Our Laguna: Sister city celebration, spring mixer and so much more


Folks who can’t find something to do in Laguna, or a group with which to do it, aren’t paying attention.

The Laguna Beach Sister Cities Assn. hosted a reception April 5 to celebrate its new sister city, San Jose del Cabo, Mexico.

An earlier version incorrectly referred to the city as San Juan del Cabo.

Alicia Cota, director of foreign residences in San Jose, represented the town’s mayor at the reception. Gabriel Juarez, a member of the Mexican Tourist Board in Los Angeles, also attended.

They were welcomed by Laguna Beach Mayor Kelly Boyd and association President Karyn Philippsen.

“This event launched the new relationship between San Jose and Laguna Beach, as well as our membership drive,” said Philippsen.

Membership is $25 per person, $50 per family or $100 per business. New members will be eligible to win a trip for two to San Juan.

The drive will continue until June 15, the date of the association’s annual Fete de la Musique, chaired this year by Ken Aubuchon, who was among the folks at the reception, held on the patio between the salt fine arts and Vintage Poster galleries.

Among the guests: founding association members Pat Kollenda, Carol Reynolds, Nancy Beverage and Susan Davis. Also: Katrina and Councilman Steven Dicterow, Wayne and Faye Baglin, John Hoover and Saviola Kinder, chair of the Future Sister Cities Committee.

For more information about the association and membership, visit


Mega Mixer

The Chamber of Commerce welcomed 18 new or soon-to-be-new members at the Spring Fling Mixer, held April 10 at the Montage Resort and Spa.

“We have more than 150 folks here tonight,” said chamber Executive Director Kristine Thalman, who welcomed guests and introduced new members.

Among the newcomers: Robin Lee Riddell of Coastal eddy, a gallery, Dianna Drake of Helping Hands, Nicole Eagan of Invoke Capital, Sean C. Englert of Coastal Land Solutions, Andrew John Liersch III of Wells Fargo Private Mortgage, Richard Gall of Paris Salon, Mike Thompkins of Blazing Hammer Construction, Rudy Lukes of Coldwell Banker, Michael George of MG Music Events, Ronald Sinclair of Star Cleaning System, Rebecca McCormick of McCormick & Sons, Amy Sabreen of Sabreen Media, Loren Blackwood of Newport Beach Vineyard and Winery, and Thalman’s own company.

Billy Fried, owner of La Vida Laguna, is a proposed member.

“I am very excited about getting the chamber to 500 members,” Thalman said.


Spring Classic Sign-ups

Doctors have ordered Mayor Boyd not to play this year in the golf tournament he has hosted for nine years, but he is inviting everyone else to participate.

The ninth annual Spring Classic will be held May 13 at the Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo.

Proceeds will benefit Laguna Beach High School girls and boys golf teams, the Laguna Beach Community Clinic, the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach, the Susi Q, the Pacific Marine Mammal Center and the Marc Pitz Medical Fund.

For more information or to sign up for the tournament, call Aggie Dougherty at (949) 494-3027.



If there are any vacancies on your April calendar, here are a couple of suggestions.

The Laguna Beach Woman’s Club announced it will host a Happy Hour Social from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday.

“There is no agenda for this meeting,” said club president Ellie Ortiz. “This is a Happy Hour Social to give members and potential members a chance to meet each other, socialize and spend time with new and old friends.

“This is a great opportunity for those who are interested in learning more about the Woman’s Club.”

Admission is free. Light appetizers will be served. Wine will be available for $5 per glass.

Ortiz also announced its new Facebook page, thanks to member Kavita Reddy, owner of Buy Hand. The community is encouraged to visit and “like” the page.


Next week

Activities at the Healthy Girl Festival Day on April 27 on the Festival of Arts grounds will include an interactive project called “The Wall,” according to a news release from Soroptimist International, sponsors of the event.

Guests at the festival will be able to draw and write about their health and feelings of power on the 4-by-8-foot wall, created by local artist Noel Lashley.

“Noel is donating his time to this fun project,” said Maggie Hempen, event chairwoman.

The project will be filmed by John Alvarez Photography and will be shown on YouTube.

Festival admission is $5. The gates will open at 10 a.m. and close at 4 p.m.

The event will also include the award-winning documentary, “Miss Representation,” a performance by the high school girls’ band Yours Truly, interactive Zumba, healthy cooking demonstrations and a display of products and services offered by local organizations and businesses, all required to be engaged in some aspect of helping girls make healthy choices.


Grapes for Grads

More than 80 wineries will be featured at the eighth annual Grapes for Grads Wine Tasting and Scholarship Fundraiser, presented by Rotary of Laguna Beach on April 28.

“We are excited to say that we have a waiting list of wineries wanting to participate in the event this year,” co-chairman Jeffrey Redeker announced in a news release. “These wineries have heard about Grapes for Grads and how successful the event has become so they want to be a part of this truly amazing event.”

The $35 admission includes sampling any of the wines, music by Magnolia Memoir, art demonstrations by the students of Laguna College of Art & Design, and delicious food prepared by K’ya Bistro and House of Big Fish and Ice Cold Beer restaurants, drawings, a silent auction and free parking.

Proceeds provide scholarships for students of Laguna Beach High School and LCAD.

“Last year we had nearly 100 students apply for a Grapes for Grads scholarship,” said co-chairman Stephen Dotoratos. “Our committee is driven by the need for support of arts and education in our community.”

Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling Redeker (949) 371-7595.

OUR LAGUNA is a regular feature of the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot. Contributions are welcomed. Call (714) 966-4618 or email with Attn. Barbara Diamond in the subject line.