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Monday, May 20, 2024


Fantastic Food and Festival

Food lovers came together on July 16 for the KidWorks 3rd Annual Festival of Chefs, raising more than $800,000 to support KidWorks programs for children and teens in under-resourced neighborhoods, including academic support, personal growth and leadership development.

The event, which was themed Good Food For A Great Cause, was held on the lawn areas outside at the Newport Beach Country Club. The festival featured the culinary talents of food professionals from more than 50 Orange County restaurants and other food service providers, including Prabeen Prathapan and Jacob Davis, Balboa Bay Resort & Club; Annie Morgan, Backstage-A-Fare; Pascal Olhats, Baja Shellfish; Victor Soto, Cannery Seafood of the Pacific; Enrique Valenzuela, C’est la Vie; Nick Shipp, Oak Laguna Beach; Jonathan Stanley, Marriott; Efren Casillas, Newport Rib Company; Andy Arndt, VEA Newport Beach; and Lindsay Smith, Nirvana Grille.

Guests strolled through the venue, sampling fare and libations, while also exploring the silent auction items. The evening also included a video about KidWorks and its three-decade journey to transform the lives of deserving children.

The evening was topped off with dancing to the Tijuana Dogs, a local multi-faceted rock/dance/party band.

The presenting sponsor was David Pyle, chief executive officer, American Career College. Additional sponsors included Covi Concrete Construction/Millennium Reinforcement Inc.; Dean Gray/Riverain Vineyards; Frome Family Foundation; JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Oltmans Construction Co.; Provenio Capital; Sares-Regis Group; Schriber Family Fund; Ueberroth Family Foundation; U.S. Bank; Vivante; Integral Senior Living; and Largo Concrete.

The event co-chairs were Dean Gray, president, Riverain Vineyard and Laticia and Patrick Merrell, co-founder and president, PTS Marketing and member, board of directors, KidWorks.

Event committee members included Lisa and Cory Alder, president, Nexus Development, and chair, KidWorks board of directors; Camille and Tim Strader, Jr., president, Starpointe Ventures; and Kyle Team, vice president, Waypoint Property Group and member, board of directors, KidWorks; and David Team, president, Waypoint Property Group.

The host chef was Graeme Blair, executive chef, Newport Beach Country Club and the honorary chef was Rick Boxeth, Santa Ana Sweets & Catered Courses. Chris Tzorin, Taste Collective, was the event chef chair.

First in the Fight Against ALS

The Athletes First Invitational was held at the Newport Beach Country Club on June 12th.

The sold-out golf tournament and dinner raised nearly $500,000. All the proceeds from the event will support the axeALS Foundation, which was founded by Eric Stevens, former football player, St. Louis Rams, and his wife Amanda Stevens, when Stevens was diagnosed with ALS in 2019.

The axeALS will use the funds to raise awareness for ALS treatments and clinical trials, and encourage research for the prevention, alleviation, care, treatment, and (one day) cure of ALS.

During the event, golf teams were paired with present and former celebrity athletes for a special round of golf, including Chan Ho Park, formerly of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, San Diego Padres, and New York Mets; Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers; Jamaal Charles, formerly of the Texas Longhorns and Kansas City Chiefs; and Brian Robinson, Washington Commanders.

The event sponsors included Koru Risk Management, Harbor Building Maintenance, Comerica Bank, Harbor Industrial, BYLT / RX3, RT Specialty, Lyon Living, Golden Bear Equities, Fidelity National Title, Concurrent, McCarthy Construction, Engler Realty Advisors, and Athletes First.

Programs for Prosperity

The PNC Foundation, the philanthropic arm of PNC Financial Services Group, regionally headquartered in Irvine, presented a $75,000 grant to the Pretend City Children’s Museum.

The funding enables the nonprofit to provide monthly early childhood development classes to underserved families and provide them with additional resources and growth opportunities.

The classes educate families about five areas of early childhood development: communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem-solving and personal-social skills.

Participating families will receive free nutritious meals during the classes, gas cards or complimentary Uber rides to help with transportation to the program, and access to the Pretend City Children’s Museum.

Pretend City will host the two-hour monthly classes for six months in partnership with local nonprofits including MOMS OC, Orangewood Foundation and Inland Empire Families.

“Supporting Pretend City Children’s Museum and its programs for Orange County and Inland Empire families is exactly how PNC operates in the communities we serve,” said Denise Scott, vice president, client and community relations director, PNC.

Bits & Pieces

Unlimited Possibilities held its bike camp at Samueli Academy from July 10 to July 14, sponsored exclusively by Westcliff University, which hosted 40 attendees from the age of eight and above, both with and without disabilities, who came together to learn how to ride on two wheels for the very first time …

On August 6, Habitat for Humanity of OC and Heroes Linked partnered to provide home repair services to Paul Nguyen, a decorated Army veteran in Anaheim who received the Purple Heart for injuries suffered in combat in Iraq, with Behr Paint providing the paint for the project, Toast Kitchen and Bakery providing breakfast for the volunteers and California Love Drop, founded by Wing Lam, co-founder, Wahoo’s Fish Tacos, providing lunch for all the teams…

Angels Baseball Foundation hosted its annual Back 2 School Drive at Angel Stadium on August 1, with approximately 800 school-aged children receiving clothes, school supplies, Angels clothing items, and food from Second Harvest Food Bank.

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Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung
Sonia Chung joined the Orange County Business Journal in 2021 as their Marketing Creative Director. In her role she creates all visual content as it relates to the marketing needs for the sales and events teams. Her responsibilities include the creation of marketing materials for six annual corporate events, weekly print advertisements, sales flyers in correspondence to the editorial calendar, social media graphics, PowerPoint presentation decks, e-blasts, and maintains the online presence for Orange County Business Journal’s corporate events.

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