THE CROWD:Students honored at Balboa Bay Club

July 12, 2007|By B.W. COOK

dpt-thecrowd12TextM828E1EDON THE WEB

To comment on this column, go to and click on "Blogs and Columns." Then click on the column and scroll to the bottom to find the comments field.

The opening of the summer season at the Balboa Bay Club & Resort unfolded with pride and purpose on a recent Sunday afternoon, in what has become a tradition in Newport Beach.


Beyond the social mingling of both longtime Newporters and young families with children in tow, worthy students from the Newport-Mesa School District were presented with much-deserved scholarship funds to be used in the pursuit of higher education.

Some 15 years ago, Beverly Parkhurst, then Beverly Ray widow of the late Bill Ray, owner of the Balboa Bay Club, was in the process of transforming the old organization to face the modern era. The old glory days of social interaction with John Wayne, Joey Bishop, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, Bonita Granville and Jack Wrather had passed, and the new era ushered in more of a sense of social responsibility.

Parkhurst — along with her close friend Marilyn Wooten and a confederation of other Newport women, including Nancy Burnett, Gini Robins, Catherine Thyen, Arden Flamson, Marilyn Gust, and Ramona Smith — came together to form an organization called the 1221 Club.

This ladies auxiliary promoted social interaction with the goal of raising funds for student scholarships within the Newport-Mesa community.

Over the last 15 years, the club has grown to a core group of about 100 women who have helped to raise nearly $400,000 in scholarship funds. Their generosity has affected some 100 young lives.

This year, the honored students came from diverse backgrounds and included James Kasper of Estancia High School, who received a $5,000 grant. Kasper graduated with a 4.226 GPA and will attend UC Berkeley in the fall.

Also receiving a $5,000 grant was Michelle Atkins, who graduated from Corona del Mar High School with a 4.37 GPA, ranking in the top 2% of her class. Michelle will also attend UC Berkeley to study history and international relations.

One of the scholarships that also comes with a $5,000 grant is named for the late E. Morris Smith of Lido Isle. Smith was one of the founding members of the Balboa Bay Club in the late 1940s and was a very successful builder and real estate developer.

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles