Fund-raiser was 'Unforgettable'

December 21, 2002

It was an unforgettable evening in Corona del Mar. Local

benefactors Henry and Susan Samueli invited pop music superstar

Natalie Cole to their oceanfront estate.

It was all for the Orangewood Children's Foundation, one of the

charities that Susan Samueli has dedicated her efforts to since

moving to Orange County from Los Angeles. The young couple invited

100 guests to share in the evening with Cole, and ultimately raised


$167,000 to support The Orangewood Children's Foundation.

The invited crowd actually contributed between $5,000 and $25,000

per couple, arriving in black tie and ushered to the party via

limousine. A magnificent tent was erected on the lawn facing the

Pacific Ocean. It was adorned with twinkling white holiday lights,

draped with white organza fabric and overflowing with an abundance of

crimson red roses.

Cocktails were served at sunset, followed by a catered dinner

served by Susan Samueli's cherished Sun-dried Tomato Cafe.

The first course featured a chopped baby green salad and

pan-seared sea bass. The main course was a filet of beef accompanied

by a grilled vegetable stack. And for dessert, a flowerless chocolate

cake with raspberry confit delighted the exclusive gathering.

As after-dinner drinks were served, Cole made her entrance in an

elegant silver-beaded top over a floor-length silk skirt and sang her

emotional heart out.

The repertoire included selections from her album "Snowfall on the

Sahara," as well as from her latest release, "Ask a Woman Who Knows."

Cole also preformed jazz standards made world famous by artists

including Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington and, of course, her own

beloved father, the late Nat King Cole. She ended the set with "This

Will Be an Everlasting Love," receiving a standing ovation from her


The magical evening was produced by Orangewood Foundation board

members Cindy Dillion, Frank Foster, John Hagestad, General William

Lyon, Jim McNamara, Pat Poss and led by hostess and event chair Susan


The 100 guests comprised a formidable list of Orange Coast power.

International businessman Peter Ueberroth was in the crowd, as was

Ken Potalivo, president of Northern Trust; Paul Musco, chairman and

CEO of Gemini Industries; and the philanthropic Paul Folino, chairman

and CEO of Emulex.

Folino serves as chairman of the board of the Orange County

Performing Arts Center. The South Coast Repertory Theatre complex has

been named in his honor.

Also in the crowd were prominent Orangewood supporters Doug and

Sandi Jackson, Marvin and Sherri Winkler, Vahid and Regina Manian,

John Stratman, Dale and Ted Bremmer, Bob and Suzy Barth, Suzanne and

Peter Desforges and Joan Irvine Smith, enjoying the evening with her

dynamic daughter-in-law Madeline Swinden.

Martin Hubbard, executive director of Opera Pacific, another of

the Samueli charities of choice, also attended the gathering, along

with U.S. Representatives Loretta Sanchez and Christopher Cox.

Sheriff Michael Corona and County Supervisor Tom Wilson also graced

the affair.

* THE CROWD appears Thursdays and Saturdays.

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