Sunday may have been foggy, but the goal of the Laguna Beach Community Clinic’s Cinco de Mayo celebration was clear — raise money.
About $53,000 was netted at the annual event, held Sunday on the terraced patio of Ann and Jim Shea’s hillside home. The proceeds included the money raised to match Francine and Daniel Scinto’s $4,000 challenge grant in honor of Mayor Kelly Boyd.
Boyd has made a significant contribution for the past eight years to the clinic, one of the local nonprofits that benefit from the Spring Classic Golf Tournament he sponsors.
“Laguna cares,” Boyd said. “We give. Dig deep to continue the great things the clinic does for our community.”
The funds were dedicated to helping the clinic transition to a new electronic patient data system.
“A medical electronic record is the last thing you want to hear about at a fun cocktail party, but the future of the clinic requires it,” said clinic board member George Heed, chair of the endowment committee.
The endowment fund was kicked off two years ago with a $250,000 donation. The goal is to raise $10 million.
“It is ambitious, but it is working,” Heed said. “The funds will allow the clinic to achieve its mission.”
The mission to provide excellent medical care for all individuals in Orange County, regardless of the ability to pay, hasn’t changed since the clinic was founded in 1970, although it is no longer free. Medical, dental and health education services are offered to low-income people and those who are uninsured or under-insured, with the cost based on ability to pay.
The difference is made up by grants from the government and private agencies, including money raised at the fiesta and Handbags for Health, which was held Thursday in the Laguna Presbyterian Church Courtyard.
“People don’t know enough about the clinic,” hostess Ann Shea said.
She credited clinic board member Mary Kate Saunders with making her aware of how much the clinic is needed in town.
More than 16,000 patient visits are recorded every year, according to clinic officials.
Services include primary and specialty care for patients of all ages in areas from obstetrics to pediatrics to cardiology.
The clinic is a leader in HIV/AIDS testing and primary care. Testing is anonymous. Programs include case management, education, prevention and early intervention.
Counseling services range from nutrition to quitting smoking.
And you can get your teeth cleaned.
Dr. Tom Bent heads the clinic as medical director and chief operating officer.
“I am surrounded by beautiful woman who tell me what to do,” said Bent in his introduction on Sunday of Roya Cole, board president.
That is just modesty.
Bent served as president of the Coalition of Orange County Community Health Centers in 2011. He was named with clinic HIV specialist Dr. Korey Jorgesen as Patriots Day Parade Citizens of the Year and as Family Physician of the Year by the Orange County chapter of the California Academy of Family Physicians in 2010.
Bent also mentors aspiring doctors, according to Dr. Jorge Rubal, the most recent addition to the clinic staff.
“I was at the clinic in 2003 as a medical student,” Rubal said. “He showed me how to be a doctor.”
Rubal attended the fiesta with his wife, Lauren, also a doctor.
Other guests at the fiesta included Councilwoman Toni Iseman, Michelle Boyd, Gregg and Kathleen Abel, Bonnie and Arnold Hano, Terry Smith and former Mayor Wayne Peterson, Charlotte and Alexander Masarik, Joe and Susan Jahraus, Barbara and Greg MacGillivray, Marv Johnson, Nancy Beverage, Carolyn Bent, Gloria Fickling, Kirk Saunders, Barbara McMurray, Chris Quilter and Carol Reynolds.
Also clinic board members: Drs. Orson Dee and Pam Lawrence, Ann McDonald, Richard A Kain, Gary Beverage, Anne Johnson and Susan Neely.
Laguna Beach County Water District did some crowing this week, announcing that the city captured the title of the Most Water-wise City of any community its size in the country for the second year in a row.
“We won again, beating Hermosa Beach,” Boyd said at Tuesday’s council meeting.
Boyd complimented both cities in a news release issued Thursday by the district.
“It was a close race right up until the last day,” Boyd said. “Hermosa Beach residents really gave us a run for the money. It’s great to see that residents in both cities understand the importance of water being such a valuable resource and protecting our environment.”
Participants in the National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation also pledged to reduce their use of single-use plastic water bottles by more than 5.4 million bottles and eliminate 69.9 million pounds of hazardous waste from entering watersheds.
Results of the 2013 Challenge were announced May 3 by Toyota and the Wyland Foundation, sponsors of the online competition to collect the most pledges to save water, use less energy and reduce pollution.
“We had two goals,” said artist and environmentalist Robert Wyland, who spearheaded the project. “It brings communities together and gets people thinking about simple ways to take their commitment to conservation even further.”
Wyland created the challenge with Toyota in honor of the 40th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act, the federal law that protects water resources in the United States.
The Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce, Laguna Beach Unified School District, Laguna Beach Woman’s Club, Hobie/Tuvalu, and the Sawdust Festival supported the local effort to encourage residents to pledge their commitment to protect our natural resources.
Laguna Beach residents, along with residents from the other winning cities, are now eligible to win more than $50,000 in prizes, to be announced May 21, according to LBCWD Asst. General Manager Christopher Regan.
The grand prize is a Prius Hybrid. Other prizes include custom-designed sprinkler systems from Rain Bird, eco-flow showerheads from WaterPik, water-saving toilets from Sterling Plumbing, and 1,000 gift cards for Lowe’s Home Improvement Stores.
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