The New York City skyline was visible from the ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Irvine on Saturday when the Orangewood Children's Foundation staged "I'll Take Manhattan."
About 500 guests enjoyed a Broadway musical revue amid miniature Manhattan skyscrapers at the annual Orange Blossom Ball. The $300-per-person dinner was expected to net about $150,000 for the foundation, which supports the Orangewood Children's Home in Orange and services for abused and neglected children.
New York, New York
Skyscrapers lit by colorful lights turned the hotel ballroom into downtown Manhattan.
"I love New York," said John Hagestad, board chairman. Event chairwoman Shirley Pepys "has done a great job playing out this theme."
As founder and owner of Noel Joanna Inc.--a Rancho Santa Margarita company that makes infant products--Pepys spends time in New York. And because she is a collector of bears and dolls, each table
had a fancy fur teddy bear perched atop a skyline centerpiece. "The bears were a natural for me," she said.
The centerpieces, which also featured miniature New York taxicabs, were created by Pepys' daughter, Tiffany, and Kelly Gray, new president of St. John in Irvine.
Dinner was all Big Apple sophistication: a terrine of spicy shrimp, buffalo mozzarella, artichoke and polenta; grilled beef tenderloin on a potato crab cake with lobster sauce; and raspberry and chocolate strudel with orange sherbet.
Toast of the Town
After dinner, the foundation honored George and Judie Argyros for their contributions to Orangewood. The couple has donated time and money to Orangewood, providing the funds for a pool to be built at the home and setting up the Argyros Educational Fund to help Orangewood graduates attend college.
Judie Argyros announced that, after 14 years on the foundation board, she will step down and pass the torch to her 26-year-old daughter, Stephanie.
"It's time. The young bring new spirit, energy and vitality to the cause," said Judie, looking regal in a sage-colored taffeta gown.
The foundation, based in Garden Grove, provides a variety of services to children, including Orangewood, a Children's Trust Fund (to assist current and former foster children) and Time Out for Parents, a program that provides respite to families in crisis.
"As we're having this party, there are 300 children who can't be with their families because their families are too dangerous," said Gene Howard, executive director of the foundation. "We need to support them."
Other guests were emcee Dave Schafer, Byron Allumbaugh, Frank and Janet Foster, Lisa Hughes, Dana Eggerts, Mary Boyajian, Tom and Renee Dobyns, Joan Gladstone, William Healey, Robert and Connie Ihrke, Judith White, Robert Clasen, Meg Waters, Carol Campbell, Tom and Nancy Powell, Christianne D'Ambrosio and Mike Gillmore.