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The Crowd: Giving the Gift of Hope for muscular dystrophy

June 27, 2013|By B.W. Cook
  • TV and radio personality Jamie Gwen hosts the 18th annual MDA Gift of Hope gala dazzling in Tiffany & Co. diamonds.
TV and radio personality Jamie Gwen hosts the 18th annual… (Handout, Daily…)

The 18th annual Gift of Hope Gala benefiting the Muscular Dystrophy Assn. unfolded June 8 at the Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach. Some 400 donors filled the elegant ballroom for the black-tie affair emceed by the beautiful blond media personality Jamie Gwen, attired in a stunning black satin gown accented by dazzling diamonds from Tiffany & Co.'s collection labeled Jazz Age Glamour. Gwen led the crowd in recognizing the evening's two very prominent local citizens named as the MDA's Man and Woman of the Year. Newport Beach restaurateur Jeff Reuter joined fellow notable in the culinary field Charlene Prager, helping to raise significant funds for the cause.

Two of MDA's most ardent supporters, Frank DiBella and S. Paul Musco, once again led the crusade, chairing the benefit that they called "Serving Up a Cure." Major corporate support for the night came from Traditional Jewelers.

Supporting MDA in the O.C. were Brett Hardin, Michael Cho, Kristilyn Goff, Mary Jo Hausman, Ray Jacobi, Daniel Marks, Milan Panic, John Postma, Wayne and Sheri Smith and Victoria Taylor.

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The Corona del Mar estate of Will and Meka Voge welcomed OC Women2Women for a signature event on the coast. The crowd converged at the spectacular Pacific view residence as the talented jazz pianist Ron Kobayashi and his trio entertained. The Saturday evening gathering was chaired and created by noted interior designer Karen Butera King, who welcomed some 100 guests who came to support the cause.

OC Women2Women is a globally organized effort with a local focus here in SoCal with the purpose of assisting women in business find a path to sustainable self-sufficiency. The overriding goal is to break cycles of poverty repeated generation after generation. To this end, the group has partnered with Hope International, a microfinance organization that provides small business loans, training and other services to assist aspiring women in business.

Spotted in the crowd at the Voge residence enjoying a summer buffet seaside were Scott, Sandy and Jan Moody, John and Anette Packer, Taylor and Aaron Olsen, Jim and Marcia Brashier, Eve Ramos Paulino, Susan Lister, Gary and Ragan Hill, Butera King's husband and design partner Ric King and Celeste Jimenez Pena De Amarante, consul general of the Dominican Republic.

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