The Crowd: Celebration helps children

June 10, 2011|By B.W. Cook
  • Co-chairs Wendy Tenebaum, Nancy Eaton, Kathryn Moore and Lourdes Nark at Court Appointed Special Advocates annual gala, raising more than $800,000 for programs assisting children in the foster care system in the O.C.
Co-chairs Wendy Tenebaum, Nancy Eaton, Kathryn Moore… (Courtesy Laurie…)

They called it "A Celebration of Children."

Court Appointed Special Advocates of Orange County (CASA) held their 26th anniversary gala at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Hotel & Spa. Country music artist Jimmy Wayne, who grew up in the foster care system, shared his personal story and performed for more than 500 guests coming together to raise $800,000 for CASA.

Founded in 1985 by 15 volunteers, CASA today proudly counts among its caring local participants more than 750 people serving abused and neglected children in the foster care system. At the recent gala, organizers honored Sheila and Jim Peterson with the Children's Champion Award.

Also honored was Frank La Soya, named as Advocate of the Year. Alfonso, Gonzalo and Esmeralda Martinez took home the Outstanding Youth Award from CASA. Corporate support from Deutsche Bank, represented by the respected Doug and Melinda McCrea, received the honors for Corporate Honoree for 2011. For more information on the work of CASA, please contact Lynda Sloan at (714) 619-5155.


Some 350 guests converged upon the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana for the third annual Nicholas Academic Centers Graduation Celebration. An impressive 100% of the 2011 graduates, a total of 60 students, plan to attend college in the fall.

The Nicholas Academic Centers, founded several years ago by Newport Coast resident Dr. Henry Nicholas, former CEO of Broadcom Corporation, in association with retired Superior Court Judge Jack Mandel, finds its purpose in enhancing the success level of mostly inner-city students attending public schools and enabling them to find a path to college. The impressive success rate speaks volumes about the importance of the Nicholas program.

On hand for the upbeat event at the Bowers was executive director of the centers Dr. Corina A. Espinoza joining Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido welcoming the graduates and their families.

The 2011 Culinary Masters event unfolded at the Balboa Bay Club & Resort showcasing top chefs and restaurants in Southern California benefiting the Project HOPE School Foundation. More than 350 patrons paid a minimum of $1,000 per person to attend the black-tie gala.

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