The Crowd:

Top teams, alumni party in Newport-Mesa

January 08, 2010|By B.W. Cook

The Bowl Championship Series national title game may have been played at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl this week, but the teams and many VIP guests were all headquartered in Newport-Mesa.

The Westin South Coast Plaza Hotel housed the Alabama squad, while the university’s president, trustees, alumni and VIP guests filled the Balboa Bay Club & Resort. Newport Beach’s Island Hotel lodged the Texas Longhorns, and additional guests stayed at the Hyatt and Marriott. Restaurants were busy and parties were unfolding nightly all week long.

Some of the out-of-towners came in for New Year’s Eve, making a grand coastal week out of the football celebration. Newport-Mesa had the best weather in the nation — a platinum opportunity for chamber of commerce exposure.


The Balboa Bay Club’s Henry and Carol Schielein welcomed elegant New Year’s revelers to the annual black tie dinner dance. BBC Chairwoman Beverly Ray Parkhurst and husband Arlis Parkhurst jetted in from their Dallas residence along with a contingent of Longhorn pals to celebrate New Year’s Eve and the big game with local friends.

Spotted in the crowd were Dave and Marilyn Wooten, Ann and John Wortmann, Joan and Bruce May, Barbara and Scott Small, Mitchell and Joni Sussman, Gary and Dale San Fillipo, Dave and Lyn Farman, Judane and John Galardi and Lou and Marybeth Volpini.

Over at the Island Hotel, a grand evening unfolded after a ballroom dinner, featuring entertainment by Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. Many local folks made the evening an extended family affair.

Coming up Jan. 24, Friends of the Orange Coast Interfaith Shelter (known as FOCIS) will gather the crowd for a gala dinner at Turnip Rose, Costa Mesa. Linda Schulein, founder of FOCIS will join Jo Smith, who helped establish the shelter, welcoming local folks dedicated to assisting homeless individuals and families living at the shelter. Both women will be honored at the dinner, open to the public, with tickets priced at $150 per person.

For reservations call (949) 718-0442, or e-mail

Women Helping Women (WHW) will hold a shopping event in Costa Mesa on Jan. 30 at 711 W. 17th St., Suite A-10. Brand name clothing, vintage items and accessories will be offered for sale with proceeds benefiting the mission of the organization, which empowers local citizens seeking self sufficiency through employment success. WHW also assists men, launching a program known as Men2Work.

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