Our Laguna: More music, crowds at fourth Fête

If the Fête de la Musique had been held in an arena, it would have sold out.

The Laguna Beach Sister Cities Assn. stationed entertainers at about 30 locations downtown. Crowds gathered to listen, clap in time to the music, even dance and applaud, much as audiences will, or have done, this year around the world.

Music ranged from arias sung by Jenny Wang at Peppertree Lane Mall to the Grey Hill Gospel String Band by Tuvalu on Forest Avenue.

"Fête de la Musique was officially recognized in France in 1976 and is now celebrated in 110 countries, 250 cities," said Karen Philippsen, association president.

Opening ceremonies for the fourth annual Laguna installment included the national anthems of the United States and France, in honor of Laguna's sister city, Menton, France.

Early birds had been entertained by the Swing Society, a sub-set of the Laguna Concert Band.

The crowd included association members Carol Reynolds, a founder of the concert band; Fred and Jennifer Karam; Herb and Mary Rabe; and Odile Dewar, who teaches French at Laguna Beach High School,

Dewar, who has been recognized for her contributions to education, enthusiastically accompanied "The Marseilles" with voice and gestures.

Also in the opening ceremonies crowd: Joan Bushman.

"I was in Menton two weeks ago," Bushman said. "The hills are steeper, but the foliage is similar, and it is on a beach with a curve similar to Laguna's. Menton is also a smallish town, with a contained city center."

Performances started before the official opening. No Square Theatre singers and members of the cast of "Lagunatots," led by No Square founder Bree Burgess Rosen, entertained at Madison Square and Garden Café.

Maps of performer's locations were available at the Cobblestones. Right next door, Birdsong and Eco-Wonders performed near Greeter's Corner. Just up the street by the Hotel Laguna, the McQueen Acoustic Band entertained. Across the street, H Charton, son of No Square President Lloyd Charton, was at Planno Plaza. Gary Adams was at 550 S. Coast Hwy. Chic Daniels, who orchestrated the event, so to speak, performed with April and Denis at the Collections Alcove.

Further afield, Barbara and Randy Hawthorne entertained on Glenneyre Street, north of Park Avenue, and Morea Arthur played in front of Sorrento Grille on the corner of Mermaid Street and Glenneyre. Anne Likes Red was set for the library.

Just across the highway from the Cobblestones on the north side of Forest Avenue, Carolin' Bells belted out their music in the Fingerhut Alcove. The Budrows were scheduled for the El Chico Alcove.

Eric Alcouloumre strummed his guitar by Tangible Assets. Madison Logan was at Spacialorder. Guitar Noir, which included Tommy Davy, son of Pageant of the Masters Director Diane Challis-Davy, played Jango Jazz at the breezeway between Bushard's Pharmacy and Fresh Produce.

Polly Leung was posted at Rose's in the lane between the post office and Coffee Pub. Ginger Hatfield sang and played the keyboard in the Laguna Colony courtyard.

Seven accordion students and a drummer from Martin Music Center in Fullerton performed in the Lumberyard Mall, conducted by Randy Martin.

On the other side of Forest: Mike de Bellis soloed on the saxophone in front of Quiksilver. Buck Naked and the Chapped Cheeks, with Jorg Dubin on drums, drew a crowd to the Sundried Tomato Café courtyard. The Blues Offenders played in the Laguna Presbyterian Church Rose Garden.

Ocean Avenue featured singer April Walsh, performing on the corner of Beach, Laguna Beach High School teacher Gary Shapiro on guitar at Zinc Café & Market, and a last minute addition, In Tempo, at the Laguna Art Supply.

The Peppertree parking lot was the venue set aside for Terry Keller.

Fusion Beat at Wells Fargo Advisors Parking Lot drew the largest crowd of the day, except for the closing ceremonies, and played the loudest. Following its gig in Laguna, the group headed for the Irvine Spectrum. J.J. & the Habibis Belly Dancers took over the spot at 4 p.m.

Talk about diversity downtown!

Kevin and the Jelly Spotters were located at Starbuck's Northwest, and, coming full circle, Wade's Lips were at Toes on the Nose, across from Main Beach.

Festival of Arts Event Director Susan Davis and association member Pat Kollenda trundled around town in a tricked up Saddleback golf cart, decorated with flowers and French bread.

Their task was to monitor the noise levels, earning them the moniker "Decibel Divas," and they certainly got a charge out of their job — literally.

The cart ran out of juice, fortunately in front of Fire Station No. 1. Engineer and head paramedic John Kuzmick resuscitated the cart, plugging it into a mobile generator, so the Divas made it back to Main Beach in time for the closing ceremonies.

Musical Theatre University singers, sponsored by No Square, and directed by Jonelle Allen, star of "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman" and Laguna Beach productions of "The Vagina Monologues," closed the event.

"What a way to end the day with these talented young people singing these wonderful songs," Kollenda said.



The Community Clinic fundraiser at the oceanfront Twin Points estate and made a big splash with the kickoff of an endowment fund.

"The goal is to raise $10 million," said board member George Heed.

He gave it a healthy start, with a $250,000 commitment.

"This is not a gift for today; it is a gift forever," he said.

Donations can be from legacies or outright donations.

"We will make it work for you," Heed said.

In addition to the announcement of the endowment fund, the annual Sunset Beach Party, the only opportunity the public has to explore the beautifully landscaped North Laguna estate and marvel at the views, raised $60,000.

Ticket sales, sponsorships and contributions amounted to $30,000. Another $30,000 was raised at the party, starting with $5,000 from Hearts of Montage and $5,000 from clinic supporter Tom Beasley, bundled into a challenge grant.

Folks exceeded the challenge, beginning with a $3,000 donation from City Councilman Kelly Boyd, some of the proceeds from the charity golf tournament he hosts annually.

"The clinic has done so much for the community over the years," Boyd said. "What Tom (clinic director Dr. Thomas Bent) and Korey (staff physician Dr. Korey Jorgensen) have done is simply amazing. We are here today to raise funds to keep the clinic going and growing."

Al Robert's hand was the first one up. Eventually generous guests stuffed donation envelopes with a total of $17,000.

"If I ever get rich, the clinic will get my money," Mayor Toni Iseman said.

"It has evolved from a volunteer-driven free clinic to a fully licensed community clinic, one of only two south of the 55 in Orange County, and the only one to deliver a full range of out-patient services," said Dr. Pam Lawrence, clinic board president.

Programs range from neo-to-postnatal and pediatrics care, immunizations, women's health, HIV diagnosis and management, chronic disease management and health education.

Lawrence chaired the event, along with Ginny Linting and Kay Metis, assisted by Carolyn Bent, Glori Fickling, Heed, Anne Johnson, Bob and Susan Neely, Elaine Lawson and Sally Ojala.

OUR LAGUNA is a regular feature of the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot. Contributions are welcomed. Call (949) 302-1469 or e-mail coastlinepilot@latimes.com.

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