Around Town: Best of Plein Air exhibition’s winners named; Laguna Beach event concludes April 3.

“Jitterbug” by Geoff Allen captured first place in the 19th Annual Best of Plein Air exhibition and sale.
“Jitterbug” by Geoff Allen captured first place in the 19th Annual Best of Plein Air exhibition and sale, which concludes April 3.
(Courtesy of the Laguna Plein Air Painters Assn.)

Laguna Plein Air Painters Assn. announced this week the winners of its 19th Annual Best of Plein Air exhibition and sale, which opened earlier this month and concludes April 3 at the LPAPA Gallery.

“Jitterbug” by Geoff Allen captured the top award from the jurors of this year’s 371 entries by 140 artists. Second place went to “Morning Glow” by Mark Fehlman and third place to “La Jolla Cove” by Michael Hill.

Honorable Mention was given to “Sunset Trail” by Jason Li and the winner of the Facebook Fans People’s Choice Award went to “Crystal Cove’s Legacy” by Mark Fehlman.

Proceeds from the sale of artwork benefits participating artists and the nonprofit LPAPA.

The LPAPA Gallery at 414 N. Coast Highway. Gallery hours are Thursday through Monday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment.

Costa Mesa awarded $630K to create ‘Safe Routes to School Action Plan’

Costa Mesa officials announced last month the U.S. Department of Transportation had granted the city a $630,000 Safe Streets and Roads for All grant to develop a comprehensive safety action plan aimed at making streets safer.

The Safe Routes to School Action Plan will include specific, implementable project concepts to enhance safety on the city streets used to access Newport-Mesa Unified School District campuses in Costa Mesa.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law established the new Safe Streets program, appropriating $5 billion in funding over the next five years. The first funding cycle, announced Feb. 1, will award $800 million to 510 communities nationwide.

O.C. Community Foundation establishes Social Justice Fund, sets $10M goal

In concert with the Unitied Nations’ World Day of Social Justice, the nonprofit Orange County Community Foundation has launched a special Orange County Justice Fund in partnership with philanthropist Keith Swayne, co-founder of the Keith and Judy Swayne Family Foundation and the Hawaii Community Foundation.

A first round of grants totalling $400,000 was recently awarded to 25 local nonprofit organizations, whose work aligns with the funds three key values — the belief diversity is an asset, moving toward unity and creating local impact for all residents, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability or other characteristics.

The funds may be used to support the organizations’ direct services, coalition building and policy advocacy. OCCF hopes to build the Orange County Social Justice Fund to $10 million to make it an enduring source of support for the local community.

To learn more about the fund and how to get involved, visit

Learn how to use Naloxone at training session in Newport Beach

Naloxone can revive someone who has overdosed on opioids and stopped breathing. Learn how to use the life-saving drug during a training session either in-person at the Melinda Hoag Smith Center for Healthy Living, 307 Placentia Ave, Newport Beach, at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 21.

Aimee Dunbkle of the Solace Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to reducing opioid related deaths, will teach attendees how to respond if a loved one overdoses. They will also be invited to listen in or take part in candid conversations.

The event is free, and those who show up in person will receive a package of naloxone to take home. Attendees will be required to wear a face covering inside the medical facility.

Alzheimer’s Family Center will be offering a four-week series of presentations next month at the Senior Center in Central Park, 18041 Goldenwest St., Huntington Beach. All will take place on Wednesdays, from 2 to 4 p.m. and the fee is $25 for the entire series. The dates are April 5, 12, 19 and 26.

The series will feature Orange County professionals in the fields of neurology, diet, exercise, stress management, cognitive fitness and elder law. Topics addressed will include “All About Memory Loss,” “Superfoods & Diet for Optimal Brain Health,” “Cognitive Tools & Mental Health Resources” and “Legal Issues & Planning for the Future.”

For more information or to register, call (714) 593-9630.

Free Alzheimer’s & Caregiving Educational Conference set for April 19

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America will host a free Alzheimer’s & Caregiving Educational Conference for area residents on Wednesday, April 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hilton Irvine/Orange County, 18800 MacArthur Blvd., Irvine.

The conference is open to the public and will allow participants to learn from experts in the field of Alzheimer’s disease, brain health, and caregiving. Free, confidential memory screenings will be conducted throughout the day. Advanced registration is recommended and can be made at

Women’s Philanthropy Fund breakfast May 18, registration open now

Orange County United Way will hold its annual Women’s Philanthropy Fund Breakfast on Thursday, May 18, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Irvine Marriott. The event will include a Q&A with Helen Hunt, the Academy Award-winning actor, writer, director and producer.

The Women’s Philanthropy Fund was created to support the advancement of at-risk families and children in Orange County.

“It’s an honor and privilege to be able to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Women’s Philanthropy Fund Breakfast this year with Orange County’s top philanthropists and community leaders, who have given their time, talents and treasures to make a significant impact in our community,” stated Susan B. Parks, president and chief executive of Orange County United Way and a founding member of the Women’s Philanthropy Fund. “Thanks to the tireless efforts of many over the past two decades, I can confidently say we have made a long and lasting difference for our beloved Orange County community.”

To register for the breakfast and submit a question for Helen Hunt, visit The cost to attend the event at the Marriott is $300 per person.

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