The Crowd: ‘Havana Nights’ fundraiser held in support of breast cancer patients

by decwells
The Crowd: ‘Havana Nights’ fundraiser held in support of breast cancer patients

They call their band “THE BCF”, pun intended. THE Breast Cancer Fundraiser, a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting newly diagnosed patients, has its 14st annual event September 16 at the Lido House, Newport Beach.

Producers have billed the evening at the shore as “Havana Nights,” a lively cocktail reception with entertainment and an auction. Primarily endorsed by sponsor Fletcher Jones, joining additional generous and passionate donors American Integrated Resources, Bacardi, COCO on the Go, and Redlands Community Hospital, among many others, making the event a financial success for breast cancer patients in need of support .

Nilo G. Low, founder and president of THE Breast Cancer Fundraiser with Charlotte Martin, a breast cancer survivor and director of giving for the group.

(Courtesy of THE BCF)

“The BCF fills a gap in our current healthcare system. When a patient is newly diagnosed with breast cancer, we provide her with resources and products to help alleviate some of the challenges she faces on her road to recovery and healing,” says Nilo G. Low, founder and president of THE BCF. “THE BCF WeCare package is a vessel of strength and offers hope for newly diagnosed patients. From a yoga mat and a chemo beanie to comfortable socks and a neck pillow, the goal is to ensure patients know they are not alone.”

A final nod to summer

Local treasure Sherman Library & Gardens recently hosted its 2022 Newport Beach Garden Tour & Summer Garden Party, raising more than $80,000 for the century-old library and garden in Corona del Mar.

“Guests enjoyed delicious food from 608 Dahlia restaurant, a Bouquet Bar, Posey Frame, artists in the garden painting and selling their art, and live music by Dave Aguiar & the Garden Party Players,” said Beverly Morganrepresenting the library.

Mary Kennedy won a $100 gift card for the best garden-themed hat.

Mary Kennedy won a $100 South Coast Plaza gift card for the best garden-themed hat at the annual Sherman Gardens event.

(Jeanine Hill Photography)

Participants dressed in their favorite garden party hat entering the hat competition on arrival. Judges of the hat contest were Alan Gibbonseditor of Orange Coast Magazine, Renee Raphaela stylist with South Coast Plaza’s Styling Program, and Kathy Van Cat from Recycled Rags, an upscale clothing consignment store in Corona del Mar. Prizes were awarded to Mary Kennedy for the best garden themed hat, Pam Edmondson for the best DIY/handmade hat, Lorna Cohen for Hat with the most heart, and Emma Hennessey won for best Children’s Hat.

“A silent auction and raffle with prizes donated by area businesses contributed to the most successful Garden Tour in Sherman Library & Gardens’ history,” reports Morgan.

Alan Gibbons, Debra Gunn Downing, Julie Lelo and Pam Genereux at the Summer Garden Party for Sherman Library & Gardens.

Alan Gibbons, from left, Debra Gunn Downing, Julie Lelo and Pam Genereux pose in front of the living Posey Frame, created by Sherman horticulturists at the Summer Garden Party for Sherman Library & Gardens.

(Jeanine Hill Photography)

“I am overwhelmed by the generosity of our members, volunteers and the community who continue to generously support Sherman Library & Gardens,” said Scott LeFluer, executive director. “Proceeds from the Newport Beach Garden Tour & Summer Garden Party will support our children’s education programs, which we look forward to growing in the coming year.”

Helping families and children through design

Newport’s fashionable Decorative Arts Society (DARTS) gathered its members for a summer session to award 13 local OC nonprofits a total of $275,000 in funds raised from donor gifts over the past season of lectures and receptions with celebrities professionals from the world of interior design, architecture, landscape design and the decorative arts. An anonymous donor increased the scope with a $60,000 gift for two additional nonprofits.

Over the past 25 years, more than $3.6 million has been raised and distributed among deserving local charities generally focused on health, family and child welfare needs in the country.

DARTS members Janet Curci, Hyla Bertea and Sharon Henwood at the recent grant presentation luncheon.

DARTS members Janet Curci, Hyla Bertea and Sharon Henwood at the recent grant presentation luncheon.

(Natalie Graham)

“The past two years have been difficult for charities to not only raise funds, but to meet the needs of the growing number of Orange County women, children and families who are at risk or in need,” Madeline Hayward said. , president of DARTS, said. “This year we tried to cover children from toddlers to young adulthood as well as provide family support to help them achieve a stable household with food, parenting knowledge and the life skills to provide a better future for the whole family. We are proud to continue our grant program to help these local nonprofits provide much needed shelter, counseling, educational and basic needs services here in Orange County.”

DARTS President Madeline Hayward and Lizzy Lowe of Hope Harbor at the DARTS Grant Presentation Luncheon.

DARTS President Madeline Hayward and Lizzy Lowe of Hope Harbor at the DARTS Grant Presentation Luncheon.

(Natalie Graham)

DARTS grant recipients include; Breast Cancer Solutions, Build Futures, Casa Youth Shelter, Caterina’s Club, Family Support Network, Friendly Center, Fristers, Homeless Intervention Services, Hope Builders, Laura’s House, Laurel House/Hope Harbor, South County Outreach and Women’s Transitional Living Center. The additional $60,000 donor gift will help fund two special projects, including a new van for Caterina’s Kitchen, which will distribute meals to children around Orange County, and a safe new playground for children at the Women’s Transitional Living Center.

For more information about the Decorative Arts Society and membership opportunities, visit

A bed for every child

Serving People In Need (SPIN) will host its annual gala October 7 at Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club, Corona del Mar.

Presented as an evening in “The Spirit of Giving,” SPIN advocates will gather to raise funds in support of permanent housing for OC families with children who need help keeping the family together under one roof .

Kim Frazierdirector of events, shares the nonprofit’s mission statement: “A home is a starting place of hopes and dreams.”

In 2021, SPIN helped 750 households (1,800 adults and 1,630 children) find permanent homes. Major support for SPIN comes from Richard and Kim Crawford, Curtis and Jill Scheetz, Wayne and Mary Lou Shattuck, Maureen Flannagan, Rachel Owens, All and Susan DeGrassi, Craig and Kate Domagala, Charles and Regina Granville, Michael and Tara Gilmore and Gazal Pour-Moezziamong many others.

A fantastic night at the Fun Zone for November 4th

The Balboa Island Museum of Newport Beach is gearing up to take over the Fun Zone on the Peninsula for an annual Fun Zone Festival on Friday, Nov. 4, which promises to be the most amazing frolic of the fall on the bayfront playground.

The party unfolds at 6pm with specialty cocktails and fabulous dinner stations, created by OC caterer and party planner extraordinaire Linda Young from Elite OC Productions. Wild and crazy entertainment, stilt walkers and clowns, and a live concert will follow.

As the crowd wanders through the attractions and the iconic entertainment, funds raised will benefit the much-loved Balboa Island Museum, its exhibits and year-round programs open to all.

Museum managers Shirley Pepys and daughter Tiffany Pepys Hoey put heart and soul into the annual party as it is the most important fundraiser of the year supporting the museum. To date, Julia Argyros and the Argyros Family Foundation once again stepped forward and generously underwrote a portion of the cost. Additional support is required.

Tickets are $200, including all food, drinks, carnival games and prizes, entertainment and priceless date night fun. Go to for more information and tickets.

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