Chapman University is preparing to celebrate its 150th birthday with a gala set for Nov. 5 around the annual American Celebration show and dinner. Last week in Costa Mesa, Chapman University partnered with South Coast Plaza for a pre-birthday event at SCP's Garden Terrace.
More than 100 distinguished Chapman donors gathered for the al fresco cocktail celebration catered by the incomparable Capital Grille. Gala chairs Wylie and Betty Aitken joined Chapman President Jim Doti and his wife, Dr. Lynne Pierson Doti, and major benefactors, including Kristina and Larry Dodge, namesakes of the prominent Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman.
Also attending the reception were donors Sally and Randy Crockett of Pelican Point, Kelly and Jim Mazzo, DeeDee Sodaro, Kay and Jim Burra, Patty and Richard Schmid, Bill Peters and South Coast Plaza's marketing princess Debra Gunn Downing.
Earlier in the month, Fashion's Night Out was celebrated with panache at retailers across Orange County. One of the stand-out celebrations was at An Qi by Crustacean, working in conjunction with Bloomingdale's at South Coast Plaza.
The restaurant and the retailer put on a fashion show featuring male models from the Costa Mesa Fire Department. The crowd, including former "Real Housewife of Orange County" Lynne Curtin, Steve and Daryl Nelson, Diana Moody, County Supervisor Janet Nguyen Raymond, George and Joanne Namkung, and John Wang and his wife Patricia dined on kobe beef sliders, chicken edamame shumai, and An Qi's garlic noodles.
The event helped to raise thousands of dollars in donations for the Costa Mesa Firefighters Widows and Orphans Fund.
Invitations are in the mail this week for one of the most anticipated fall charity dinners on the Orange Coast. Serving People In Need (SPIN) will raise much-needed funds for the homeless in Orange County at its Nov. 5 Italian-themed gourmet food and wine fest being billed as "Bella Notte."
The Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort will be the setting for the party, which will feature the cuisine of chef Jeff Littlefield from the hotel and guest chef Alessandro Pirozzi from Cucina Alessá.
Last week, the Wine Lab generously hosted and welcomed supporters of SPIN and members of a ladies' gourmet dining society known as Les Dames d'Escoffier. The women and their escorts enjoyed an evening of wine tasting, sampling French, Italian and American varieties paired with savory cheeses.
Wine Lab owners Chris Ann and Roger Richards opened their Pacific Coast Highway venue, welcoming dedicated SPIN board members, including Dick and Kim Crawford, Peggy Listz, Wayne and Marylou Shattuck. Marylou is SPIN's board chairwoman.
Also on hand was Al De Grassi, representing Plaza Bank. He is also president of the board of United Way of Orange County.
Les Dames d'Escoffier President Phyllis Ann Marshall was in the crowd, chatting with SPIN Executive Director Jean Wegener and SPIN donors Sue and Dan McGraw. To find out more about the SPIN Italian dinner, please call (888) 552-1900.
THE CROWD runs Thursdays and Saturdays. B.W. Cook is editor of the Bay Window, the official publication of the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun