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Gloria Zigner is an amazing woman, who I have known for nearly 30 years and during that time, no matter what I was doing, she was always kind to me. She had her PR business when I met her, and always had a full contingent of clients. I, at the time, was singing with and working as business manager for the Master Chorale of Orange County, which later became the William Hall Master Chorale. I was learning about PR, advertising, marketing, fundraising, etc., and with a bachelor’s degree in music education (I had left teaching music because of severe cut-backs), it was a stretch for me. During that period, Gloria was there for me, offering advice and support.

Later, when I became editor of Newport Beach [714] magazine and, later still, executive editor of Coast magazine and society editor for the Orange County Register, Gloria never faltered with her encouragement and support for me. By that time, she was society editor of Orange Coast Magazine and we were covering many of the same events. Our publications were often at odds with each other back then, but our friendship never faltered.

Recently, my life took a different turn when I started my own PR business, Donna Bunce & Associates Public Relations. Gloria was right there cheering me on. She just never shows a jealous side, and I love her for that.

So, with that being said, I was delighted to hear that this famous redhead was recently honored by Arts OC at its annual Orange County Arts Awards with the Helena Modjeska Cultural Legacy Award for her stellar work as founder and executive producer of the CHOC Follies, now it its 15th year. The annual stage show fundraiser, which combines professional and local community talent, is great fun and has raised more than $6 million for CHOC Children’s. But, Gloria’s greatest contribution to the cause is as its cheerleader. She is single-handedly responsible for getting business, civic and society leaders on stage singing and dancing, who never thought they would be there. You just can’t say “no” to her! I know. I sang and danced in the first two Follies!

So, in closing, dear Gloria. I know you don’t need luck – you make it! – I wish you continued success in raising money for CHOC Children’s, a cause you wholeheartedly believe in, and many more years with that wonderful man in your life. We love you too, Irv! And, thank you for being a mentor and friend all these years. I wouldn’t be who I am today but for you!