Lumberyard Enters Schoolpower’s Hall of Fame


By Kristi Cancellieri, Special to the Independent


Hall of Fame recipients Cary and Suzanne Redfearn, center, flanked by Schoolpower’s Mike Austin, left, and Marcus Skenderian, right.

Laguna Beach’s Lumberyard received Schoolpower’s Hall of Fame award in recognition of the restaurant’s contributions and ongoing support for local public schools.

Community-minded owners Cary and Suzanne Redfearn have generously opened their restaurant to raise funds for many of the high school’s booster clubs, Laguna Beach Little League, the Community Clinic, Ebell Club and the Laguna Playhouse while also making a significant impact for Schoolpower as creators and hosts of the annual Lumberyard Chef Challenge. The dueling-chef fundraiser, where school supporters compare competing menus devised by the middle and high school principals, was first concocted by the Redfearns three years ago.

“We have an appreciation for how much Schoolpower contributes to our schools and wanted to support that. We wanted an event that was fun and casual and that everyone could afford,” said the couple, longtime residents and parents of two children.

The sponsorship has contributed more than $30,000 over the last three years towards  educational programs. “They exemplify the very essence of this award,” said Mike Austin, the group’s vice president of business alliance.

The award was established in 2006 and named after its first recipient, the late Claes Andersen, whose generosity as owner of Hotel Laguna raised the bar for philanthropic support of Schoolpower. Subsequent recipients include Don Crevier (2007), David Wilhelm and Philo Smith (2008), Hearts of Montage (2009), David Wilson (2010) and Laguna Graphic Arts (2011).

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Kristi Cancellieri serves as Schoolpower’s vice president of public relations.

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