Town Crier: Week of April 14


Rick Balzar as a teen, attends a dance by the Laguna Beach Woman’s Club. Photo courtesy of Rick Balzar.

‘Laguna Kid’ to Present at Laguna Beach Historical Society Event

The Laguna Beach Historical Society will host “Laguna Kid” Rick Balzer on April 18 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Susi Q Community Center Great Room. As a youth growing up in Laguna Beach, Balzer recalls many adventures. He will speak on earlier years as a Laguna kid and areas he explored and experiences both in school and out of school. His book, titled “A Laguna Kid, growing up in Laguna Beach” will be offered with a membership to The Laguna Beach Historical Society. Memberships start at $25. Listeners and readers will relate to many local adventures and watering holes. Balzer became Nolan Real Estate’s first realtor in town and won many awards as a successful realtor. 

Looking for a fun Laguna Beach women’s charity group? 

Ebell Club of Laguna Beach has been supporting local Laguna Beach charities since 1933 and having fun while doing so. We are open to new women members of all ages.

Prospective members are welcome to join the Ebell Club on April 18 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Wine Gallery for free food and wine to learn more about the group, the local charities they support, monthly socials and annual fundraiser. Please RSVP to [email protected] by April 14.

Free x ‘Sharpen Your Mind’ session at the Susi Q focuses on strategies to improve memory

Ben Allen, programs and educational specialist at Alzheimer’s Orange County, will be at the Susi Q on April 24, between 2 and 3 p.m., to discuss effective strategies to improve memory and maximize brain health. 

Sharpen Your Mind: Memory Tips and Teasers is a fun and interactive session offered in-person at the center at 380 Third Street or online at no cost to participants.

“We’re delighted to welcome Ben back to the Susi Q,” said Jo Ann Ekblad, program and marketing director at Laguna Beach Seniors. “His virtual sessions were enormously popular during the pandemic. Participants leave with renewed confidence in their memories and conversational skills.”

Allen believes that keeping active is the single most important way to keep our minds active as we age.

 “When we are active physically, mentally, and socially we lower our risk of cognitive decline,” he said. “That means we need to get out and move; get regular moderate-to-vigorous exercise. Also, challenge your mind, read, do puzzles, or learn a new language.”

Ben Allen has been a community educator for over 12 years, speaking to groups throughout Orange County on Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. 

Register online at and click on Classes & Registration. To RSVP by phone, call (949) 715-8105 or email [email protected].

The Susi Q offers a wide range of educational and fun programs, classes and clubs for older adults – though all ages are welcome. The Susi Q’s Care Management Department provides free consultation, education and practical resources for vulnerable seniors, enabling them to stay safe, informed, and independent. For more information on The Susi Q, the portal to access the best of Laguna’s community resources, visit

Laguna Beach Business Club to present speaker LBPD Chief Calvert on April 20

The Laguna Beach Business Club’s April 20 meeting speaker is Laguna Beach Police Chief Jeff Calvert. The LBBC holds a breakfast meeting the third Thursday of each month starting at 7:30 a.m. hosting speakers that discuss topics valuable to achieving success in your personal and professional lives. Calvert will be discussing crime stats and department updates. 

The LBBC is a group of local business professionals and entrepreneurs that meet monthly to discuss current events, business opportunities and share insights within the context of their community and lives with the goal of building and maintaining relationships with local professionals and businesses that they can proudly recommend to clients and friends. LBBC also supports their community by providing and participating in community services and/or events that benefit the citizens of Laguna Beach.

Club meetings begin with a buffet breakfast and brief networking roundtable. Meetings are hosted at 7° [seven-degrees], 891 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. Non-members are welcome The non-member guest fee is $30, payable in cash or check (payable to the Laguna Beach Business Club) on the day of the meeting. More information about the LBBC is available at or by visiting [email protected].

Seventh Annual Art Part of the Year at Laguna Beach Sanctuary April 15

It’s time for the 7th Annual Art Party of the Year at Laguna Beach Sanctuary on April 15 from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. The event will honor local artists who make a living as creators in this world-renowned art colony. The party will be located just above the Village of Laguna, up Park Avenue across from Thurston Middle School, with magnificent ocean views, libations, food and live music by Poul Pedersen of Missiles of October. 

Everyone is welcome to this free event to preview new works for 2023, featuring jewelry, ceramics, paintings, hand-blown glass, sculpture, live music, libations, and new friends. Organizers suggest participants park on Park Avenue across from Thurston Middle School and follow the balloons to get there. Artists include Greg Thorne, Jesse Miller, Larry Stewart, Lance Stewart, Victoria Foley, Leslie Edler, Barbara Lolli, Shane Dunlap and Karen Petty.

Boys & Girls Club to celebrate 70 years with Platinum Jubilee 

The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach is celebrating its 70th anniversary with a Platinum Jubilee on May 13.

The 22nd Art of Giving Gala fundraiser will take place at the Montage Laguna Beach Resort. Guests will enjoy dinner, a live 10-piece big band, and auction items. The gala marks the club’s largest and most important fundraising event of the year. 

The club has experienced tremendous growth over the past three years. It has gone from serving 300 young people every day to over 3,000 and now provides daily programs during lunch and after school on all Laguna Beach Unified School District campuses.

More information is available by contacting Michelle Fortezzo at [email protected] or (949) 715-7584.

Art Along the Coast Tour to Stop in Laguna

Art Along the Coast will offer a free, self-guided tour of art studios and exhibition venues from San Clemente to Santa Ana over the last weekend in April. Art lovers can journey along the coast at their own pace for a festive weekend exploring the studios, homes and gallery venues of artists from the Festival of Arts.

Orange County continues to be a destination for art and culture. As such, the tour showcases varied and unique work by painters, photographers, sculptors, and other art mediums in their working environments. It is an opportunity for people looking for a meaningful and fun activity who also want to support local professionals. 

The Art Along the Coast tour gives people an experience they don’t ordinarily get – the opportunity to engage with how ideas, creativity and technique come together to birth a piece of fine art.

The tour runs the weekend of April 29 and 30. Information on participating artists, times, tour details and a map is available at 

Laguna Art Museum April Events 

April 15 at 6 p.m. – Spence Collection Artist Panel & Pizza Party

Join the Laguna Art Museum for a discussion on the artworks donated by Stuart Spence and Judith Vida-Spence to Laguna Art Museum. Co-moderated by artist, writer, and professor, Tom Lawson, and LAM’s Curatorial Fellow, Rochelle Steiner, this panel will include artists whose work is currently on view at the museum. Together, they will engage in discussion about the artistic community that evolved in Southern California in the late 1980s and 1990s; their wide-ranging artistic approaches that are both conceptual and personal; and the critical support of the Spences and others at that time. More information can be found at this link.

April 22 at 11 a.m. – Earth Day Celebration: Storytime & Beach Cleanup with Project O

Join the Laguna Art Museum and Project O in celebration of Earth Day. Rich German, founder of Project O, will commence the celebration with story time by reading My Friend Earth by Patricia MacLachlan, followed by a presentation and book signing by German and his book Blue Laguna, and wrapping up the day will be a beach cleanup. All supplies for the cleanup will be provided, but feel free to bring your own work gloves. Please wear appropriate clothes & shoes for beach cleanup. More information can be found at this link.

April 29 at 7 p.m. – Artist Spotlight: Shepard Fairey

Join the Laguna Art Museum for a special opportunity to hear Shepard Fairey talk about his artistic practice—in conversation with curator and writer, Pedro Alonzo. Together they will discuss the evolution of Fairey’s practice over the past 30 years, including his multiple roles as artist, influencer, and disruptor. Over the past 30 years, Fairey has established himself as a leading figure in Southern California—and globally—in art, fashion, the urban landscape, and politics. This conversation will address Fairey’s iconic and impactful visual vocabulary, as seen in the exhibition Facing the Giant—Three Decades of Dissent: Shepard Fairey, currently on view at Laguna Art Museum, as well as his impact in public art the world over.

April 30 at 2 p.m. – My Hero: The Art of Healing

Unlock the healing power of creativity with MY HERO and the Laguna Art Museum. Included with museum admission, guests will enjoy art, poetry, music, dance and short films to celebrate the art of healing. MY HERO is a nonprofit, educational project that empowers people of all ages to realize their potential to effect change in the world. 

Wellness Lab to host Happiness Workshop 

This easy-to-follow workshop will lead anyone, from adolescents to seniors, through the “Your Path of Advanced Awareness to Lasting Happiness” Guidebook.

Participants will learn how to harness the positive energy of love and lasting happiness to dilute (and eventually eliminate) the negative energy of fear and unhappiness.

This happiness workshop will be presented at the new Wellness Lab, 1854 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach on Saturday, April 29, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Dr. Veeder South, workshop author and founder of Advanced Awareness, will lead the workshop. The price is $35 a person. Attendees can sign up for the workshop by visiting the Advanced Awareness website or contacting Dr. South by phone, email or text  [email protected] or (949) 235-6157. Space is limited. 

Susi Q’s Annual Legacy Ball This Saturday 

The Susi Q’s much-anticipated Annual Legacy Ball takes place on April 15 at the beautiful Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort, 25135 Park Lantern, Dana Point, from 5 to 9 p.m. The program includes cocktails, dancing, opportunity drawings, dinner, dessert, and a live auction.

“Our annual legacy ball is a glorious evening of good company, generosity and gratitude,” said Nadia Babayi, executive director of Laguna Beach Seniors, which operates the Susi Q in the heart of downtown Laguna. “Our guests help us raise one-quarter of our yearly budget, and we love honoring those who have given exceptional and enduring service to the community.”

Christina and Warren Haines are the 2023 Legacy Award Recipients, while the US Bank Foundation will be honored as the 2023 Cornerstone Award Recipient.

Tickets are available by visiting Underwriting opportunities and table sales are available by contacting the event manager, Christine Brewer, at (949) 715-8105 or by emailing [email protected].

The Susi Q offers a wide range of educational and fun programs, classes and clubs for older adults – though all ages are welcome. The Susi Q’s Care Management Department provides free consultation, education and practical resources for vulnerable seniors, enabling them to stay safely in their own homes, informed, and independent. 

 Laguna Arts Advantage Foundation Hosting Inaugural Fundraiser April 16

Help amazing local world class artists to travel and show at the Florence Biennale Art exhibition to represent Laguna Beach and the United States at the 2023 Florence Biennale in Florence Italy, Oct. 14 to 22. The Laguna Arts Advantage Foundation (LAAF) is hosting their inaugural fundraiser on Sunday, April 16, from 4:30 to 9 p.m. at Mozambique Restaurant in the Banquet Room, Laguna Beach. The silent auction will raise funds for already approved Biennale artists to travel and represent Laguna Beach and the United States. “Meet the Artists” from 4:30 to 6 p.m. including, Jorg Dubin, Hillary McCarthy, Roberta Booth, Ben Young, Rowan Folley, etc. Reserved dinner reservations available. After dinner party in the Durban Room. Music by Pam Miller (pianist) and Doug Miller (violin) Complimentary hors d’oeuvres. To reserve a spot, contact Nicholas Hernandez at [email protected] or call (949) 228-6737.

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