Community Datebook


Humanitarians, Heroes Honored at Film Fest

The public is invited to the free fourth annual Laguna Hero Fest on June 5, at 6 p.m. at Seven-Degrees, 891 Laguna Canyon Road.

The festival includes films and art created by community members from professionals to students. Those receiving honors this year include residents Greg and Barbara MacGillivray, recipients of the community hero award. The MacGillivray family recently launched the One World One Ocean Foundation, with a global media and education campaign to restore and protect the world’s oceans.

Native and pro-surfer Jon Rose will be on hand to accept the humanitarian award and talk about his ongoing effort to bring clean water to people in need with

The event is hosted by My Hero Project, which honors everyday heroes through its website. There will also be a silent auction.

While free, reservations are required. To RSVP, visit:

Marine Mammals Haven Reopens

Animal activist and wildlife philanthropist Bob Barker will cut the ribbon Wednesday, June 8, at 11 a.m. at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, which will re-open its visitor area destroyed by last December’s flooding.

Many businesses and homes sustained significant damage, including PMMC, which was uninhabitable for marine mammal patients. The ribbon cutting ceremony will be followed by the release of sea lion patient “Barker” named in honor of Barker’s generous $250,000 gift, which funded repairs.

Town’s Promoters Ply Their Trade

Visitors Bureau representatives Deena Harros and Ashley Johnson will speak to the Laguna Beach Exchange Club at 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, June 9, about how the bureau assists visitors and promotes the town.

The 25-year-old bureau recently relocated to shared space with Sotheby’s International Realty at 361 Forest Ave.

The club meets at Watermarc restaurant, 448 South Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach. The cost for non-members is $20 and includes lunch.

Direct any questions to Katy Moss at 494-0703 or Jim Rue at 494-6684

Tenpa Dorjee, of Laguna Beach’s Tibet Handcrafts, and his symbol filled rugs. Photo by Robin Pierson

Symbolism Underfoot: a Goat Lady Benefit

Authentic, hand-knotted Tibetan rugs infused with meaning will be on display Saturday, June 11, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Neighborhood Congregational Church, 340 St. Ann’s Dr. These authentic Tibetan rugs will be offered to the public more than 50 percent off retail, according to Tenpa Dorjee, owner of Tibet Handicrafts, who recently returned from a buying trip in Nepal.

Ten percent of the proceeds from the sale will go to Rosalind Russell’s Laguna Beach-based R Star Foundation, which, along with supplying money-making goats to rural Nepalese women, is in the process of building a second school in a remote Nepali village.

According to Nawang Phuntsog, a professor at Cal State Fullerton, who will speak at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. about “Tibetan Carpet Making: The Art & Its Symbolism”, the art has been practiced in Tibet for thousands of years and the designs are fraught with symbolism. Tiger rugs, for example, are a manifestation of virility, fish represent an abundance of wealth, happiness and good luck, while clouds indicate wish fulfillment.

Woven on hand looms by Tibetans and Nepalese living in Nepal, the rugs come in varied thickness with 60 to 150 knots per square inch. While traditionally the rugs were made of 100 percent yak wool, today the weavers incorporate some New Zealand sheep wool and silk to add color, shine and to accentuate certain designs. What hasn’t changed is the hand knotting technique, which is uniquely Tibetan.

For more info or to preview rugs on Friday, call Tenpa Dorjee at (949) 715-1043.

George Vitolo, suited up for a ride.

Hitting the Road for Two-Wheeled Charity

Laguna Beach Cyclery will host the film screening “Wheels4Life: A Story about Giving” on Saturday, June 18, at 8 p.m. The event at 240 Thalia St. benefits George Vitolo, a field supervisor at Medix Ambulance Service, who will race solo in July’s 24 Hours of Adrenalin in Canada.

His goal is to raise awareness about the film’s subject, Wheels4Life, a charity that provides free bicycles for people in need of transportation in third world countries. Medix Ambulance Service and Laguna Beach Cyclery are two of Vitolo’s ride sponsors. The screening will include a donation raffle and light refreshments.

For more info: contact Vitolo at 949-338-5431 or visit


 ‘Home’ Event Raises the Roof for Friendship Shelter

Friendship Shelter will present its second annual “Stories of Home” event on Thursday, June 16, at 7:30 p.m. at Seven-Degrees, 891 Laguna Canyon Road.

The event supports the shelter’s effort helping homeless adults achieve self-sufficiency and become more productive. This year’s performance includes a variety of actors, some from the local scene, plus pieces created by members of the Artists’ Collective, a small group of professional artists who are current or past residents of Friendship Shelter, and whose talents are being nurtured by the organization. Art on display will be available for purchase.

Scheduled to appear at this year’s, “Stories of Home” performance are Jonelle Allen, Richard Burgi, Melissa Denton, Linda Gehringer, and Mark Miller.  The actors generously volunteer their talent for the cause and all proceeds benefit the Friendship Shelter.

Tickets are $65 and are available online at www.friendshipshelter.og. Sponsorships and tickets are also available by calling Taylor Mathieson at 949-494-6928, and will be sold at the door.

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