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Around Town: 24-hour paddling event in Newport will help families dealing with cancer

Students perform a dance called “Let it Be!” during the Newport Harbor High School dance program’s annual “ArreiS” show, presented March 16-19 at the school’s Robert Wentz Theater. The piece, choreographed by student Karson Speth, was created to honor those who have been affected by acts of violence. The soundtrack includes sounds of gunshots and glass breaking. “ArreiS” (Sierra spelled backward) honors the late daughter of former dance program director Cindy Beckett.
(Courtesy Kelly Speth)

24-hour paddling event in Newport will help families dealing with cancer

Six stand-up paddlers will spend 24 hours in Newport Harbor starting at 8 a.m. Saturday for Monster and Sea, an activewear company that will give a portion of its earnings to families of cancer patients to help with the cost of treatment.

The company began when its founder, Troy Nebeker, thought of ideas to help those living with cancer. In 2013, he got news that his wife had cancer.

Last year, Nebeker and five other paddlers took part in a relay-style event for 24 hours straight. He and his fellow paddlers had raised more than $7,000 from the paddle to benefit other families.


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Easter service for nearly 1,000 to be opened

Almost 1,000 people are expected to gather at the Fairhaven Memorial Park for its 22nd annual East Sunrise Service on Sunday.


Gates will open at 5:30 a.m. and the service will take place from 6 to 7 a.m. at the park, 1702 Fairhaven Ave., Santa Ana.

The event will feature music from local choirs and orchestras, sermons, refreshments and a dove release. Services are free and open to the public.


Forum to discuss healthcare issues for seniors

Orange County Aging Services Collaborative will host its second annual OC Leadership Forum on Aging from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. April 1 at Alzheimer’s Orange County headquarters in Irvine.

At the forum, policy experts will address 2016 election issues affecting Orange County seniors, such as Medicare, Social Security and costs associated with care services.

Alzheimer’s Orange County is at 2515 McCabe Way.

The event is free and open to the public.



Girl Scouts of O.C. adds two Irvine residents to exec team

Two Irvine residents have joined Girl Scouts of Orange County’s executive team.

Mark Belzowski has joined as the chief financial officer/vice president of business operations and Michelle Dramé as vice president of fund development, according to a news release.

Belzowski previously served as chief financial officer and senior vice president at GCube Insurance Services, a provider of renewable energy insurance solutions.

Before joining Girl Scouts of Orange County, Dramé had served as the director of development for UC Irvine’s School of Education.


Woodbridge earns No. 1 spot among Grammy Signature Schools


Woodbridge High School in Irvine received the top spot in the 2016 Grammy Signature Schools, earning a grant of $5,000 for its music program.

The Grammy Signature Schools program acknowledges public schools with music programs they deem outstanding.

Woodbridge was one of 13 chosen schools this year, selected from more than 20,000 public schools across the country.

The Grammy Foundation selected 119 semifinalists among the applicants. Schools who had made it to that round submitted recordings of their performances and other materials.

Woodbridge took the No. 1 spot in the top three schools, known as the gold recipients.


Benefit at Newport Beach resort raises more than $1.1 million

The International Justice Mission Benefit March 12 at the Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach raised more than $1.1 million, and contributions are continuing to come in.

A matching gift fund of $70,000 remains. Donations to be matched dollar for dollar this week and next may be received.

“Not only did we raise more than $1.1 million for IJM, but we helped to expand recognition and awareness for the tremendous work this incredible anti-slavery organization does all around the world, bringing justice to victims of modern-day slavery, sex trafficking and everyday violence against the poor,” Joe Mineiro, IJM’s director for strategic partnerships, said in a statement.

Visit for more information.


Awards breakfast honors CMPD members

The annual Employee Recognition Breakfast on Tuesday at The Crossing Church in Costa Mesa awarded top honors to members of the Costa Mesa Police Department.

Honorees were Volunteer of the Year George Villazuela; Explorers of the Year Celia Quijivix and Kimberly Velasquez; Civilian of the Year Jessica Peters; Civilian Supervisor of the Year Sandra Lozano; Sworn Supervisor of the Year Sgt. Stephanie Selinske and Officer of the Year Lance Healey.

The department also recognized Costa Mesa-based Mika Community Development Corp. as the Community Partner of the Year.

Newly hired and promoted personnel were also acknowledged.


Newport Beach man becomes vice chair for nonprofit

Newport Beach resident Todd Pickup will serve as vice chairman for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and the Inland Empire’s board of directors for 2016-17.

“Our board of directors significantly impacts our organization, our programs and our community outreach,” Melissa Beck, the organization’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. “Their influence will allow us to help even more children, especially given their experience encouraging companies to give back.”

Pickup currently is the chief executive officer of International Bay Clubs, the parent of the Newport Beach Country Club and Balboa Bay Club.

Big Brothers Big Sisters offers mentoring relationships to area youth.

—From staff reports