Laguna Beach fundraiser exceeds $100K goal for Ukrainian Red Cross

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Nadiia, a Ukrainian refugee who recently arrived in Laguna Beach and is supported by a group of local mothers, spoke to attendees at an April 5 fundraiser at Laguna Art Museum. Photo courtesy of Denny Freidenrich

A fundraising campaign that included an April 5 event at Laguna Art Museum has taken in $100,181 for the Ukrainian Red Cross.

More donations continue to roll in this week, Laguna Beach Community Foundation Chairman Tom Davis said Tuesday.

“We were overwhelmed but not surprised by the turn out of 100 wonderful Lagunans which only speaks to the generous heart of our very special community,” fundraiser co-host Barbara MacGillivray wrote in a text message.

Carla Meberg, Laguna Art Museum executive director Julie Perlin Lee, and MacGillivray coordinated the event, which featured musical performances by Ukrainian artists.

Carla Meberg, Barbara MacGillivray, and Laguna Art Museum executive director Julie Perlin Lee coordinated the event on April 5. Photo courtesy of Denny Freidenrich

A reflection on the humanitarian crisis was also shared by Nadiia, a Ukrainian refugee who recently arrived in Laguna Beach and is supported by a group of local mothers.

“As an organization focused on serving our local and global community, the museum was honored to be able to open its doors for this fundraiser,” Lee said in a prepared statement. “It is a reminder of how interconnected and dependent upon one another we all are, and it was inspiring to see the Laguna Beach community come together to support those affected by the crisis in Ukraine.”

Among the attendees were Mayor Sue Kempf, Mark and Leticia Christy, Jane and Joe Hanauer, Rick Balzer, and Betsy and Gary Jenkins.

In another display of support for Ukraine, the City Council unanimously agreed to adopt a resolution calling for an end to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine on Tuesday.

“The City Council stands united with the cities, towns, and villages of Ukraine who are standing up for their democracy and fighting for their freedom,” the City Council declared in the resolution.

Jane Hanauer, Joe Hanauer, and Mayor Sue Kempf at the April 5 fundraiser for the Ukrainian Red Cross. Photo courtesy of Denny Freidenrich
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