Hospitality Night Rolls Into Town

Wish faerie and local artist Jessica Destefano dispenses the magic of belief during the 2016 Hospitality Night. Photo by Mitch Ridder.

Sing carols, mingle with neighbors, and watch Santa light the tree tonight. The first Friday of each December, the City of Laguna Beach and the Chamber of Commerce jointly sponsor Hospitality Night. Hospitality Night 2019 will be held on Friday, Dec. 6, from approximately 5-10 p.m. The festivities will take place in the Peppertree Lot (Lot 2 between Ocean and Forest Avenues), where Santa Claus will arrive to greet holiday revelers before the tree lighting at 6:10 p.m. Lower Forest Avenue will be filled with entertainment and merchant open houses. Street closures in the downtown area will begin at 3:30 p.m. on Friday. Visit for a complete schedule of all Hospitality Night events.

Scouts delivered trays full of mostly home-baked treats for visitors at Laguna Presbyterian Church. Photo by Mitch Ridder.


 Christmas Breakfast to Be Served

Laguna Presbyterian Church will host its 19th Annual Homeless Christmas Breakfast at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec.14. Guests will be treated to a hot breakfast, musical entertainment and gifts including backpacks and sleeping bags.

Laguna Presbyterian Church will host its 19th Annual Homeless Christmas Breakfast at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec.14. Guests will be treated to a hot breakfast, musical entertainment and gifts.

Ed Sauls will serve as master of ceremony at the event organized by Rick Shoemaker of Laguna Presbyterian Church, along with the help of more than 30 volunteers.

Boy Scouts from Troop 35 will serve as wait and cleanup staff, while Brian and Sue Back will organize the kitchen staff.

Missy Palino and Jennifer Baker with Girl Scout Troops 145 and 1440, along with other girl scouts, will assemble 100 decorated hygiene kits for the guests.

All in need are invited. “This is what Christmas is all about,” Shoemaker said.


Toy Drive for CHOC Runs Through Dec. 14

A toy drive benefiting Children’s Hospital Orange County and in memory of a local child will run through Saturday, Dec. 14.

Catalina Raine was born a healthy baby on Nov. 14, 2017 but passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Dec. 16, 2017 from SIDS. Her family wishes to show their gratitude for the support of the community during a difficult and tragic time in their lives. The toy drive will honor their daughter and teach their other children Jackson, Layla, Stella, Scarlett and Kingston, the value of life and the importance of friendship and community.

To donate, please leave a new toy (or Visa or Amazon gift card) at Code Green Fitness, 1268 Glenneyre Street, in the box with Catalina’s picture and info flyer on it. The family will deliver all the donations to CHOC in Orange on Dec. 16. Code Green will offer three complimentary group-training sessions to any new clients donating gifts over $25.


Firefighters Take Part in Spark of Love Toy Drive

This year, Laguna Beach firefighters will celebrate their 27th anniversary of participation in the Spark of Love toy drive, which will run through Tuesday, Dec. 24. Each fire station will serve as drop-off sites for new, unwrapped toys or sports equipment for underserved children and teens in Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Ventura and Riverside counties. Toys collected in the respective counties are distributed locally. Toy request/family referral sheets are available at all Orange County fire stations. For more information, contact Firefighter Pat Cary at 949-497-0700. In addition to the stations at 501 Forest Avenue, 2285 Agate Street, 2900 Alta Laguna Boulevard, and 31646 Second Avenue, there will be a donation bin at Hospitality Night this evening, Dec. 6.


Local Jeweler Hosts 90th Anniversary Party

Local jeweler Fredric H. Rubel Jewelers hosted a celebration in October in honor of their 90th anniversary in Orange County, while also celebrating the 70th anniversary of Harry Kotlar jewelers. The evening featured an interactive museum exhibition of Kotlar’s jewelry and provided an in-house design illustrator for guests to redesign their heirloom jewelry or create and design their own. Kotlar crafts each piece by hand. Hollywood celebrities and global public figures including Celine Dion, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, Chrissy Teigen, Michelle Obama, and Katy Perry have all been seen in Kotlar jewels. Guests enjoyed refreshments while David Wiener, Harry Kotlar’s grandson was onsite discussing heritage and design possibilities with guests.


Leonard Cancer Institute Opens Their Doors

Coto de Caza residents Judi and Bill Leonard have given a gift of an unprecedented amount to Mission Hospital for a cancer treatment center located across the street from Mission Hospital’s Mission Viejo campus. The new standalone $80 million facility called the Judi and Bill Leonard Institute for Cancer Prevention, Treatment and Wellness has just opened the first two floors. The $80 million facility will emphasize precision medicine and personalized care offering a clinical trial program, a nurse navigation program, radiation oncology, imaging services, an infusion center and complementary therapies, as well as an education center and a demonstration kitchen.

“When we learned about the plans for the cancer institute, we knew this project was going to be phenomenal for South Orange County and we wanted to be involved,” said Bill and Judi Leonard, who made a historic eight-figure gift to support the project. “This cancer center is going to save so many lives.”

Outside of the Leonard’s donation, philanthropy has played an instrumental role in bringing the new facility to life. Thus far, nearly $26 million has been raised, or approximately 75 percent of the hospital’s philanthropic goal of $35 million. Providence St. Joseph Health funded the $45 million balance.

The center will focus on prevention, treatment and wellness and offer a suite of services for each while begining patient treatment immediately. LCI (Leonard Cancer Institute) boasts two Varian True Beam linear accelerators, a 35-bay infusion center, front line diagnostic imaging technology, a full-service rehabilitation gym plus a healing garden, serenity chapel, wellness spa and a sacred space for those in need of head shaving or brassiere fitting.

Share this:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here