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Honoree Marian Bergeson joining me at the Foundation for the Great Park's "Summer Solstice Celebration"

Honoree Marian Bergeson joining me at the Foundation for the Great Park’s “Summer Solstice Celebration”

It was June 21, 2013, the longest day and shortest night of the calendar year, and the Foundation for the Great Park’s “Summer Solstice Celebration” was in full swing! I didn’t see any Druids celebrating the turning of the seasons, but that didn’t stop everyone from enjoying the celebration.

When guests arrived, the sunny late afternoon skies were the perfect backdrop for the Great Park’s famous orange balloon rising in the sky. Sipping the party’s signature “Sundowner” cocktail in the Park’s historic Hangar 244 brought smiles all-round as waiters tray-passed delicious hors d’oeuvres from the award-winning Lime Truck (who also catered the scrumptious dinner!). Once seated at rows of brightly decorated picnic tables – loved the sunflower centerpieces, thanks to florist Paul Fenner! – guests were welcomed by event co-chairs Rosemary Ward and Lizanne Witte. Foundation director Teddie Ray thanked event sponsors and announced that event proceeds (later accessed at $40,000) would support the education programs at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon 2013 and Energy XPO coming to the Great Park October 3-13.

Foundation director William Habermehl, Orange County Department of Education’s Superintendent Emeritus, honored Foundation for the Great Park Chair Marian Bergeson for her many contributions. “Marian’s motto of ‘persistence and adaptability’ has been the cornerstone in her role as chair,” Habermehl said. He then shared remarks about Bergeson from other board members, including Bill Witte, Allan Gibson, Mike Ray, Keith Curry, Rick Hume, Janet Ray, and ending with a poem written for her by David Horowitz. Personally, I must say the dynamic Marian – her bio is incredible! – is a role model and mentor for many of us. And, she has remained a fashion style icon for me through all the years I’ve known her.

Following dinner, guests were treated to a “Drum Circle,” where 30 volunteer guests were given a bongo drum to play led by some professional drummers and fire dancers from La Vida Laguna and Flash Point Fire Dancers, respectively. In a strange sort of way, the summer solstice really came alive at that moment, especially with the full moon holding sway in the cloudless sky. The lone live auction item, donated by Solar Decathlon Founder Richard King, was a VIP Day in the Park for 10 during Solar Decathlon 2013 and Energy XPO, which included a pair of bicycle cruisers donated by Great Park Neighborhoods. Longtime Great Park supporter David Horowitz scooped it up for $3,500.

The solstice drew to a close with The Magic House Band playing rock covers this crowd was ready for. The dance floor, packed to the gills, stayed that way far into the starlit night. This year’s summer solstice was complete!