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PHILANTHROPY
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CHOC Follies XIII’s ‘The Wizard of OC’

BY Ashly McGlonePublished: May 01, 2010

Nearly 100 prominent business, civic and society leaders sang and danced their way to $800,000 for CHOC Follies XIII’s “The Wizard of OC” stage production earlier this month. The annual Broadway-style spoof – which was performed this year in the Robert B. Moore Theater at Orange Coast College – benefits CHOC Children’s.
   
The funds from this year’s production brought the tally of total money raised to $5 million and will help support a new school room in CHOC Children’s new patient care tower. The room, scheduled to open in 2013, will enable long-term oncology patients to stay on track with their schoolwork. Credentialed teachers from the Orange Unified School District will offer one-on-one educational support.
   
“CHOC is so grateful to everyone associated with the Follies,” says hospital spokeswoman Denise Almazan. “The new school room will help create a sense of normalcy for children undergoing cancer treatment and help ensure these patients stay on track with their education.”
   
The creative team behind this year’s production was composed of Director John Vaughan, Music Director Doug Austin and Choreographer Lee Martino.
   
CHOC Children’s is a regional health- care network that is composed of two hospitals in Orange and Mission Viejo, several primary and specialty care clinics, a pediatric residency program and four centers of excellence: The CHOC Children’s Heart, Cancer, Neuroscience and Orthopaedic Institutes.
   
CHOC Children’s is the only children’s hospital in the state to earn the Silver Level CAPE Award from the California Council of Excellence, and the first hospital in the country to earn the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence. It also earned a Magnet designation, the highest honor bestowed on hospitals for nursing excellence.


MORE PHILANTHROPIC EVENTS

• The Assistance League of Newport-Mesa’s Dancing for Tomorrow’s Stars event, held April 10 at the Marriott Hotel in Irvine, drew some 500 guests and raised $210,000 for the nonprofit, which offers philanthropic support services for struggling children and families. Jeannie Lawrence was named Best Female Dancer, Jim McAleer was named Best Male Dancer and Heidi Cortese-Sherman was named Fan Favorite. Ed Arnold emceed the event. Among the VIP guests: previous winner Julia Argyros and her husband, former Ambassador to Spain George Argyros (pictured).



• The Elan Project, a nonprofit benefiting youth mentorship programs, is set to launch May 7, with a fundraiser at Chateaux Lounge in Irvine. Proceeds will go to the Boys and Girls Club of Laguna Beach and Big Brothers and Sisters of Orange County … Newport Beach-based Junior League of Orange County will hold an opportunity drawing for a chance to win a $10,000 grand prize. One thousand tickets will be sold at $50 each. The winner will be drawn May 8 at Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine in Irvine. The money raised will benefit Orangewood Children’s Foundation and CHOC.