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The Crowd: 'Black and White Ball' nets more than $1 million for CASA

May 30, 2012|By B.W. Cook
  • Back row, from left: Hannah An, Jacqueline An, Monique An, Danny An, Catherine An, Elizabeth An; Front row: Diana An, left, and Helene An at the 2012 CASA Black and White Ball.
Back row, from left: Hannah An, Jacqueline An, Monique… (Daily Pilot )

People often say that following one's passion will lead to success.

American entrepreneur Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA franchise, modifies that statement by offering "that success comes from following one's best effort."

Last week in Orange County, one woman proved that passion combined with effort can indeed make a discernible difference. Elizabeth An, chief executive of House of An, joined her extended family — including husband Gordon Clune, grandmother Diana An, parents Helene and Danny An and sisters Hannah, Jacqueline, Monique and Catherine — in offering their business' support and unmatched passion and effort.

The Ans helped raise more than $1 million for an organization known as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) at its annual dinner fundraiser held at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa.

It was the most successful fundraising event ever produced by CASA, and organizers hope to net over $800,000 for the nonprofit that serves Orange County's severely abused and neglected children facing issues with the legal system.

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In addition to honoring the An family for their tremendous involvement, the evening's success was also due to the passion and the effort of another outstanding Orange County couple: Lourdes and Ted Nark, co-honorees and co-chairs of the evening.

There are many generous and dedicated Orange County citizens who turn out week after week at fundraising dinners for a plethora of worthy causes. They are called upon repeatedly to buy tables in support of the particular need.

The average cost of a table for 10 at any given event can range between $2,500 and $25,000. Big donors will often write checks for $50,000 and $100,000 for a table at a cause that has significant meaning in their lives. Donors often invite family, friends and business associates to be guests at a table or two.

At the CASA dinner, Elizabeth An, stunning in a Victorian-inspired black and white formal gown by Alberta Ferretti, husband Gordon Clune along with relatives and friends purchased 20 tables. Some 200 guests filled the Hyatt ballroom, with an overflow crowd of more than 800 donors making all the difference for the charity that crossed the $1-million mark.

This is no easy task.

They called the party the "Black and White Ball," and the crowd arrived in their penguin best. The women were sexy and chic, many in short cocktail dresses and skyscraper high heels accompanied by their handsome men in their finest Gatsby attire.

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