Charity Spotlight: An Evening to Foster Awareness at Balboa Bay Resort

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 On Saturday evening, May 13, the Balboa Bay Club and Balboa Bay Resort hosted a gala reception in the great ballroom of the resort welcoming some 400 guests for an evening of inspiration related to the medical marvels of organ transplant.

The hosted reception was sponsored by Balboa Bay Club family ownership under matriarch Carole Pickup. 

Bruce Cook, hostess Carole Pickup and Jerry Mandel
Bruce Cook, hostess Carole Pickup and Jerry Mandel

Special guest speakers included Dr. Eric Weschler, Newport Beach Nephrologist, his partner Dr. Kambiz Vahabzadeh, and Tom Johnson, kidney donor recipient and former publisher of The Daily Pilot and current publisher of Stu News.

Also front and center were many local citizens whose lives have been saved by transplant including legendary baseball player Rod Carew and Hoag Hospital physician Dr. Colleen Coleman, recently in the news for donating one of her kidneys.

A wine and hors d’oeuvre reception 7 p.m. was followed by the program at 8 pm. Then at 8:30 p.m, the serious portion of the evening segued into a night of music, dance and hope.

The Jerry Mandel Band, led by the former president of what is now Segerstrom Center For The Arts and current president of the Irvine Barclay Theatre, welcomed longtime writer and Daily Pilot columnist Bruce Cook, performing songs from The Great American Song Book.bruce cook 

Cook is in need of a kidney transplant and has remained silent for the past five years regarding his situation. Carole Pickup created the evening in great part to encourage Cook to share his story and spread the word in search of a donor.

The event attracted a major turnout of support for the cause including VIP guests George and Julia Argyros, Patti and Jim Edwards, Sally and Randy Crockett, Viki and Jim Coufos, Alison and Kimo McCormick, Billy Grubman and Judy Whitmore, Maralou and Jerry Harrington, Ernie Di Massa with Patricia Marshall, Lionel Crotin, Kathy and Jerry Thompson, Adrienne Brandes, Douglas Rowan, Susanne Lloyd and Christopher Lloyd Hayes, and special guest TV host Peter Marshall and his wife Laurie.

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