A Happy Day in the Garden
O.C. REGISTER - May 17, 2014 - Three vivacious redheads got the party started at the eighth annual Caregivers Luncheon, hosted by the Alzheimer’s Association of Orange County’s Visionary Women group at Rancho Las Lomas in Silverado on May 9.
Association president and CEO Jim McAleer, honoree Gloria Zigner and a special guest, actress Marion Ross, joshed about their hair color while posing for photos at the media wall. Their fun-loving attitude kick-started the event in an idyllic garden setting, where a grand hacienda made an ideal location for mingling and boutique shopping.
Honorees and invited guests strolled down to a patio where lunch was served at tables shaded by white umbrellas.
The luncheon was conceived as a break for caregivers dedicated to Alzheimer’s patients. Youth honoree Myles Saunders, 16, and Lorraine Kobett were lauded for caring for family members. Others, such as Dr. Anwar M. Saeed, Dr. Sani Hanh Pham and Adelbert Catapang were honored for their professional service.
During the program, octogenarian Ross, best known as Mrs. Cunningham on TV’s “Happy Days,” and later as the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants’ grandma, praised the Visionary Women for their good works, performed a brief recitation from Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” and delivered amusing anecdotes about working with Betty White, 92, and Carl Reiner, 93.
When she was done, McAleer got a few laughs with his introduction of Zigner, one of only two lifetime achievement award recipients in the history of the organization. “If you’ve met Gloria, she’s asked you to be in the CHOC Follies. And if you’ve been in an elevator with Gloria, you’ve probably been in Choc Follies,” he said of the show she produces each year to benefit the CHOC Foundation.
He commended her for netting $7 million for the cause and for her Orange Coast magazine column of more than 20 years. “She’s the one who tells O.C. which charities are important. She’s a connector, she’s a conduit, she’s a class act.”
Zigner supporters filled four tables, among them photographers she regularly works with, Peggy O’Donnell of Fountain Valley and Ann Chatillon of Newport Beach, who held a glass of Champagne in Zigner’s honor instead of her usual camera.
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