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The Crowd: A golden night of caring for CHOC

February 12, 2014|By B.W. Cook
  • Stephanie Argyros (CHOC Cherishes Children Gala co-chair), CHOC President/CEO Kimberly Cripe and Christine Bren (CHOC Cherishes Children Gala co-chair).
Stephanie Argyros (CHOC Cherishes Children Gala co-chair),… (Bob Hodson )

They called the evening "50 Golden Years of Caring."

The 2014 Children's Hospital of Orange County Cherishes Children Gala unfolded Feb. 8 at Newport Beach's Island Hotel. The event was as glamorous as it was substantial.

In the ultra-capable hands of co-chairs Stephanie Argyros and Christine Bren, the Island Ballroom was transformed into a verdant red rose and tulip garden for the Valentine month. Dozens of perfect buds, at least six dozen at each table, were placed in vases short and tall and interspersed with clear cylinders sporting floating candles.

The majestic florals sat on tables covered in shimmering gold-green linens with coordinated china service. Walls were draped in floor-to-ceiling white curtains, creating a romantic cocoon for the crowd arriving in their pre-Valentine's Day best.

Argyros and Bren came to the CHOC event with a pedigree of first-class experience. They are among the leaders of the pack representing the next generation of O.C. philanthropy. Argyros in particular has learned well at the table of her formidable mother, Julia Argyros, arguably the premiere O.C. hostess, who, along with husband George Argyros, billionaire businessman and former U.S. ambassador to Spain under George W. Bush, has been the financial underpinnings of a variety of community causes ranging from the performing arts to healthcare.

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Suffice it to say that when the Argyros and Bren names are at the helm, nothing less than perfect will do. And that was the case at the CHOC gala, which made CHOC's 50th anniversary a night to remember.

The community rallied behind the cause. A sold-out evening attracted significant underwriting from a cross-section of support all dedicated to the vitality of CHOC. Many of the citizens involved have a long-standing family affiliation with the hospital dating back to its formative years in the 1960s.

Among the most cherished are family generations of the late Charles Hester. His widow, Nora Hester, and children and grandchildren of the Hester, Robbins, Immell, Gianulia, Ensign and Hamilton families all shared in remembering how important CHOC was to Charley and how much his support meant to the children and families of O.C.

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