Our Laguna -- Barbara Diamond

If admiration were money, Pauline Walpin would be one of the richest

women in town.

Pauline was lauded June 7 at a luncheon hosted by the Laguna Beach

Woman’s Club for her tireless volunteer work during the years she has


lived in Laguna Beach.

“At just about every meeting I go to, you are there and people pay

close attention to what you say,” Police Chief James Spreine told Walpin.

Jim was the final speaker of the day to pay respects to Walpin.


Walpin moved to Laguna Beach in 1970, a wife and mother of two

children, a nurse and a poet. She worked at South Coast Medical Center as

a surgical nurse and there she helped to start Meals on Wheels, which

delivers food to the housebound. She also was instrumental in

establishing a transportation program for seniors, which later became

Sally’s Fund. She also volunteered her time to the Laguna Beach Community

Clinic, the Assistance League of Laguna Beach and the Episcopal Service

Alliance in South Laguna, which fed and clothed homeless people.


“When I first came to town, I met Pauline working at ESA and she

showed me the ropes,” said Marsha Bode, another incurable volunteer.

Bette Anderson, president of Village Laguna and Woman’s Club board

member met Pauline in a writer’s class. She read Walpin’s poem “Old Cat,”

an homage to an aging but loved pet.

“I have known Pauline for many years and I didn’t know she was a

poet.” said Karen Stevens, president of the Assistance League board.

Karen recited her “Ode to Pauline” and then asked everyone to raise a


toast the woman of the day.

Laguna Beach resident Al Roberts, who founded AIDS Services Foundation

and serves as its president, spoke of Walpin’s contributions to the

creation of Hagen Place, an apartment house on Mermaid and Third Street

for people living with life-threatening ailments.

Most recently, Pauline served on the Vision Laguna Steering Committee,

appointed by then-Councilman Wayne Peterson, who unfortunately could not

get out of a teaching assignment to attend the luncheon.

Woman’s Club board member Veronica Nice organized the tribute to


“When I came to Laguna, I wanted to meet strong women and if Pauline

isn’t one of them, I’m not sure who is.”

Councilwoman Toni Iseman expressed the city’s view of Pauline. “The

essence of Laguna is caring individuals,” Toni said. “Pauline, you have

been leading us in the right direction for a long time. We are grateful.”

Walpin well-wishers at the luncheon also included Councilwoman Cheryl

Kinsman, Costa Mesa Mayor Linda Dixon, former Laguna Beach mayors

Kathleen Blackburn and Lida Lenney, City Manager Ken Frank, council

candidate Melissa O’Neal, Community Clinic board President Lee

Winocur-Field and Mary Young.

Also: Cossie Mechling, who arranged the floral centerpieces; Louise

Buckley and Marthann Newton, active members of Laguna Beach Seniors Inc.;

Elizabeth Pearson, former planning commissioner; Jeannette Merrilees,

environmental activist; and Jean Stal, wearing an armful of gold

bracelets, one for each year she spent teaching overseas.

The annual luncheon also included the election of officers for the

2002-03 club year. Kimberly Salter was reelected president, her third


Barbieri will serve as second vice president and club building

manager. Nice was elected first vice president. Marsha Bode’s election as

treasurer left open her longtime position as editor of the club

newsletter, unfilled at the beginning of the meeting. Before the luncheon

concluded, the club’s newest member, Tracy Williams, had volunteered.

Also elected: Peggy Ford, recording secretary; Ganell Baker,

corresponding secretary and bridge coordinator; Bev Hine, financial

secretary/membership; Jane Egly, parliamentarian; Bette Anderson, dean of

chairs; and Sande St. John, Women’s Resource Center.


You may not be able to beef up your bank account with compliments, but

you sure can with scholarships.

“I chose to go to Santa Clara, a private Jesuit school,” said Joy

Ostensen, a scholarship recipient in 2001 and daughter of school

counselor Kay Ostensen. “My family is supported by my mother, so we knew

it would be a stretch. Scholarships made the difference.”

This year, the Laguna Beach Scholarship Foundation distributed

$159,000 to graduating seniors. The scholarships were presented at the

Honors Convocation held April 5 at Laguna Beach High School.

Before the awards ceremony, the foundations held a reception for

donors and presenters.

Candace Johnson, recipient of the No Square Theatre and the Betsy and

Don Paul scholarships in 2001, said that the scholarships allowed her to

attend USC, but also gave her the confidence to go for it.

Pat Kollenda was pleased to note that Johnson is not only attending

her alma mater, but pledged her sorority. Pat and Lisa Morrice, who

represented No Square Theatre at the convocation that followed the

reception, sang their scholarship presentation.

Proving what a good choice the 2001 donors had made, Johnson sang

“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” accompanied by teacher Gary Shapiro, a

tribute to retiring district musical director Jeff Foster.

Foundation President Lee Kucera praised scholarship donors as the

dream makers for Laguna Beach High School seniors.

“Scholarship funds you provide are truly investments in the future,”

Kucera said.

The number of scholarships continues to grow. This was the first year

the Claudia Flint Memorial Scholarship was presented, funded by the Flint

family in remembrance of the popular Thurston Middle School teacher, who

tragically died in a traffic accident. Also new this year: the Olga

Torrerio Lingustics Award. The David and Betsy Paul Drama Scholarship was

endowed by the Johnson family and the Weaver Family Scholarship has


Among the donors and presenters at the reception: Anne Morris for the

Chamber of Commerce, Diane Connell for the Friends of the Library

Foundation, Bob Henry who chairs the Festival of Arts Scholarship

Committee, Debbie Kermode, Penny King for the Ebell Club, Bobbi Cox for

Rotary and Carol Reynolds for the American Assn. of University Women.

Reynolds, a former music teacher and a member of the Laguna Beach

Community Band is seeking funding for a music program in Laguna’s

elementary schools. The band picked up the tab for the spring semester.

Foundation members Deborah Rabben and Angela Irish signed in guests at

the reception. Chris Krach and Jeannie Harrell handed out the scholarship


Gabe and Brian Rabben, Jason Weiner and Alex Khajetoorians provided

musical entertainment. Carl Zigler of the Village Cafe catered the


“Carl has been marvelous to all the kids,” said foundation member

Margie Bell.

Also on hand from the foundation: Mary Fegraus, Diane Kloke, Chris

Loidolt, Eleanor Tiner and Lauren Packard. For more information about the

scholarship foundation or to volunteer as a trustee, call 499-7760.

* Our Laguna is a regular feature of the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot.

Contributions are welcomed. Write to Barbara Diamond, P.O. Box 248,

Laguna Beach, 92652, hand-deliver to 384 Forest Ave., Suite 22; call

494-4321 or fax 494-8979.