Going to the Dogs
Chef Masters was held on Sept. 24 at the Festival of Arts grounds in Laguna Beach.
The annual culinary event, which featured a gourmet food and wine reception followed by a presentation, live auction, and fund-a-need, raised a record-setting $1 million to benefit Unconditional, a senior and special needs dog rescue in Laguna Beach.
Four hundred guests attended the outdoor affair, where they sampled unique dishes hand-created by chefs from Orange County’s top restaurants, including Prabeen Prathapan, Balboa Bay Resort & Club; Kevin Jones, Cannery Seafood of the Pacific; Enrique Valenzuela, C’est la Vie; Jose Angula, Descanso Restaurant; Gregorio Huerta, Hotel Laguna; Ugo Allesina, Prego Restaurant; Kyung Carroll, The Pelican Hill Resort; and Lewis Butler, The Waterfront Beach Resort.
The wine and spirits sponsors included Brewery X, Buena Vista Winery, Deloach Vineyards, Duckhorn Winery, Golden Eagle Vodka, John Legend Winery, Louis Bouillot, and Los Sundays Tequila.
Unconditional, founded by Amy and Julian Mack, is on track to build an 8,000-square-foot rescue and adoption center for senior and special needs dogs, due to open in late 2024 along Laguna Canyon Road.
The couple also opened Rise Pet Health in 2023, a technologically advanced emergency and specialty veterinary clinic in Laguna Hills. Profits from Rise go toward providing free care to the dogs at Unconditional.
Event sponsors included Carlo’s Fund, The Bone Adventure, JustFoodForDogs (where Julian Mack serves as CEO), Pirch, and Mary Murfey, founder, Corning Advisors. In a surprise announcement, Maria Cadigan, associate, Cadigan Communities, donated $500,000 to Unconditional.
Hoping for an End to Poverty
An evening of inspiring generosity and hope for eradicating poverty took place at the Community Action Partnership of Orange County’s (CAPOC) gala, A Night of Hope, on Oct. 20.
The event, hosted at Bosscat Kitchen & Libations at Lakeshore Irvine, raised more than $90,000 to support CAPOC’s twofold approach to address poverty by meeting immediate needs and empowering communities through wraparound services and programs.
The gala began with a cocktail hour and silent auction, followed by a three-course meal and a performance by Grupo Folklorico Xochipitzahuatl. Tom Umberg, California State Senator and an advocate for CAPOC, served as the emcee.
During the program, Michael Hunn, CEO, CalOptima, was honored with the Corporate Hero Award for his leadership in securing millions of dollars in community grants from California’s Housing and Homelessness Incentive Program to fund permanent supportive housing and expand community-based services.
“We are grateful to Michael Hunn and CalOptima Health for their outstanding efforts to provide funding for our housing assistance programs,” said Gregory Scott, president, CAPOC.
“Our society needs great leadership and supporters who will not stand for poverty to go on unaddressed, and our annual “A Night of Hope” gala is a chance to celebrate and show our appreciation to those who contribute to this important work.”
Committed to Conquering Cancer
MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center hosted a sold-out crowd of more than 350 guests at its annual gala on Oct. 28 at the Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach.
The black-tie event raised a record amount of more than $1 million for the MemorialCare Cancer Institute at Orange Coast Medical Center.
“For the second consecutive year, our annual gala has raised a record amount, and I would like to once again express our heart-felt appreciation for our loyal donors and sponsors who believe and share in our commitment to enhancing the health of our served communities,” said Marcia Manker, CEO, MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center.
“I ardently believe that MemorialCare Cancer Institute’s incredibly skilled and experienced team of physicians, nurses, and support staff rival our nation’s finest academic cancer centers because of their tireless commitment to providing personalized and compassionate patient care.”
The event also recognized Julio Ibarra, MD, for his 38 years of exceptional service to MemorialCare, including 27 years as the medical director of the Department of Pathology at Orange Coast Medical Center.
The gala included a live auction, highlighted by bidding on Icara, one of nine oil-on-canvas masterpieces by Sir Daniel Winn, an internationally acclaimed artist, curator and philanthropist.
The artwork raised more than $100,000. Also included in the auction was a rare Argillet copper plate etching by Salvador Dali titled Diane De Poitiers which was exhibited with Winn’s Icara at a 2019 Shanghai Art Museum exhibition.
Bits & Pieces
On Sept. 13, Chef Bruno Serato, owner, The White House Restaurant, underwrote the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Anaheim-Cypress’ Celebrate Our Success Reception, held at Serato’s restaurant, where the nonprofit shared several announcements, including: that club has doubled in size in less than two years, and now serves 2,700 members at its 18 clubhouses, with an additional 2,400 youth served through the club’s community outreach events and special programs; the club’s new partnerships with ATT and Disney Resort to expand the its STEM and workforce development programs; the 100% elimination of fees for the club’s teen programs; and the date of the club’s Moving Forward Gala & Auction, the club’s major fundraising event, which will take place on March 23 at OCVibe Artic in Anaheim.
CureDuchenne has announced additions to its executive team with the hiring of Laura Hameed as executive director, who brings an extensive cross-sector background in biotech leadership, nonprofit management, organizational strategy, fundraising and event management, public speaking, and investor relations; as well as the addition of board members Chris Finazzo, chief commercial officer, SeaWorld Entertainment Inc.; Diane Kemple, owner, Joy Celebratory Design; John Maraganore, Ph.D., founding CEO and director, Alnylam, 2002 to 2021; and Nick Prytherch, Ed.D., managing partner, MLP Government Affairs.
The 2023 Newport Beach Summer Garden Party, held Aug. 26, raised more than $80,000 for Sherman Library & Gardens’ education programs, and included a City Proclamation recognizing Sherman Library & Gardens as the cultural hub of Corona del Mar.