Striking a Chord to Fill a Safety Net


By Robin Pierson, Special to the Independent


Hope University’s band performs at a fundraiser for local families in need.
Hope University’s band performs at a fundraiser for local families in need.

Local resident Donna LeClair’s recent medical crises galvanized her to find a means to connect with others who are suffering while teaching the rest of the community how to better respond to people in need.

Three months ago, something went amiss for LeClair’s 29-year old son, Shawn Sullivan, requiring emergency brain surgery. Because of the quick reactions of two friends, his proximity to Cedar Sinai Medical Center and the presence of a skilled neurosurgeon, “he is lucky to be alive, walking and talking,” LeClair said.

Sullivan faces a long recovery from what most likely was a brain aneurysm, along with a mountain of medical bills.

Despite support by family and friends, LeClair’s ordeal sometimes overwhelms her, while sensitizing her to others confronting crisis without community support.

She vowed to change that.

LeClair hosts a musical party from 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday, June 23, at Bridge Hall at the Neighborhood Congregation Church, to raise awareness for families facing daunting challenges.

Headlining will be Hope University’s Hi Hope band, whose members include musical savants with intellectual disabilities. Hi Hope will be joined on stage for an open jam session by local musicians and entertainers, including Jason Feddy, John Gardner and the classic rock band, The Blues Offenders.

“I want to show that we’re all one and that we are not alone and that we need to support each other,” LeClair said.

“Donna is one of the most big hearted and generous people I have ever met,” said Pam Wicks, music director of the NCC. “When there is a need, there is Donna, unconditionally loving, compassionate, loyal and hard working. She has given so much to so many. Now it is time to give back to Donna and her son.”

Funds raised will be used to help LeClair’s son with his expenses, to support Anaheim’s Hope University, and to start a fund to aid local families when needs arise.

Tickets for the concert and accompanying silent auction are $20. To donate items, food or drink to the event contact Donna LeClair at 949.903.9629 or at [email protected]


Laguna Beach resident Robin Pierson writes about topics that appeal to her.

Share this:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here