Gala of the Season
Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ Candlelight Concert is always a night of glamour. Women don their diamonds and pearls, wrap themselves in furs, and revel in an evening of breathtaking scene-setting and A-list entertainment. Last year, crews turned the stage into a virtual window to the world, offering guests 180-degree views of Paris, Russia and New York via giant wall projections as they dined on a sumptuous multicourse meal. The takeaway: $2.1 million to help support the center’s artistic programming and initiatives that serve 300,000 young people each year. This year marks the center’s 30th anniversary, so expect the Dec. 2 soiree to rank among the most memorable. For starters, Carole King—the four-time Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter and the subject of the hit stage production Beautiful—is set to perform in her only West Coast appearance. That’s some kind of wonderful. Tables from $30,000, tickets $3,000, scfta.org
Another Year Older
Ring Those Bells!
A poem (One Solitary Life) recited by John Wayne and a show put on by the organizers of Santa Monica’s Voices of Christmas Ball were the touches of Hollywood sparkle that made Hoag Hospital’s first gala in 1966 a spirited success—and a tradition that spans 50 years, with its next iteration set for Dec. 10 at Monarch Beach Resort. Yes, the Christmas Carol Ball is credited with bringing in tens of millions of dollars for the medical center, which today has two hospitals in Newport and Irvine, and treats some 394,000 patients annually. And this year’s co-chairs, Karen Linden and Cindy Stokke, are giving us the greatest gift: They hope to surpass all previous fundraising records (including 2015’s new high of $1.5 million) in support of the Promise Campaign. The initiative’s goal is to bring in $627 million by 2020 to enhance every aspect of Hoag—from personalized medicine to nursing scholarships. And that’s a dose of holiday cheer. Sponsorships from $5,000, tickets $1,500 per couple, hoagpromise.org
CHOC It Up! With entertainment like country-western megastar Keith Urban, it’s no surprise this year’s CHOC Cherishes Children Gala (held in February at the City National Grove of Anaheim) raised a whopping $2.7 million—a chunk of it earmarked for the hospital’s new pediatric mental health clinic, which will house 18 beds for inpatient care plus outpatient services. A $5 million gift from Sandy Segerstrom Daniels jump-started construction earlier this year, and not a bit too soon. According to CHOC stats, 20 percent of O.C.’s youth population suffers from mental health issues. CHOC aims to change that, with some help from Grammy Award-winning artist Alicia Keys. She’s set to headline the 2017 gala Feb. 4. Girl on fire! Tables from $15,000, tickets $4,000 per couple, choc.org