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104Wendy and Larry Tenebaum were such gracious hosts, welcoming 200 CASA supporters to their elegant Pelican Hill home for a share-and-donate wine party. The occasion was CASA’s Wine Kick-Off Party for its Celebration of Children Black & White Ball scheduled for May 18th at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort.

I can tell you one thing – this group knows their wines! Elizabeth An, CASA supporter and COO of AnQi By Crustacean at South Coast Plaza – and the evening’s caterer – brought a 2006 French bordeaux – Vosne Romanee Grand Cru – valued at $700! I also spotted a 1981 Opus One signed by Robert Mondavi and Baron Phillippe de Rothschild valued at $400. No slouch either was the $150 bottle of 2008 Sea Smoke “Ten” pinot noir, the $300 bottle of 1996 Dom Perignon or the $100 bottle of 2010 Caymus cabernet. It was that kind of night! All these superb wines and many more will be part of CASA’s silent and live auctions for the ball.

Chairing the lovely affair were CASA supporters Wendy Tenebaum, Britt Meyer, Nancy Eaton, and Lourdes Nark. They encouraged guests to buy opportunity tickets and those who did wore flashing red heart necklaces, which made for a colorful evening! They also announced that three florists had donated arrangements for the evening, and the committee would choose one of them to do the ball. The generous florists included Enchanted Florist, Paul Fenner Floral Design and Floral Designs by Joe Sorachana. Also recognized were the wine sharing party sponsors, which included AnQi, Damiani, Riviera magazine, Bello Winery, and Landy Family Vineyards. The two wineries poured some of their best wines for the soiree.

CASA’s Chief Development Officer Susan Kirkland raved about the Black & White Ball’s auction and thanked the many CASA supporters, “who make it great,” she said, especially auction co-chairs Daryl Nelson and Nancy Eaton. She also recognized ball co-chairs, Cathy Frandsen, Jeanina Esparza and Lourdes Nark. CASA CEO Gene Howard introduced the ball’s 2013 Children’s Champions, Carol & Jon Demorest, and CASA board member John Stratman, who is Sr. Director of Public Affairs & Brand Communications at Kaiser Permanente, shared why Kaiser supports CASA, saying, “Our support goes to helping create a family structure for these kids.”

The winners of the opportunity prizes culminated the evening (although many guests were having such a good time, the party continued into the night) and saw Elizabeth Hansen win the Napa Valley Bello Winery package and Mitra Nasab the Landy Family Vineyards package, which included a tour of the vineyards in Healdsburg. Damiani, a respected Italian jewelry line, donated two pieces of jewelry, an 18k gold necklace won by Veronica Navarretta and a sterling silver and silk cotton bracelet won by Soogie Kang. Smiles abounded!

Photos: Robert Rooks