High Tea Toasts Women of Distinction


Over tea, homemade scones, sandwiches and cupcakes, the Woman’s Club of Laguna Beach celebrated its 90th year while honoring four members who have reached their own 90th year and beyond.

4 WOMEN 2013-10-28 at 8.39.39 PM
From left, front; Gigi Blount, Louise Buckley and Jean Raun; back, club members and organizers Anita Mangels, Ellie Tipton Ortiz and Gayle Waite.

Along with acknowledging the club’s nine decades of service to the community, The Women of Distinction High Tea, held on Oct. 20, applauded the achievements of four nonagenarians:  Jean Raun, Louise Buckley, Gigi Blount and Beverly Hine.

Raun, 90, who has lived in Laguna Beach since 1965, continues to work with the League of Women Voters and the Unitarian Church to help educate voters about pressing issues both local and national.

“We still have work to do,” she told the attendees. “Our prison system is broken and the situation in Washington has turned my hair gray.”

Buckley, who will be 92 in November, told the group, “No matter what age you are, take care of your fellow man. Keep a smile on your face and keep on working for the good of each other.” Buckley, who said she started volunteering when she was 10 years old to help get a swimming pool built in Fargo, N.D., was instrumental in getting the Susie Q Senior Center off the ground. As a young woman, she joined the Women’s Army Air Corp serving throughout World War II and was named Laguna’s Patriot of the Year in 2012.

Blount declared that being 90 has its benefits. “You get a lot of freedom,” she said. “You can be demanding and no one wants to retaliate.” Born in Belgium, Blount joined the resistance against the Nazis and was captured and beaten. “I still have pain from those broken ribs,” she said. She fell in love with and married an American GI, Benjamin, to whom she was married for 65 years. Her secret to happiness:  “You have to be thoroughly in love.”

Hine, who was unable to attend, was a kindergarten teacher for 36 years, was president of the Assistance League, volunteered at The Susi Q and has been a generous donor to the Woman’s Club’s fundraisers.


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