Newporters Enjoy ‘Field to Fork’ for Great Park

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Committee member Jill Johnson-Tucker, Event Chair Teddie Ray and Pame Schmider.
Committee Member Barbara MacGillivray and Foundation Board Member Greg MacGillivray.
Committee Member Sheryl and Robert Anderson.
Foundation Vice-Chair Janet Ray, Foundation Chair Marian Bergeson, Great Park Director Walkie Ray.
Drs. Maria Huang and Dave House, Keiko Sakamoto, Peter Zeughauser.

It was a picture-perfect evening as the Foundation for the Great Park hosted its annual fundraising event, the “Jewel of Orange County,” with quite a few Newport Beach VIPs in attendance to show ongoing support for the project.

The event theme was “Field to Fork,” and featured the rich and diverse environment that has been created for the community within the Great Park’s Farm, Food + Agriculture program.

Chaired by Newport Beach resident and Foundation Director Teddie Ray, the evening started off in the Farm + Food Lab with décor that was elegant and whimsical at the same time. White-linened tables were overlaid with grain sack fabric, and there were bales of hay, orange lanterns, baskets of fresh produce, flowers and children’s farm drawings to add colorful highlights throughout. Huge, modern tractors sat on display and beer was served in mason jars for a down-home touch.

The silent auction was cleverly filled with items representing each area of Park programming, and the rhythms of “Saturday Night Live” percussionist Valerie Naranjo drifted through the air as guests mingled and enjoy the natural surroundings.

Guests were seated at fanciful long communal tables on the green, beautifully decorated with gourds and baskets full of produce. The fresh, locally sourced organic dinner featured a choice of vegetarian entrée and sustainably sourced seafood presented farm-style chic as the sunset turned the sky bright orange.

Foundation Chair Marian Bergeson gave a heartwarming presentation that was followed by an energetic live auction featuring one of the trademark Orange Bikes donated by Great Park Neighborhoods ridden playfully to the stage by film director Greg MacGillivray.

As tray-passed desserts were served, folk-Americana band Skyline Drive took to the stage and the dance floor quickly filled as guests danced the night away under the stars.

Since 2000, the Foundation’s role has been to generate support throughout Orange County and beyond for the development and operation of the Great Park. For information, visit

– Special to the Indy from


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