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Volunteer Center Honors Couple for Their Years of Commitment

November 26, 1996|ANN CONWAY

For their long-standing community activism, Larry and Dee Higby received the Giving Is Living Award last week by the Volunteer Center of Greater Orange County.

Staged at the Sutton Place Hotel in Newport Beach, the Spirit of Volunteerism luncheon featured a video tribute to the Santa Ana couple. The event, which drew 700 guests, netted about $35,000.

"This award is given in recognition of the supreme volunteer, if you will, in Orange County," said Larry Tenney, chairman of the volunteer center board. "The Higbys are role models for volunteers--their entire family gets involved in the community."

During a pre-luncheon reception, Larry Higby--president of 76 Products Co., a subsidiary of Unocal based in Costa Mesa--said that being active in the community is a gratifying experience. "You always get back more than you give," he said. "Our children have been raised here, and it's something Dee and I want to invest ourselves in."

Larry Higby has served on the boards of United Way of Orange County, Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, the Discovery Science Center and the Orange County Performing Arts Center, where he is vice chairman.

Dee Higby said that becoming involved in the community has given her a sense of place. "I grew up in a military family, lived all over--but not for very long," she said. "Living here 14 years has helped me put down those roots I never had as a child."

She has volunteered on behalf of the Assistance League of Santa Ana, the Orange County Performing Arts Center and South Coast Repertory, where she is vice chairman of the board.

The volunteer center--which was founded by the Junior League in Santa Ana 38 years ago--helps coordinate volunteers for 2,000 nonprofit organizations in Orange County, said Carol R. Stone, the center's president and CEO. "We mobilized 30,000 volunteers last year."

Tammy McFeggan was event chairman. Judy and Dennis Sweeney were co-chairpersons of the event's honorary committee.

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Business in the Arts Awards: Sixteen awards were presented Sunday night to representatives of Orange County businesses who have demonstrated outstanding support to local arts' institutions.

Among those recognized during ceremonies held at Pacific Mutual in Newport Beach were Keith Johnson, president of Fieldstone Communities Inc.; Henry T. Segerstrom, managing partner of C.J. Segerstrom & Sons; Robert B. Grant, managing partner of Deloitte & Touche; Thomas C. Sutton, chairman of Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Co.; and Gregory P. Lindstrom, a partner with Latham & Watkins.

Also honored: Douglas K. Ammerman, managing partner of Peat Marwick; Barbara Glabman of Glabman's Furniture; and Norman L. Doerges, executive vice president of Resort Development. Guest speaker at the event was David A. Coulter, chairman and CEO of Bank of America Corp.

George L. Argyros, chairman and CEO of Arnel & Affiliates, is chairman of the Orange County Business Committee for the Arts, a nonprofit institution that seeks to stimulate new and increased business support and involvement in the arts.

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Visions of Vienna: More than 100 classical-music buffs gathered after hours at Saks Fifth Avenue at South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, on Saturday to sip champagne, dine and view a waltz demonstration.

The three-hour bash, which also included a fashion show, was a warmup for the Philharmonic Society of Orange County's Vienna week, March 1-5.

The week will be launched with a Viennese Ball on March 1, followed by appearances March 4 and 5 by the world-renowned Vienna Philharmonic at the Orange County Performing Arts Center.

"Tonight I want to give guests a dream," said chairwoman Lauren Claus, "an opportunity to step out of reality for a few hours."

The Viennese-style pastries helped. "Just one bite," said a guest, helping herself to a cream puff. "I have a ball gown to get into."

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