The Crowd: DARTS hits its fundraising target

October 24, 2013|By B.W. Cook
  • Betsy Elliott, Diane Johnson and Michelle Barber attend the inaugural 2013 reception for the Decorative Arts Society.
Betsy Elliott, Diane Johnson and Michelle Barber attend… (Hyla Bertea )

The Decorative Arts Society (DARTS) launched its 2013/14 charitable lecture series in grand style this past week. Wolfram Koeppe, the curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, graced the Oct. 15 Decorative Arts Society reception as the very special guest opening the annual series on art and design.

He was welcomed by hosts Caroline and Brad Vassar for a cocktail reception in their elegant Balboa Peninsula residence designed in the high court French architectural style. Recently renovated under the supervision of Caroline Vassar, the classic home was built in the 1920s and designed by Walt Disney's personal architect.

The Vassars joined with Koeppe to greet 100 patrons of the Decorative Arts Society who support the charitable efforts of the organization, which include sponsorship of a variety of Orange County nonprofits focusing on improving the lives of families and children in the community.

The incredible local caterer Fork, Knife + Spoon created its exceptional spread of delicacies, impressing the crowd that included DARTS chair Ann Dennis and husband Bill Dennis, Hyla Bertea, Barbara and David Cline, Judy and Bill Brady, designer John Benecke, lovely Linda Colton and Jim Phillips, Brenda and Dirk Eastman, Marion and Peter Hartwich, who recently celebrated their son's wedding, Jackie Glass, Margaret Larkin, Carole and Barry Steele, and Mary Anna and Arthur Jeppe.


Also supporting the Decorative Arts Society were France and Richard Campbell, Diane Johnson, Bonnie and Jerry McClellan, Margaret and John Nord, Randa and Rob Phair, Cathi Bledsoe and Aly Shepard.

The society will sponsor five events running through April. Future guests include Adam Lewis on Nov. 12; Brian Coleman on Feb. 11; Barry Dixon on March 11; and Page Dickey on April 8. Each guest speaker addresses the crowd at a lecture held at the Edwards Big Newport at Fashion Island with individual tickets priced at $60, which benefits the charities supported by the society.

Patrons are invited to a pre-lecture reception the night before held in some of the most unique and beautiful homes in the community. For more information on the Decorative Arts Society and the upcoming presentations, please contact Sharon Henwood at (949) 759-8231 or go to


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