After two previous attempts failed, Liesa Schimmelpfenning triumphantly reached this week for the prize: a $4,500 check awarded by the Laguna Beach Community Foundation.
The windfall will fund health and nutrition workshops next spring that now will be offered free to the public and will focus on preventing childhood obesity, Schimmelpfenning explained. The grant recipient, SEEDS Arts and Education Inc., hosts events in Laguna Canyon at Anneliese’s School, established by her mother.
SEEDS was one of 25 Laguna Beach nonprofits that cumulatively received $94,900 in grants this week for health and human services, art and culture, education and the environment from six grant makers that support the Community Foundation. Nearly twice that many organizations applied for funds, said Darrcy Loveland, the foundation’s president and chief executive.
The foundation also honored 29 other nonprofits serving Laguna Beach residents that had received an additional $164,900 in gifts the past year from charitable funds established by individuals and nonprofits, where were dispensed by Laguna’s Community Foundation.
“These awards and the Laguna Beach Community Foundation’s other grant distributions during the year represent our commitment to Laguna’s nonprofits and residents,” explained Cathy Krinsky, who chairs the foundation’s grants committee at a well-attended Hotel Laguna reception hosted by owner and foundation ambassador Georgia Andersen.
The grants were made possible by the generosity of a half-dozen donors: W. L. Lyons Brown, III, Donnie Crevier, Susie and Jim Jaqua, John L. Campbell Insurance Agency, Newport Beach Book Club in memory of Sue Gilbert, and the Massen Greene Foundation, which provided funding for seven environment-related awards.
Last year, donors made $140,550 in similar outright gifts, which the foundation’s grant committee also divvied up, Loveland said. Some donors made smaller contributions this year, she said in explaining the drop off.
In total, though, the 14 charitable funds housed within the local Community Foundation have granted more than $2 million to nonprofits locally and across the nation since 2010, she said. “Through the Laguna Beach Community Foundation we connect donors passions with nonprofit needs here in Laguna Beach and across the country,” Loveland said.
The following is a list of recipients: the Boys and Girls Club, $10,000; Crystal Cove Alliance, $7,500; Glennwood Housing Foundation, $5,000; Laguna Art Museum, $4,000; Community Clinic, $8,000; Garden Club, $5,000; LBHS Scholarship Foundation, $2,000; Laguna Beach Live!, $2,000; PTA’s “Coffee Break,” $2,000; Laguna Beach Seniors, $5,000; Sister Cities Assoc., $400; Laguna Bluebelt, $1,000; Community Concert Band, $500; Laguna Dance Festival, $1,000; Laguna Greenbelt, $1,000; Laguna Ocean Foundation, $1,000; Laguna Outreach for Community Arts, $2,000; Relief & Resource Center, $3,500; No Square Theater, $1,000; Pacific Marine Mammal Center, $7,500; SEEDs Arts and Education, $4,500; Shanti Orange County, $4,000; South County Cross Cultural Center, $4,000; Laguna Playhouse, $3,000; and My Hero Project, $10,000.