The Guilds of Segerstrom Center for the Arts raise $320,000 in support of education, community initiatives

The Guilds of Segerstrom Center for the Arts, the oldest and largest of the Center support groups, hosted their annual fundraiser on Friday, May 3 at the Avenue of the Arts Costa Mesa, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel from 5:30-10 p.m. The event raised more than $320,000 to support the Center’s Education and Community Engagement programs throughout Orange County.

“All That Jazz Casino Night” was a celebratory evening of appetizers by the lake, dinner in the ballroom, poker tournaments and gaming to benefit Segerstrom Center for the Arts. The event kicked off with a picturesque lakeside reception, where guests mingled under the starlit sky, enjoying delectable appetizers and refreshing beverages amid the serene ambience.

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Photos by Ann Chatillon

Roaring Twenties dancers filled the ballroom

Guests then made their way to the grand ballroom, transformed into a scene reminiscent of the Roaring Twenties, complete with dazzling decor and live jazz performances that filled the air with an infectious energy. A gourmet dinner was served as the Guilds took the opportunity to honor individuals and organizations whose unwavering dedication has made a profound impact on the arts community. All honorees and presenters with the exception of Avenue of Arts Hotel are Guilds members. Wincome Hospitality and Avenue of the Arts Hotel are generous supporters of Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

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Awards presentation to Lisa Bhathal-Merage and Marta Bhathal. Accepting for Marta was Betty Huang as Vanessa Moore (left) joins the festivities.

This year they recognized Guilds Honorees Marta Bhathal and Lisa Bhathal Merage. Marta Bhathal, business leader and passionate philanthropist, has been a generous supporter of Segerstrom Center for the Arts for more than 30 years. Her daughter, Lisa Bhathal Merage, is an entrepreneur and community leader who represents the next generation of arts advocates.

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Eileen Cirillo (right) accepting The Guilds Inspiration Award

Eileen J. Cirillo received the Guilds Inspiration Award and Wincome Hospitality was presented the Guilds Philanthropic Business Award. Cirillo, Guilds member and a founder of Studio D: Arts School for All Abilities, has been a strong supporter of the Center since 1986, and works closely with its education department as an active volunteer and docent.

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Joining the dealer at the poker table (L-R): Brett Lawrence, Devin Dick, Aria Lawrence and Vanessa Moore

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(L-R) Melissa Cisakowski (Lugano Diamonds) with Nicole Bhathal and Sara Webb

The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly the spirited poker tournament and gaming tables, where attendees tested their luck and skill, all in the name of supporting the arts. Laughter and excitement filled the room as participants vied for coveted prizes, adding an element of friendly competition to the festivities.

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Robert Palm and Lauren Abraham enjoying casino night

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(L-R) Kevin Schjei (GM, Wincome/Avenue of the Arts), Jane Yada, George Wall and Saurav Biswas (Assistant GM, Wincome/Avenue of the Arts)

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(L-R) Manna Kadar, Sohrab Tavakoli, Parisa Fischback with Jaime and Steve Hong

Raising $320,000 through the “All That Jazz Casino Night” fundraiser represents a significant milestone with a far-reaching impact. The funds raised will support initiatives aimed at making arts education more accessible to individuals of all ages and backgrounds across Orange County. With increased financial resources, the Center can also broaden its outreach efforts and engage with a more diverse range of communities.

For more information on Segerstrom Center for the Arts, visit www.scfta.org.


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