Watch and listen on Friday, Dec. 13, from 4:30-8:30 p.m. as the Laguna Beach Girl Scouts sing holiday carols from open-sided trolleys driven by Santa Claus. Hundreds of local Girl Scouts will be boarding trolleys to sing throughout the streets of downtown Laguna Beach for the community’s listening pleasure. Stop and listen if you see them, or get with the spirit and join in.
Donate Children’s Books for Early Literacy Program
Laguna Beach Books and Young Company are sponsoring a book drive through Dec. 21. Gently used children’s picture books can be dropped off at Laguna Beach Books, located at 1200 S. Coast Highway. Donate a book or check in on Facebook at the bookstore and enter to win a raffle for a $50 gift card to Laguna Beach Books. Don’t have any books to donate? Laguna Beach Books staff can recommend books to be purchased for the book drive. Books will be donated to Orange County United Way’s Early Literacy program.
Garden Club Hosts Nan Sterman as December Speaker
The Laguna Beach Garden Club welcomes Nan Sterman as the December speaker for their 2019-2020 speaker series. Sterman will share an illustrated presentation of
some creative combinations of succulents and non-succulents as she discusses the infrastructure and garden practices that keep “blended” gardens healthy and thriving.
Sterman is a garden expert, designer, author, botanist, and an award-winning journalist. She is dedicated to the transformation of planted landscapes from overly thirsty and resource-intensive to climate appropriate and sustainable. Her efforts combine age-old techniques with modern technologies. Her most recent book, “Hot Color Dry Garden,” is about creating color-filled, waterwise gardens, and will be available for purchase at the meeting.
Sterman also hosts and co-produces the award-winning public TV show, “A Growing Passion,” which connects plants, people, and the planet. She holds a botany degree, a Masters in biology, and a Masters in instructional design. Before delving into the professional gardening world, Sterman created curricula, training programs, and educational materials for Fortune 500 companies, zoos, aquaria, museums, and other organizations.
The Laguna Beach Garden Club meets on the second Friday of every month, September through May, at the Laguna Presbyterian Church, 415 Forest Avenue, in Tankersley Hall. Social time begins at 9:30 a.m. and the meeting begins at 10 a.m. The public is welcome, there is no charge for guests on their first visit. Parking is free in the Laguna Canyon Road lot (spaces 300-422) or $3 for all day in spaces 185-228. For more information, visit www.lagunabeachgardenclub.org.
Meet the New City Arborist
The City of Laguna Beach is inviting the public to meet the city’s new Arborist, Nate Faris, on Wednesday, Dec. 18, at 3:30 p.m. at the Susi Q Center Community Room. Faris is an ISA Board Certified Master Arborist and ASCA Registered Consulting Arborist with over 15 years of experience creating and leading tree-planting programs at nonprofit organizations, both in Indiana and Florida. He also has nine years of experience running his own tree consulting company.
Chabad Opens Chanukah with Workshop
On Tuesday, Dec. 17, a JUDA Kids Chanukah Olive Press Workshop will take place at 4:30 pm at Chabad Laguna Beach. The workshop is all about the miracle of the oil. See how olive oil is made with an authentic oil press. The event also includes latka munching, dreidles, the Chanukah story, and crafts. Bring an unwrapped gift to be donated to needy families. Admission is $8. RSVP to [email protected] The workshop is open to kids of all ages.
Annual Holiday Sing-a-long Returns to Garden Park
The public is invited to the annual holiday sing-a-long at the South Laguna Community Garden Park on Sunday, Dec. 21, from 2-4 p.m. The Garden Park is located at 31610 Coast Highway, at the corner of Eagle Rock Way.
This family-friendly event started 10 years ago with new garden members and musicians Tony Bisson and Tom Joliet leading the caroling. Folks wearing holiday hats gather to join in song and share festive potluck treats. Guest musicians play while children chime in with reindeer bells.
This year, in honor of the South Laguna Community Garden Park’s 10th Anniversary, members of the Laguna Beach Ukulele Academy from the Susi Q will bring their ukes to strum along.
Fire Department to Drop Chocolate Chanukah Coins at Main Beach
This year’s Menorah Lighting at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 22, will feature Laguna’s first ever Chanukah Gelt Drop, with local firefighters extending their ladders and showering the ground with chocolate gelt.
The coin drop honors the ancient custom of giving children gelt, or money, on Chanukah, offering children positive reinforcement for exemplary behavior, particularly as a reward for diligence in their studies and acts of charity. The custom is meant to enhance the children’s happiness and festive spirit.
“We wanted to take a tradition and make it magical. We can’t wait to see the reaction of the children,” said Perel Goorevitch, program director at Chabad Laguna Beach. Along with the lighting of the surfboard menorah, participants will also enjoy festive holiday music and dancing with DJ Eldad, delicious latkes, and crafts and face painting for the kids.
“It is a holiday that enriches our lives with the light of tradition,” said Rabbi Goorevitch. “In ancient times, our ancestors rededicated the Temple in Jerusalem with the Menorah. Today, we rededicate ourselves to making this world a better and brighter place. Chanukah also propagates the universal message that ultimately good will prevail over evil, freedom over oppression, and light over darkness.”
For more information, call Chabad at 949-499 0770.
Fashion Island Invites All to Menorah Lighting Ceremony
Fashion Island joins Chabad Center for Jewish Life in inviting the Orange County community to celebrate the Festival of Lights at a public Menorah Lighting ceremony at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 22, in Fashion Island’s Atrium Garden Court. The celebration begins with holiday musical performances by the Los Judios Locos and singer Jonathan Valverde.
Participants at the Menorah Lighting will enjoy holiday gifts and treats, Chanukah crafts, face painting and balloon animals, and are encouraged to bring along a gift for the community toy drive and distribution to kids in need.
“It is a holiday that enriches our lives and strengthens our tradition,” said Rabbi Reuven Mintz of the Chabad Center for Jewish Life.
Time to Vote for Your Heroes
The local nonprofit My Hero project, which raises awareness of work being done by heroes globally and locally, has announced the nominees for two awards: the Ron Kovic Peace Prize and the Dan Eldon Activist Award.
The Kovic Prize is named for Ron Kovic, a former U.S. Marine sergeant whose story was told in his best-selling autobiography and in his Oscar-winning film, “Born on the Fourth of July.” Kovic was paralyzed from the chest down in the Vietnam War and became an outspoken anti-war activist. Each year he offers a $1,000 cash award for a filmmaker who creatively and powerfully uses that theme. The five films nominated are: “Bullets to Books,” “The Nun’s Kaddish,” “Between Sky and Earth,” “Guns, Bombs & War: A Love Story,” and “Education in the Times of Demolition.” They can be viewed at myhero.com/2019-peace-finalists.
The Eldon Award is named for photojournalist Dan Eldon, who, at age 22, was killed in 1993 on assignment in Somalia. His mother Kathy Eldon presents the award each year at the My Hero International Film Festival. The award comes with a cash prize of $500 to support the efforts of filmmakers who call attention to activists working to improve the world. The four films nominated are: “What If,” “Literacy for Environmental Justice: Cultivation Youth Leaders in Southeast San Francisco,” “Words have Power,” and “Truth to Power.”
To vote, visit myhero.com and click the awards button. Both prizes will be presented at the My Hero International Film Festival. For more information, contact festival director Wendy Milette at 949-376-5964.