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The Crowd:

Marines help collect toys for children

December 11, 2009|By B.W. Cook

The chic Island Hotel, Newport Beach, kicked off the Christmas season with its annual Toys for Tots reception in the grand ballroom.

Decorated in spectacular winter wonderland fashion with a decidedly whimsical edge by talented Andrew Gromek of Couture Flowers, the reception welcomed hundreds of holiday revelers anxious to drop an unwrapped toy in the Island Hotel collection.

The gifts will be distributed by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves to needy children and families.

Barbara Eidson, classy Island Hotel executive, welcomed the upbeat crowd for the evening cocktail party and buffet supper celebration.

The Newport social set including Roger Kirwan, Bob and Christyne Olson, Sally and Randy Crockett, Mary Roosevelt, Peggy Goldwater Clay, Ron and Gayle Soderling, Sue and Dave Hook, and Lana Chandler front and center in support of the Marines and their Christmas toy program.

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Also in the crowd were Mel Rogers from KOCE-TV, Kathy and Noel Hamilton, Joe and Barbara Delaney, Linda Lamitie, Dave and Marsha Willis, Pamela Paul and Matt Shafnitz.

Guests mingled and sampled Island Hotel chef Bill Bracken’s popular truffle mac ‘n’ cheese.

The beef sliders were on everyone’s Christmas list along with the Peking duck. Meanwhile the Marines’ Color Guard set the proper tone with the singing of the National Anthem featuring Lisa Lofthouse.

Respect for the anthem was quickly transformed into holiday hoorahs as pastry chef Michael Owens invited everyone to share his holiday sugar cookies and sip his Valrhona hot chocolate.

In unison, the operative declaration was … “Yum.” Mary Ann Brown, Sue and Steve Tucker, Celeste Signorino, Kirk and Elena Dawson, Sarah and Michael Corrigan, Kathleen Duffy, and Janeen and Larry Hinson also were on hand for the fun.

The Island Hotel enjoys a long-standing relationship with the Toys for Tots annual Christmas collection.

They are, in fact, the biggest donor center in Orange County.

The toy collection continues until Christmas.

If you care to donate an unwrapped toy, bring the gift to the Island Hotel lobby and head for the Gingerbread Village.

Who knows, there might even be one of Owens’ sugar cookies awaiting your arrival.


THE CROWD runs Thursdays and Saturdays.

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