In a continuation of the year-round effort by residents to help
those in need, a dinner was held last night at Legion Hall for
low-income families. The event included a visit from Santa and gifts
This morning, the Laguna Resource Center will host a breakfast and
party from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at the Laguna Presbyterian Church at 415
Forest Ave. Debi Cortez, the center’s outreach director, said that
there will be food, caroling, gifts and more.
Tonight at 5 p.m., the Woman’s Club will have its annual holiday
party -- a free party where kids can see Santa and get toys, and
their parents can enjoy a “Shopping Spree” and obtain clothing and
The coordinators stressed that items are still needed for families
and anyone can donate all day until 4 p.m. at the Woman’s Club at 286
St. Ann’s Drive.
“It’s not too late to bring stuff,” volunteer Sande St. John said.
” We really, really need gloves, scarfs, hats, thermal anything,
especially warm clothing.”
Families are in need of used clothing for women, men and children,
housewares, used toys and books in good shape.
“It’s really gratifying, not just to the families -- more so to us
to see the people in town coming and bringing such love,” St. John
said. “Laguna is so caring, and the families are so appreciative.”
The event started more than 10 years ago and has grown to where it
is now serving about 250 people and families. Anyone can come and
take what they want or need.
For information, call the Woman’s Club at 497-1200.
-- Suzie Harrison
Several ways to give this season
There are plenty of ways Lagunans can contribute to needy children
and animals this season.
Laguna Beach firefighters are holding the annual Spark of
Love/Toys for Tots Holiday Toy Drive. Together with firefighters
throughout Southern California, they will collect unwrapped toys and
sports equipment for toddlers as well as teens who are less fortunate
this holiday season. Lagunans can bring a new unwrapped item to any
of the city’s four stations.
“This is definitely one of those charities that firefighters
enjoy,” Capt. Dan Stefano said. “It’s such a special event as far as
who is benefiting from it.”
The campaign will run through Christmas day. For more information
on the Spark of Love Toy Drive or holiday safety, contact the Laguna
Beach Fire Department at (949) 497-0700. The stations are at Forest
Avenue, Agate and Glenneyre Streets, Alta Laguna and Tree Top Lane,
and 2nd Avenue in South Laguna. Another drop box is in the lobby of
the Laguna Beach Police Department.
“Operation Santa Paws” is spearheading a canine/feline toy and
treat drive to benefit less-fortunate animals at shelters and pet
rescues this season, said Justin Rudd, organizer of the holiday
“It’s a joy to help out these underprivileged animals, some who
are abused, neglected or abandoned,” Rudd said. “Giving these shelter
dogs and cats toys and treats at Christmas puts smiles on their faces
and hope in their hearts.”
Items needed include durable puppy and dog toys such as the
Indestructible Ball, Nylabone, Kong, Booda, Gumabones, Velva or Best
Ball brands; dog and cat shampoo; dry food and soft dog treats; food
and water bowls of all sizes; kitten and cat toys; cardboard serving
trays to use as litter boxes; cleaning supplies and heating pads for
The donations will be collected from shelters and participating
business and then distributed on Dec. 23. Donations will be accepted
until Dec. 22 at the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter, 20612 Laguna Canyon Road. Information: (949) 497-3552.
The Boys and Girls Club of Laguna Beach is set to benefit from “A
Time For Smiles” holiday toy drive sponsored by Toys R’ Us, Inc., The
Toys R’ Us Children’s Fund, Inc. and ABC News’ Good Morning America.
A donation of $1, $5 or $10 can be made to The Toys R’ Us
Children’s Fund at any Toys R’ Us, Kids R’ Us or Babies R’ Us store
through Dec. 24. The children’s fund will donate the money to the
Boys and Girls Clubs of America, which will use the donations to
purchase toys for club members across the country and on military
bases in the United States and in Europe and Asia.
-- Mary A. Castillo
SchoolPower presents funds to district
Newly elected board member Betsy Jenkins was sworn in with
re-elected members Robert Whalen and Kay Turner at the school board
One of the first orders of business was hearing a special
presentation from SchoolPower, which included a check for $44,760
made out to the teachers and a check for $150,000 for the district.
“I want to put my hands on it,” Turner said as she posed with
SchoolPower President Bill Moore and Campaign Chair Bill Steel.
The allotment to the teachers set a record. The sum gives
approximately $400 to every teacher in the district, Steel said.
“This gives them another pocket for them to reach into for the
benefit of the children,” he said.
This year’s campaign has so far raised more than $225,157 for the
district. Steel thanked the board members, administrators and
teachers for making the job of appealing to the community for funds
“It makes our job a lot easier when everything is going well,” he
“This is the first time we’ve presented so much money,” Moore
said. The foundation’s contribution met this year’s amount budgeted
by the district.
“The rest,” Moore said, “will be gravy.”
SchoolPower is still accepting contributions to meet its goal of
$260,000. For more information, call (949) 494-6811.
-- Mary A. Castillo
New board for Boys, Girls Club
The Boys and Girls Club of Laguna Beach announced the incoming
board of directors and new board members.
Longtime supporter Keith Swayne will serve as president of the
Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Laguna Beach for
2003. The executive committee also includes Bill Fischer as vice
president of operations, Don Crevier as vice president of
development, Bob Wright as treasurer and Ruth Dugue as secretary.
“Role models are important in helping kids understand how to make
right choices,” Swayne said.
He has been personally involved with the clubs since his youth and
his children were members of the Laguna Beach club. He has also acted
as co-chair of the capital campaign for the renovation and expansion
of the club facility and is a national trustee for the Boys and Girls
Clubs of America.
“For over 50 years, the Boys and Girls Club of Laguna Beach has
provided a safe and positive place that enhances the lives and
futures of our youth,” said Kim Maxwell, executive director of the
club, in a written statement.
New board members Mike Hefty, Ginny Blossom and Milt Naylor will
serve starting next year.
Maxwell also thanked the outgoing members of the 2002 board of
directors, Rick Giangeruso, Walt Lindberg, Susie Kubesh, Gary Kubesh
and Sandy Toruno.
“Our club members are fortunate to benefit from the heartfelt
commitment and endless efforts of these very special and caring
people,” she said. “We are extremely grateful to these wonderful
members of our community and we feel privileged to have their
participation on our Board of Directors.”
-- Mary A. Castillo
Laguna Coast Wilderness signs awarded
On Nov. 14 the Orientation Signs at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
gained national recognition and received second place in the Wayside
Exhibit category at the Interpretive Media Awards presented by the
National Assn. for Interpretation.
The Acorn Group, a design firm selected by Laguna Canyon
Foundation to help create the signs, submitted the project titled
“Laguna Coast Wilderness Park: A Mosaic of Landscape.”
The Orientation Signs are easel-supported images of original
Laguna plein air paintings of current park access trails with text
about the site and an appropriate verse.
Visitors can view these signs within the Laguna Coast Wilderness
Park at Laurel Canyon, Dilley Preserve, Barbara’s Lake, Little
Sycamore Canyon and Big Bend, as well as an access point at Bommer
Ridge between Laguna Coast Wilderness Park and Crystal Cove State
With funding from the Donald Bren Foundation, the team selected
Jennifer Rigby of The Acorn Group and Laura Stahlberg of SoLa
Creative to lead the sign development.
The Laguna Plein Air Painters Assn. was asked to help with the
paintings of the six sites. Artists Saim Caglayan, Ken Auster, John
Cosby, Jacob Baas, Jeff Horn and Cynthia Britian each selected a site
and created a new artwork.
With a grant from the Joan Irvine Smith & Athalie R. Clarke
Foundation, Laguna Canyon Foundation was able to purchase the
original paintings for the future James and Rosemary Nix Nature
Center at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park.