Doing Good

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Nonprofits Benefit as Taste for Charity Guests Indulge

Revelers at last year’s Taste for Charity event.
Revelers at last year’s Taste for Charity event.

Join the Laguna Board of Realtors and the Charitable Assistance Fund at the 22nd annual Taste for Charity gala at Tivoli Too!, Wednesday, May 24.

The fundraising soiree includes live entertainment and libations, dishes from local restaurants, silent and live auctions with artwork and gifts donated by local members of the community.

More than 500 guests attend, who raise thousands of dollars for local charities. Beneficiaries include CSP Youth Shelter, First Thursday’s Art Walk, high school Scholarships, Laguna Food Pantry, Laguna Outreach for Community Arts, Laguna Plein Air Painters Association, No Square Theatre, and Seaside Legal Services.

Tickets can be purchased online at





Dance Fest Expands Festival Program

Performers Oksana and Jonathan Platero will dance for festival guests.
Performers Oksana and Jonathan Platero will dance for festival guests.

Dance fans will get a taste of innovative performances to come at the Laguna Dance Festival gala, Friday, June 2, at Seven Degrees, 891 Laguna Canyon Road.

The evening will feature ballroom champions and television stars from “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Dancing With The Stars,” Oksana and Jonathan Platero, students from USC and the Orange County School of the Arts, and a special performance by the 2016 Festival scholarship recipients.

The event supports the organization’s 10-day festival in September, which includes screening of “Paul Taylor: Dancemaker,” an Academy Award-nominated documentary about the career of the celebrated dancer-choreographer. Paul Taylor Dance Company and Ballet BC of Vancouver are set to perform Sept. 14–17 at Laguna Playhouse.

Tickets go on sale to gala patrons June 2 and to the public in July.




Playhouse Sets Fundraising Record

Playhouse honorees and board members James and Suzanne Mellor.
Playhouse honorees and board members James and Suzanne Mellor.

The Laguna Playhouse gala raised a record $600,000, including $90,000 for the Suzanne and James Mellor Laguna Playhouse Tribute Fund, which will provide theatre experiences for youth by providing tickets and transportation to performances.

Nearly 400 people attended the gala in Newport Beach co-chaired by Kathryn Burton Gray and Laguna Playhouse trustee Glenn E. Gray. He welcomed guests with a toast to 96 successful theatrical years and to Suzanne and James Mellor for their decades of philanthropy and leadership for arts in Laguna Beach.

Playhouse board co-chair Joe Hanauer credited the couple as “one essential ingredient” in the theater’s success.

Playhouse Executive Director Ellen Richard announced upcoming performances, including “Hairspray” and “A Night with Janis Joplin.”




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