Christmas Co. Opener Raises $180K

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By Lynn Selich | Society Editor

Photos by Peggy O’Donnell


Snowflakes drifting past a crescent moon set the holiday mood for guests attending the Opening Night Gala of The Christmas Company, the signature fundraiser of the Junior League of Orange County.

At the event, posh Santa Timothy Connaghan listened for holiday wishes, but the flawless vintage Cadillac parked along the red carpet already had a trunk full of presents.  For those items not yet on everyone’s list, attendees had the first look at the fabulous merchandise offered by more than 90 exhibitors who were on board for a four-day shopping extravaganza.

The Christmas Company Overall Chair Jaynine Warner, a pilot for SkyWest Airlines, created a transporting theme for the gala evening: “Come Fly With Me.”

She and Special Events Chair Jennifer Gonzales led the creation of the many facets of the black-tie occasion, which kicked off The Christmas Company’s 35thyear.

In all, they raised more than $180,000.

Funds raised annually by the JLOCC directly impact the community through collaborative projects with partner organizations, and support JLOCC’s mission of promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community.

This year’s projects include the Second Harvest Food Bank Backpack Program, Crittenton Services Connect Program, Children’s Hospital of Orange County’s Reading Program, Court-Appointed Special Advocates’ Emancipated Youth Program, Kinship Support Services Program, Bear Hugs and Bear Necessities Program, and Impact Orange County, which conducts done-in-a-day volunteer opportunities.

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