Laguna Beach Man donates $100,000 to Boys & Girls Club campaign

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Joe Ziomek (right) and Gwen Basemen. Ziomen recently contributed a $100,000 matching grant to the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach.

The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach recently received a $100,000 grant as a challenge gift to support inclusion, diversity, equity, and access.

Joe Ziomek, a club alumnus and recently retired financial advisor, said the Club’s programs and leadership shaped his life perspective, enhanced his self-esteem, and provided inspiration which led to his business success.

“I knew I wanted to leave a legacy in Laguna Beach. A community that has so much and has given so much to me.” Ziomek said in a press release. “I not only want to share with those that are less fortunate but inspire others to do the same. What better way to do that, than to give to the youth organization that had the biggest impact on my life and have them carry on my life’s work.”

The so-called Ziomek IDEA Initiative will support expanding club services to the Saddleback Valley community, specifically children and families who are experiencing economic challenges, food insecurity, unstable housing, health disparities, education gaps, gang violence, discrimination, and racism.  

“There are huge deficits in financial literacy among communities not only across the U.S. but just here, in south Orange County,” Ziomek said in a press release. “To have equity you must have financial education. This education is not equally distributed nor accessible for many.”

Ideally, the gift will inspire others to invest in future generations through the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach whose programming for underserved youth.

To maximize the gift match, the Club is now challenged to raise $100,000 from local partners.

For more details, visit bgclagunabeach.org.

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Daniel is currently managing editor for the Laguna Beach Independent. He first started reporting on Laguna Beach in 2018. Daniel moved to Orange County from his hometown of Santa Barbara in 2008 to attend Chapman University. He wrote for the college newspaper, The Panther, for nearly four years before obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and English with an emphasis in journalism. While attending Chapman, he started interning at the Orange County Register as a community blogger in Orange. In 2012, he was hired as a staff writer covering Orange and Villa Park. He went on to cover the Nixon Presidential Library & Museum as well as housing, development, education, water, and local politics in other Orange County cities. Since leaving the Register in 2015, he has written for Law360, the Foothills Sentry, the Newport Beach Independent, the Laguna Beach Independent, Los Angeles Times Community News, BehindtheBadge.com, and the California Business Journal. When Daniel isn't busy covering Laguna Beach, he serves as ​engagement editor for a nonprofit newsroom, The War Horse. He lives in Irvine with his wife and son.

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