Realtors net Taste of Charity record

The 16th annual Taste of Charity raised a record $50,000, which will benefit eight local nonprofits.

Proceeds from the event hosted by the Laguna Board of Realtors and Affiliates at Tivoli Too will be distributed to First Thursday Art Walk, Helping Hands, Laguna Beach Seniors, Laguna Beach High School Scholarship Fund, Laguna Playhouse, Laguna Plein Air Painters, No Square Theatre and the board's charitable assistance fund.

"We have been averaging about $40,000 a year, and our biggest goal this year was to raise more money," event Chairman Paul Benec said. "We raised $22,000 in sponsorships, $10,000 more than in the past."

No Square Theatre founder Bree Burgess Rosen said the money will be well spent. Everything they acquire with the donation gets used over and over, she said.

"The skateboard from 'Lagunatics' was used in 'LagunaTots,' she said. "We recycle everything. Waste Management should be a sponsor."

The tastings that gave the event its name were prepared by local restaurants, including Mozambique, K'ya, Las Brisas, Thai Brothers, Rock'n Fish, Splashes, Sun Dried Tomato, O Fine Japanese Cuisine, the Laguna Coffee Co. and the Cliff.

The event also included silent and live art auctions of donated works, a raffle and a musical entertainment.

Realtor Art was on display with 23 entries this year. First prize went to Nick Church. Erin Wilson's "Girl at the Pool" took second place. Third place went to Carolyn Skendarian's painting of mushrooms.

John Eagle donated a work in progress at the event to the live auction.

Participating sponsors included Wells Fargo Bank, Bianchi Winery and Firebrand Media.

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