The Crowd: A benefit for the Pacific Chorale

November 10, 2010|By B.W. Cook
  • FOR THE CHORALE: Meredith Riekse, Kimberly Dwan Bernatz, Robert Bernatz gather at Big Canyon Country Club for an underwriting dinner on behalf of The Pacific Chorale.
FOR THE CHORALE: Meredith Riekse, Kimberly Dwan Bernatz,… (hand in, Daily Pilot )

Once again Christmas came early this year as the super dedicated and giving folks who support the Pacific Chorale gathered for an early fall dinner at Big Canyon Country Club, Newport Beach, to raise funds needed to produce their annual holiday gala, "A Dickens Feast."

To set the stage for the fundraiser, Newport's dynamic Jan Landstrom was on the phone to Roger's Gardens in mid-September, requesting a fully-lighted and decorated holiday tree for the country club's dining room.

"They did it," she said with a twinkle. "Not bad for a Christmas tree that is three months early!"

The mid-week get together was graciously hosted by underwriters Mart and Margie Hubbard, who invited the crowd of some 40 guests to dinner. Margie Hubbard worked with Jan Landstrom to create the pre-holiday evening. It starred TV host Ed Arnold of KOCE fame as the emcee and helped raise an impressive $118,000 in underwriting for "The Dickens Feast," set for the evening of Sunday, Dec. 19, at The Center Club, Costa Mesa. The party will immediately follow the Pacific Chorale's "Tis The Season" Christmas concert in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. This year's gala is in the capable hands of chairwoman Valerie Imhoff.


Donors in the Big Canyon crowd included Kimberly and Bob Bernatz, Phyllis and Terry Clark, Elaine and Hunter Keck, David and Darrellyn Mellili, and the official unofficial "queen" of the chorale, Mary Lyons, and her husband, Phil Lyons. Also front and center were Vina and Tom Williams Slattery, former Newport Beach Mayor Doreen Marshall, Warren Coy, Carol Dalton, Mike Carroll, Denice Douglas, Meredith Rickse and, also from KOCE-TV, Mel Rogers. Kelly Ruggirello, president of the chorale, joined much loved Artistic Director John Alexander in praising the crowd for their generosity.

For ticket information for the performance and after-concert dinner, please go to, or call (714) 662-2345.

Fireside chat

On Lido Isle, another spirited dinner gathering unfolded at the waterfront residence of Dr. Jerrel Richards. Some 50 local citizens joined Richards for a recent Sunday dinner and talk by Ralph Clayman, M.D., dean of the UC Irvine School of Medicine.

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