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Putting a Spin on It

On Sept. 29, the Balboa Bay Resort grand ballroom welcomed more than 200 guests to the Serving People in Need (SPIN) 2023 gala dinner, themed: A Night At Club 1221.

The event raised $320,000, which is earmarked for permanent housing stability and adjunct counseling services benefiting unhoused Orange County families with children.

The annual dinner celebration included the presentation of the first annual Jean Wegener Humanitarian Award to Katrina Foley, fifth district supervisor of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, for efforts in supporting the unhoused in Orange County.

The award is named for Jean Wegener, the late executive director of SPIN, who served the nonprofit for 25 years.

Event sponsors included Jill and Curtis Scheetz, president of Total Environmental Management Inc. and board chair of SPIN; Kim and Dick Crawford, founder and president of Crawford Custom Homes; Maureen Flannagan, managing director and wealth manager of First Republic Bank; Channing Lindsay, associate group director and vice president of Flagship Bank; Gazal Pour-Moezzi, partner and intellectual property practice group at Sheppard Mullin; and Rachel Owen, financial consultant at Tri-Circle Financial.

It Makes (Art) Sense­

Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) and Heidi Zuckerman hosted the third Art Sense Gala on Oct. 7, which brought in more than 300 guests and raised $2 million to support the museum.

Presented by Comerica Bank and Cultured Magazine, the event kicked off a weeklong celebration of the museum’s first year in its new Morphosis Architects-designed building located in the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

The event was black-tie, and guests were encouraged to add their own “mystical” flare to their ensembles. After a cocktail hour, guests were served a multi-course meal catered by Mix Mix, accompanied by a tasteful selection of wines curated by Jay Fletcher, master sommelier and executive director of Southern Wine and Spirits.

The event honored artist Jennifer Guidi, whose first solo U.S. museum exhibition “And so it is.” is currently on view at the museum, featuring a collection of California-inspired paintings and sculptures made over the last 10 years. The celebratory evening culminated in a moonlit party.

“In the first year, we have welcomed over 263,000 visitors to the museum. We could not have done that without the support of everyone here,” Zuckerman said.

“I believe that access to art is a basic human right and not a privilege. I have learned everything I know about how to be human, from art. I’ve learned how to see, how to think, how to speak, and how to love. I’ve even learned how to live, through art. Events like this make that access possible.”

On a Mission

Free Wheelchair Mission hosted its 20th annual Miracle of Mobility events throughout September with a local event held at Turnip Rose in Costa Mesa on Sept. 29.

Other in-person events were hosted in Boise, Idaho, on Sept. 8 and Seattle, on Sept. 23. A virtual event, Miracle of Mobility Live, was streamed on Sept. 17.

The local event was sponsored by Advisors Mortgage, PR Construction, BNY Mellon, Diamond Hill, Applied Medical, Sands Chevrolet and The Masters Program.

In total, $2 million was raised, breaking the fundraising record across all prior Miracle of Mobility events over the past 20 years. The funds will enable the organization to distribute nearly 21,000 wheelchairs worldwide to those living with disabilities in developing countries.

“We are grateful for the overwhelming support of all who participated in our special 20th-anniversary edition of Miracle of Mobility,” said Nuka Solomon, CEO of Free Wheelchair Mission. “Because of our amazing sponsors, donors, supporters, volunteers, partners, and staff, many will soon receive the life-transforming gift of mobility.”

The Orange County event included a musical performance from America’s Got Talent Golden Buzzer winners, the Voices of Hope Children’s Choir. It also included activities for guests, including a photo booth, silent auction, wheelchair container auction, and a dance floor.

The in-person events in Orange County, Seattle, and Boise had more than 620 total attendees, and the virtual event replay has been viewed more than 135,000 times.

Bits & Pieces

South Coast Repertory premiered A Raisin in the Sun on the Julianne Argyros Stage on Oct. 22, supported by honorary producers Timothy Kay, partner, Snell & Wilmer, and Marianne Kay; the Argyros Family Foundation; Mickey and Nickie Williams.

Directed by Khanisha Foster, the play will run through Nov. 12. … South Coast CalOptima Health provided a $177,543 grant to the Community Action Partnership of Orange County (CAP OC) to refurbish two three-bedroom units in Anaheim, which will house families in need as well as provide those families with wrap-around services provided at the CAP OC’s Anaheim Independencia Family Resource Center. …

Lana Erlanson, most recently manager, corporate relations and foundations, Habitat for Humanity of Orange County, has joined nonprofit Radiant Futures, formerly Women’s Transitional Living Center Inc., as the director of development, where she will build and maintain a portfolio of corporate and foundation donors.

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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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