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Thursday, May 23, 2024


Friends of the Children

Friends of CASA, a membership auxiliary of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Orange County, hosted its annual holiday luncheon on Dec. 1 at the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point. This year’s luncheon had a record-breaking net for the 10th year in a row, raising more than $640,000 that will go directly to supporting CASA’s mission of providing a voice and connection for children who have experienced abuse, neglect and abandonment.

Nearly 500 guests arrived at a reception featuring tray-passed champagne, a silent auction, and an opportunity drawing. Attendees could fulfill a wish for a child in foster care by purchasing ornaments placed on the Starfish Wish Trees, sponsored by Barclay Butera Interiors, which featured diverse wishes, including bicycles, barbie dolls, and day trips to Disneyland.

The luncheon took place after the reception and included a fashion show, which featured a preview of Givenchy’s Spring 2024 line. Following the event program, Givenchy showcased a pop-up shop featuring leather goods, shoes, and handbags with 10% of sales going back to CASA. Additionally, all CASA supporters who shopped at the South Coast Plaza Givenchy store could direct 10% of the sale back to the nonprofit through the end of 2023.

Event sponsors included Lugano Diamonds, Hyundai Capital America, Commercial Bank of California, The Watson Family Foundation, Moreno Family Foundation, and The Anthony and Carie Ferry Foundation. The Harry Bronson and Edith Knapp Foundation provided a $35,000 matching gift to all donations made to CASA.

The luncheon began as a Holiday Tea 28 years ago and has brought in more than $6.6 million since 1995.

Take That to the Bank

Second Harvest Food Bank held its 40th annual “No Lunch” Lunch event on Nov. 21 and netted $130,000 to fortify food and nutritional security for the average of 393,000 children, families, and seniors throughout Orange County that it serves each month.

Ralphs Grocery Company and Food 4 Less, divisions of The Kroger Co., were the event’s presenting sponsors.

The “No Lunch” Lunch served attendees a simple meal of soup, bread, and salad prepared and served by meal sponsors Antonio Cagnolo and Antonello Ristorante, rather than a multi-course high-end meal, as a metaphor meal reminding those who may not know the fear of food insecurity how precious a bowl of soup and a bit of lettuce can be.

During the luncheon, Second Harvest Food Bank shared the state of the food bank and debuted its 40th-anniversary commemorative documentary, which highlighted the ongoing efforts across Second Harvest’s four decades to ensure everyone in Orange County has consistent access to nutritious food.

“We cannot overlook the stark reality of the growing hunger gap. We are not only treating food insecurity but nutritional security as well,” said Bonilla Keller, CEO, Second Harvest Food Bank. “We can meet some of the demands through the scale and scope of our current farm programs where we have harvested 4.7 million pounds to date.”

Additional luncheon sponsors included Golden State Foods Foundation, Orange Aluminum, Disneyland Resort, Catalyst Clinical and Coding Analytics, Cirba Solutions, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Nationwide, and Superior Grocers.

Funding a Kure

Nearly 250 guests gathered on Nov. 4, at City National Grove of Anaheim for Kure It Cancer Research’s Let’s Save Lives Gala.

The event brought in more than $413,000, which will be used to fund lung cancer research. Event sponsors included Westport Properties and Briggs Electric Inc.

Guests enjoyed a silent auction with a selection of wines and spirits, as well as art and overnights at travel locations. Bally South Coast Plaza provided fashions for many board members and supporters to participate in a fashion show set up in front of the facility, before the event’s dinner and program.

During the program, Todd Perry, chief financial officer, Briggs Electric Inc., and board chair, Kure It Cancer Research, welcomed guests, including incoming board chair Julie Alai, executive coach.

Perry noted that Kure It directly funds researchers targeting underfunded cancers at many of the country’s top comprehensive cancer centers and provides grants in the $50,000 to $250,000 range to provide seed money to help get an innovative idea off the ground in hopes that larger funding can be secured to take the research to the next level. Perry then introduced Larry Zeiber, vice president, philanthropy, City of Hope of Orange County.

City of Hope is a cancer specialty hospital studying integrative therapies, with more than 800 clinical trials working to do so.

Dr. Danny Nguyen, physician, City of Hope, spoke about City of Hope’s advanced lung cancer treatment with clinical trials geared to have personalized treatments for each person.

A live auction followed the program, and included a Christmas tree, decorated at the winner’s home by Paul Fenner’s Floral Designs; a dinner package that included dining experiences at Knife Pleat, AnQi, and Calo Kitchen + Tequila; rounds of golf at Morgan Run Club & Resort and Goat Hill Park; and a Hawaiian getaway for six nights on Oahu.

Bits & Pieces

Last month, Working Wardrobes welcomed seven new board members to help guide the nonprofit’s mission of aiding individuals overcome barriers to gainful employment, including Erica Hansen, accounting executive with over 25 years of experience; Lynn Herrick, co-founder and chief operations officer, BluCrest; John Murray, managing director and portfolio manager, Pimco; Wendy Nicoson, vice president and plant general manager, Edwards Lifesciences; Carlos Oregon, CEO, Thinkbox Technology Group and COO, Thinkbox Construction Group; Sherrie Simmons, CEO and founder, SIMMS Solutions; and Ivo Tjan, founder, CommerceWest Bank.

The Dragon Kim Foundation, whose mission is to inspire its youth to impact their communities while discovering and pursuing their passions, received a $10,000 grant from Wingstop Charities in December. … Onehope Winery in Napa has partnered with Casa OC, with 10% of all sales being donated to Casa OC through Jan. 31.

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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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