The Crowd: Guilds event features fashion, jewels

March 30, 2011|By B.W. Cook
  • SMILES: Liz Merage, Laurie Rodnick and JoAnn Franticola support the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.
SMILES: Liz Merage, Laurie Rodnick and JoAnn Franticola… (Hand In, Daily Pilot )

The 16th annual Guilds of the Center fashion extravaganza moved from daytime to evening this season.

Chaired by Kathy Fleming, the party unfolded March 24 at the Westin South Coast Plaza hotel. The event began with a champagne reception on the very trendy Westin roof deck, followed by a très chic fashion show produced by Escada, and a filet of salmon dinner served by the Westin Hotel staff in the main ballroom.

One of the major sponsors of the evening was Lugano Diamonds, represented by owners Idit and Moti Ferder as well as Lugano vice president Stuart Winston. This year, the Guilds of the Center celebrated the "kindness, generosity and impeccable style" of Newport philanthropist Zee Allred.

Following a heartfelt speech by Allred praising the efforts of the entire community for decades of unselfish support of the performing arts in Orange County, Moti Ferder presented her with an exquisite 66-carat blue star sapphire and diamond necklace. Lugano also underwrote the cocktail reception and a grand prize raffle drawing of a handsome freshwater pearl necklace made up of 65-inch strands.


The evening raised an impressive $200,000 net benefiting the artistic and educational programs sponsored by the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

Major sponsors of the event included Sandra Segerstrom Daniels, who did an excellent job narrating the video tribute to Allred, Larry and Deborah Bridges, Richard and Mary Kramer, Louise Costa, Carol and Doug Kentner, Robert and Marilyn McCorkle, and Carol and Kent Wilken, among others.


The Children's Hospital of Orange County Follies opens Thursday at the Robert B. Moore Theatre on the Orange Coast College campus. A cast of 100 of Orange County's business, civic and social leaders have been rehearsing for months and will perform "CHOC Follies XIV: A Funny thing Happened On the Way To The Follies."

The show runs for three nights through Saturday, plus a Saturday matinee performance. Since its inception in 1998, the production has raised more than $5 million for CHOC. Founded by executive producer Gloria Zigner, the show has become one of the most successful charity events on the Orange Coast.

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