Virgen's View: Southern Nights a hit for NHHS

March 21, 2014|By Steve Virgen | This post has been corrected, as noted below.

What do you think of when you hear "Newport Beach"?

Do you think of luxury cars or high-priced yachts?

Does this part of Orange County seem plastic or fake to you?

It doesn't to Jen Blanchfield, and to the people who attended Southern Nights, a fundraiser that took place at the Balboa Bay Resort Feb. 28.

The money raised went to the Newport Harbor Educational Foundation, a program that benefits Newport Harbor High School students.

Blanchfield, who has a daughter, Jordan, at the school, chaired the event.

She told me about how sometimes Newport Beach can be perceived as a place of excess, but to those who live there, especially the families, the city is a tight-knit community filled with many people who care for each other.


When their favorite high school needs help, they rally for the students and the teachers who guide them through four important years.

Even the principal is around to help.

Harbor Principal Sean Boulton offered himself up as one of the auction items.

He's set to be a personal chef and make tacos for a Harbor family that paid $1,700 for his culinary services. It was one of the highest bids of the night.

Boulton helped direct a higher bid, as he asked those in attendance to help Harbor gain an electronic marquee. Did you know the school doesn't have one?

Many parts of the school are old school. But Boulton and others want a new electronic marquee.

Bids came in from across the room, as 40 people agreed to donate $200 each. That's eight grand.

"There are a lot of things happening at this school," Boulton said to the 338 in attendance. "It's a magical place. It's completely incredible."

Tickets to a Ducks hockey game went for $1,400. Someone bought a TK Burger catering stop from its truck for $1,300.

A private boat party for 25 to watch the Christmas Boat Parade garnered $1,100. And a VIP tour of the New York Stock Exchange for six took in $1,000.

Attendees, who each paid $125 for admission, were treated with music from the Tijuana Dogs, one of my favorite local bands, plus food and drinks.

The net profit from the event was about $83,000 for the foundation.

"We are so very thankful for the community's generous support of Newport Harbor High students," Diana Long, the foundation's executive director, said in an email.

Since 1995, the foundation has raised more than $11.5 million, according to information Long provided.

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