Briefly In Education

Boo Blast takes off Oct. 30

The annual “Boo Blast" Halloween Carnival will take place from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 30 at El Morro Elementary School.

The theme is Monster Rock, sure to ignite giggles and screams, and will feature rides, games, a best costume contest, cake walk, haunted house and many other fun and scary activities.

Sponsored by the El Morro PTA, the carnival is one of the largest fundraisers for the school each year. Thousands of volunteer hours are spent creating the biggest Halloween celebration in Laguna Beach.


Boo Blast admission is free. Ride tickets are in 50-cent increments; rides take two to six tickets each. Meal tickets are $8 and include choice of main dish, chips and a drink. Advance ticket and meals can be purchased at by following the El Morro and Boo Blast links.

All proceeds raised will go to the PTA. Parking is free, courtesy of Crystal Cove State Park, at the Reef Point and Los Trancos lots on Coast Highway with free shuttle service to El Morro.

Local principals vie in cook-off

Laguna Beach High and Thurston Middle schools Principals Don Austin and Joanne Culverhouse, respectively, will go plate-to-plate in a fundraiser cook-off at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 9 at the Lumberyard, sponsored by owner Cary Redfearn.


Chef Armando Ortego will prepare a three-course dinner for school supporters, from which the proceeds will benefit SchoolPower, the local public education foundation.

The foods will be selected by the principals, based on their tastes, and a fun rivalry will help SchoolPower reach its goals for Laguna Beach kids.

For a limited time, early bird tickets are $80 per person ($10 off). To purchase tickets or make a donation, call (949) 494-6811 or visit

Artists mentor club members

Members of the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach photography club are now being mentored by Festival of Arts exhibitors. The mentoring program held its first meetings last summer on the Festival of Arts grounds.

Led by club Art Director Emily Murray, the club paired young photographers with festival photographer mentors who took them around exhibit grounds in search of inspiring subjects to photograph. During return visits throughout the summer, Murray showed them prints from earlier sessions.

“I am grateful for the photographer mentors and all the volunteers for taking the time this summer to help make the first photography mentorship program happen," Murray said. “With the energy and heart that went into the program and by helping these kids see the world around them with a creative eye through donating time, knowledge, and artwork, these kids have been positively influenced."

The idea for the program came from board member Mary Church and photographer and festival exhibitor Brian Day last fall.


When Day passed away unexpectedly in December, Church felt compelled to get the project moving forward. She contacted Laguna Beach Boys & Girls Club Executive Director Pam Estes and Festival of Arts board member and photographer Tom Lamb, and together they developed a mentorship collaboration.

The Photography Club, which meets weekly, encourages participants to roam Laguna, capturing unique and interesting vantages of the town and observing the everyday world around them with weekly field trips.

Last year, the club garnered national recognition for two of its “imagemakers" "” 13-year-olds Ellie Scharf and Savannah Coinon.

Their photography was entered into the annual competition against more than 500 other Boys & Girls Clubs across America.

Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach Visual Arts programs are funded through grants from Hearts of Montage, the Redfern Gallery, the Festival of Arts Foundation, and Laguna Craft Guild.

For more information, call Emily Murray at (949) 494-2535, ext. 108 or e-mail

Workshop set on wills and trusts

The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach is hosting a free informational workshop on the fundamentals of wills and trusts at 6 p.m. Tuesday.


Attorney Donna Snow will cover the most commonly asked question such as: What is probate? What is an Advance Health Care Directive? Will my children have to pay estate tax when I die? Are there inexpensive substitutes for a will or trust? Do I need a will or trust?

Pam Estes, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club said that a personal experience led her to provide this learning opportunity, designed especially for parents.

“The husband of one of my best friends recently passed away unexpectedly," Estes said. “Now it is just her and their 5-year-old twins. He did not have a will. Besides having to deal with all of the grief and upheaval, she has now had to hire an attorney to deal with probate. I thought that because they were married, everything would automatically be transferred to her, but that is not the case. If we can help one family avoid this kind of unnecessary experience, this workshop will have been worth it."

The club is at 1085 Laguna Canyon Road. To attend, call Michelle Ray at (949) 494-2535, ext. 103 to make a reservation or for more information.

There will be no solicitations at this workshop.