Over 1,600 Laguna Beach locals enjoyed the Angels win over the Kansas City Royals last Saturday, seated in a section together near the first-base line and raising $10,000 for local schools.
The third annual Laguna family night at Angel stadium was the most successful yet, said PTA organizer and parent Kendall Clark, who has refined the ticket-selling fundraiser with crowd-drawing inducements. “We couldn’t be more pleased,” she said.
Over $1,500 was earned in a raffle with prizes donated by Angels Baseball, which included autographed bats and balls, as well as the opportunity to steal third base (won by Gracie Fink), serve as bat boys and girls (handled by Cal Nielson, Benjamin Walker, and Lexi McKeown), and play ball announcers (shouted by Tristen Nolan and Andrew Arrendondo).
Three years ago a partnership was struck between the Angels Baseball Foundation and the Laguna school district, hatched over a backyard barbecue between Clark and new neighbor, the Angels’ soon-to-be president John Carpino.
The Angels reserve a section of $36 seats for Laguna families, which are sold for $10 each, with half the proceeds going back to the schools. Clark said $8,500 was earned in ticket sales. The Angels donated another 160 tickets for school staff and members of the Laguna Beach Boys and Girls Club, she said.
Other game highlights included LBHS valedictorian Bianca Sganga throwing the first pitch, LBHS spring musical star Sarah Busic singing the national anthem, the 40-student elementary school chorus singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” in the seventh-inning stretch, and a jumbo check presentation by Angels Baseball Foundation President Dennis Kuhl to Clark and fellow PTA representative Elaine Brashier.
Afterwards, Taio Cruz also treated those who remained in their seats to the first of the Angels’ post-game summer concerts.
The section occupied by locals overlooked a breezeway where the band’s rolling stage was positioned before the 45-minute set began. “The kids were hanging over the side talking to them,” Clark said. “The anticipation was palpable.”
Carpino also treated some of the local kid contingent to special wrist bands that allowed them post-game field entry. “We got to go down on the field and literally dance on second base,” Clark said.