CITY FOCUS:Heartwarming gesture

Laguna Beach resident Kent Russell warmed the hearts of local seniors when he pledged a $30,000 donation Monday to buy the fireplace for the Third Street center.

“A lot of funds go to youth [programs] because they are perceived as the future,” Russell said. “We need to honor those who got us here in the first place and their needs should be met. I really believe in the cause.

Center Capital Campaign Co-Chair Ann Quilter said fund-raising for the senior’s obligation to the center is close to reaching the first phase of the goal, but another $350,000 to $400,000 is needed to create a charming, warm place for seniors to meet.

“It is wonderful to participate in the center,” Russell said. “It makes a really good contribution to the city.”


Russell has lived in Laguna Beach since 1981, permanently since 1985, after he earned a master’s degree in business administration from USC.

He works in the family property management business his grandfather started in 1905 and is affiliated with the North Laguna Community Association, the Laguna Beach Taxpayers Association and the Laguna Beach Republicans. He was a member of the Economic Feasibility Committee of Vision 2030 project.

Quilter said Russell’s gift was particularly meaningful because he has not yet reached senior status.

“We are all going to come to the point where we will want a place to meet and enjoy life and have relationships,” Russell said. “I look forward to someday enjoying the center that you will soon enjoy.”