OUR LAGUNA: Many attend Labor Day pancake breakfast

Laguna says goodbye to the summer tourist season the same way it says hello — with a pancake breakfast at Heisler Park.

Lots goes on in between.

Katie Moss reported Monday that Cosima Qazi is the new owner of La Rue du Chocolat in Peppertree Lane, which Moss manages.

Realtor Patricia Truman said she had a wonderful summer.

"Business was good," she said. "In fact everything in my life is better than last year."

Barbara Painter had a really busy summer, starting with granddaughter, Samantha' s 18th birthday party at the White House restaurant. The birthday bash was followed by Samantha's graduation from Laguna Beach High School, from which her mother, Wendy Potter, had graduated in 1978.

"The following week my sister, who is 81, her 87-year-old husband, their son, children and grandchildren were here for a week, with lunch and dinner for 22 every day," Painter said.

The fourth of July brought more guests. Hey, that's the price we pay for living in Laguna.

Then, a week ago, Potter celebrated her 50th birthday at the Royal Hawaiian with friends from kindergartner to now and family.

"I loved every minute of it, but I am celebrated out," Painter said.

Breakfast organizer Sande St. John also had visitors. Her son, Todd (T. J.), and his fiancée, Alina Ilnicka, came from New Jersey to suss out locations for their wedding next year.

Bree Burgess Rosen, of course, spent some of her summer preparing for the 2010 "Lagunatics."

Look out, Ken Frank. You thought that gold lame jacket worn by someone playing you last year was over the top—just imagine what your retirement after more than 30 years at the helm of Laguna has inspired.

All Burgess Rosen would say is the number has taken a lot of rehearsal.

Also in crowd: former Mayor Wayne Peterson, arts patron and Realtor Bobbi Cox, Mark and past Laguna Beach Seniors Inc. President Pauline Walpin, Ginger Hatfield, Mike Lyon, Anthony Pica, Boutique Benefit's Evonne Kane and former resident Sandy Thornton, remembered by many as the founding executive director of SchoolPower, when its offices were in the Lumberyard Mall.

And: Diane Valentine and Mike Soto, Margaret Warder, Pam Wicks, 2010 Citizen of the Year Dr. Korey Jorgensen, Dr. Bill Anderson, Peggy and Assistant City Manager John Pietig, and Mayor Pro Tem Toni Iseman, who was celebrating her birthday.

Laguna Beach Live! founder Cindy Prewitt said she had been out walking before the breakfast so she could have pancakes. That's Cindy—always planning ahead.

Madeleine Visca, with her husband, Frank, said she enjoyed this year more than last because there was no music.

Dee and Karl Koski remarked that the breakfast was a great family outing.

Certainly there were children and dogs in abundance—including a 5 ½ year old bull mastiff and a couple of Westies—Christine Illuminato and Maritza Rojas' Lola, and Mark Gonzales and Gary LeFebvre's Molly, members of the Westie walking group.

"Lola was one of Gina Kantzbedian's rescues," Christina said.

Kantzebedian, owner of Animal Crackers grooming and pet store in South Laguna, is the organizer of a non-profit rescue foundation, whose foundlings are pictured weekly in the Coastline Pilot.

More than 600 plates of pancakes and sausuages were cooked by Fire Chief Kris Head, Deputy Chief Jeff La Tendresse and his son, Cody; firefighters Thomas Padden, Kurt Bladergroen, Laguna Beach native Andy Hill, Dan Stefano, Alex Pacheco, Tyler Swets, Scott Jennie, Ian Da Costa, and Chip Gilmore. David Lopez was the first to show up.

Retired Fire Captain Eugene "Diz" D'Isabella watched over the youngsters who clambered on his beloved Seagrave Pumper.

Police officers who also cooked included retiring Ted Falencki, Jason Farris, Police Assn. President Larry Bammer, Robin Levinson and Paul Bixby.

Former Laguna Beach County Water District General Manager Joe A. Sovella, who brought his son, Joe B., to the picnic, lent his truck to club member Patrick Freeman to pick up the grills and return them. ,

It was one of, if not the largest crowd at the breakfasts. Folks arrived early and just kept on coming. Serving continued to almost 11 a.m., unlike the Memorial Day breakfasts where many of the breakfast volunteers need to get to the veteran's celebration at Monument Point.

"We opened at about 7:20 and by 8:30, we had served 150 people." Freeman said.

Majid Azartash of Aliso Viejo and Amideh Falsafi of Laguna Niguel were among the last in line.

"We just came to Laguna for the day," Azartash said. "We didn't know about the pancake breakfast. It was a nice surprise."

Not for locals, who don't need a calendar to tell us when summer is beginning and ending, thanks to the Laguna Beach Exchange Club.

Memorial Day and Labor Day breakfasts are sponsored by the club. The White House and Las Brisas donate the food cooked by the city firefighters, police officers and some family members.

The breakfasts have been organized for 20 years by Generalissimo St. John, who calls on an army of volunteers to set up and clean up.

Volunteers on Monday included Bailey Hartman, Danielle and Donna Gee, Sina Lopez, Danny Moy, Nathan Nordskog, Ken La Perduque, Nick Kinsman, Thad Hogan, Nicola Peterson, Vicky Theris, Cydney Sherwood, Dirk Aldridge, Jim Rue, Donna Le Clair, Ken (Bud) Huber, George Kiepper, Michaela and Steven Jeppson, Joy Butterfield, Connie Burlin and St. John's granddaughters, Camryn, Katelin and Kelsey Ostrander.

Anne Wood, former Mayor Cheryl Kinsman, Anne Kopchinski, and Teresa, Anatacia and Malaya Aldridge collected $5 for each serving that also included a choice of orange juice, milk or coffee.

Miss Linda, "Lagunatics" and "Laguna Tots" cast members entertained.

Turnabout is Fair Play

Laguna Beach Assistance League's Turnabout Thrift Shop reopened Tuesday after an August hiatus to spruce up and restock the store.

New this year: The shop will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month.

The shop offers donated use and new clothing, linens, house wares, books, collectible, jewelry, paintings, decorative items, toys and small pieces of furniture.

Donations are appreciated.

For more information, call 494-5977 or visit the shop at 526 Glenneyre St.

OUR LAGUNA is a regular feature of the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot. Contributions are welcomed. Write to Barbara Diamond, P.O. Box 248, Laguna Beach, 92652; call (949) 380-4321 or email coastlinepilot@latimes.com

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