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THE CROWD:Holiday parties support charity groups

December 21, 2006|By B. W. COOK

The invitation read, "You are invited to make a difference."

Friends of Court Appointed Special Advocates, known as CASA, joined forces at the Balboa Bay Club and Resort for a little holiday revelry. CASA President Anne Milligan joined event chair Susie Luer presiding over the luncheon and fashion show by Tory Burch.

In the holiday crowd were Newport Coast's Linda Colton, Beth Hart, Danusia Keusder, Kimberly Prado and Ellen Small — all dedicated CASA volunteers intent on making a difference for young people.

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CASA is a local service organization providing legal advocacy for children in trouble. The service is provided on a one-on-one basis between a court-trained, supervised and appointed advocates and an abused, abandoned or neglected child.

Also working for CASA and celebrating Christmas at the Balboa Bay Club were Sandra Gee, Donna Hood, Dina Solomon, Stacy Jones, Cathy Bartz, Robin Barker and Katherine Bland, to name only a few.


A very special holiday dinner unfolded at the Anaheim Marriott Hotel. Legendary basketball coach John Wooden was lauded, joining sports celebs from UCLA, Texas A & M, USC and more at the Wooden Classic Benefit on behalf of the Orangewood Children's Foundation and Special Olympics Orange County.

The dinner — attracting a sold-out crowd that included Newport-Mesa dignitaries — was the center event of a three-day celebration honoring Wooden. It began with a golf tournament at Monarch Beach Links, followed by the Classic Benefit dinner and then a basketball doubleheader at the Honda Center on Dec. 9.


Costa Mesa's jeweler to the stars, Winston's, put its holiday effort front and center for the Orangewood Children's Foundation. Winston's president Glenn Verdult invited the community to a holiday in-store bash, followed by a gala Italian dinner catered by Romano Cucina. Some 400 guests converged to take a peek at the $100-million collection of jewelry on display and share a champagne toast with Santa.


The Festival of Trees brought in about $25,000 benefiting Share Our Selves of Costa Mesa. This first-time event attracted hundreds of local holiday families intent on helping people who are less fortunate. Funds raised will make the holiday brighter and more hopeful for some 1,000 families served by SOS at this time of year.


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