Around Town: Laguna Beach Pride 365 to host ‘Spooktacular Virtual Drag Bingo’

Laguna Beach Pride 365’s
Laguna Beach Pride 365’s first drag bingo event in September benefited the Laguna Food Pantry.
(Courtesy of Laguna Beach Pride 365)

Laguna Beach Pride 365 will host a “Spooktacular Virtual Drag Bingo” fundraiser next week, just in time for Halloween.

The event will be held virtually over Zoom on Thursday at 6 p.m. A limited number of bingo cards are available in advance for free at

Those participating in drag bingo will be able to play for prizes. As part of the fundraiser, Laguna Beach Pride 365 will be collecting donations to benefit the Friendship Shelter.

The Friendship Shelter is a Laguna Beach-based nonprofit organization that assists homeless adults by providing both shelter and rehabilitation services.

Craig Cooley, the president of Laguna Beach Pride 365, said the organization has a goal of raising $5,000 for the Friendship Shelter with the free-to-play fundraiser.

Cooley added that the series of community fundraisers, which will total four through the end of the year, are endorsed by the city of Laguna Beach and the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce.

Laguna Beach Pride 365’s first drag bingo event benefited the Laguna Food Pantry. There will be similar events to benefit charity in Laguna Beach and those most adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in November and December.

National Academy of Medicine elects UCI biomedical engineer

Kyriacos Athanasiou, a UC Irvine distinguished professor of biomedical engineering, has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine.

Athanasiou is one of 90 new U.S. members announced this week, in addition to 10 others internationally. He was inducted to the academy “for inventing, developing, and translating technologies, such as articular cartilage implants and methods for intraosseous infusion, that impact several biomedical fields, including orthopedics, maxillofacial surgery, tissue engineering, diabetes, and emergency care,” according to the NAM citation.

Athanasiou specializes in developing advanced engineered tissues. He is known for making implants that help cartilage heal and repair itself, the university said in a news release Thursday. The scaffolds provided the first cartilage implant to treat joint defects and have been used as bone and dental fillers.

“I am honored to have been elected a member of the National Academy of Medicine,” Athanasiou said in a statement. “The recognition, which would not have been possible without the contributions of my students and colleagues at UCI and other institutions throughout my career, highlights the importance of developing a fundamental understanding of the key engineering principles that govern the human body, inventing new ways to treat acquired and congenital defects, and translating those innovations to help improve the human condition.”

Free drive-up HIV testing in Orange County

Radiant Health Centers, an Irvine-based nonprofit specializing in LGBTQ+ medical care and social services, is offering free drive-up rapid HIV testing in Santa Ana.

To make an appointment, call (949) 809-8764. The drive-up HIV testing will be between noon and 4 p.m. on Mondays at 2708 Westminster Ave. in Santa Ana.

For more information, visit

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