast Plaza was the 50th Season Golden Elite sponsor, and Mikimoto was the gala corporate sponsor.

Shaping the Future

On Oct. 5, the University of California, Irvine held its annual gala celebrating the recipients of the UCI Medal. The event, called Shaping the Future, raised more than $1.1 million, which will provide benefits for students through the Chancellor’s Fund for Scholarships and Fellowships.

More than 600 guests attended the black-tie event, which was part of the school’s $1 billion comprehensive fundraising campaign of the same name.

The awards ceremony, hosted by the UC Irvine Foundation, was co-chaired by Dina and Emile Haddad, who also led the medal volunteer leadership committee. Emile Haddad is founder, chairman and chief executive of FivePoint Communities and a UC Irvine Foundation trustee who is the board’s chairman elect and sits on its executive committee.

The gala, held at UC Irvine’s Bren Events Center, featured a reception and formal dinner, medalist tributes and entertainment by students of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts. This year’s award recipients were Charles D. Martin, chairman and chief executive of Mont Pelerin Capital; Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, a novelist, essayist, playwright, journalist, editor, academic and social activist from Kenya; and Cheryll and Richard Ruszat, longtime UCI supporters and owners of the University Montessori school on the UC Irvine campus.

Event sponsors included the Joan Irvine Smith & Athelie Clarke Foundation, Abbott Medical Optics, Orange County Business Journal, FivePoint Communities and Experian.

It’s a Miracle!

It was a Night of Miracles for children battling life-threatening illnesses. The annual fundraiser Miracles for Kids event raised more than $850,000 on Oct. 5, a near-record amount for the charity. The gala, held at the St. Regis in Monarch Beach, brought together 485 guests in a lively atmosphere that included cocktails, dinner, silent and live auctions, and speeches by families that have benefitted from the organization’s efforts. Sponsors for the sold-out event included the Anaheim Ducks, Children’s Hospital of Orange County, CommerceWest Bank, Javier’s Restaurant, Northern Trust, Omnific Health Solutions, Sunwest Bank, Surterre Properties, Vizio and Votel Mobile.

Stars in Their Eyes

More than 300 guests enjoyed dinner, dancing and a live auction at An Evening Under the Stars on Oct. 6 at Antonello Ristorante at South Coast Plaza Village. The event was hosted by I Padrini di Antonello, a philanthropic group committed to supporting children’s causes in Orange County. The evening netted more than $175,000, which will benefit Kinship Center-Canyon Acres, a nonprofit agency that creates and supports permanent families for children, and Speech and Language Development Center, a school and therapy center for children and young adults with special needs. I Padrini honored individuals with its Shining Star award for philanthropic efforts in the community. They were Orange County philanthropists S. Paul and Marybelle Musco. Erin Lastinger of the A. Gary Anderson Family Foundation and Windell Stout, president of I Padrini, co-chaired the event. Event sponsors included Gemini Industries, TROY Group Inc., Harker, Campbell & Sage LLP, Marconi Foundation for Kids, CommerceWest Bank, A. Gary Anderson Family Foundation, California Sunset Escrow and Antonello Ristorante.

Wish You Were Here

On Sept. 28, Crystal Cove Alliance held its 11th annual Wish You Were Here gala. The event raised $285,000, which will support the organization’s ongoing mission of restoration, education and conservation. More than 420 guests attended the sold-out affair on the bluff top overlooking Crystal Cove. For the fourth consecutive year, The Resort at Pelican Hill presented the event as title sponsor. Guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres as they mingled and bid on silent auction items. The evening featured appetizers and a four-course gourmet meal provided by Montage Laguna Beach and The Beachcomber Café. Gala sponsors included The Resort at Pelican Hill, The Beachcomber, HKA Inc. Marketing Communications, Tourbillon Boutique and Omega, Montage Laguna Beach, Bluestar Yacht Charter/Passage West2, First Foundation Bank, Crystal Cove Beach Cottages, Roger’s Gardens, McKenna Auto Group, South Coast Plaza and UCI School of Biological Sciences.

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