Town Crier: Week of March 31

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Walking for Water students take a break from their fundraiser at the Laguna Beach High School track on March 26. Photo/Susan Hough 

Laguna Beach High School students raise $52,000 and counting for Walking for Water

Laguna Beach has a history of being a waterwise community, so it’s not surprising 25 of Laguna’s high school students have taken that motto to heart by “Walking for Water.” Last year, the $100,000 they raised helped underwrite the costs of building six freshwater wells in West Africa and India. This year, on March 26, students raised $52,000 and counting through a sponsored 5K or 10K walk at Laguna Beach High School track.

None of the work in West Africa or India could have been possible without the proceeds from previous annual walks. Through this project, the students hope engage youth to care for the world around them. Charitable donations from the March 26 walk will help pay for new wells in Togo, Africa.  

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.

Representative Katie Porter and Iranian-American activist Nikkisa Abdollahi to speak at Laguna Beach Democratic Club Virtual Meeting

Katie Porter, the representative of California’s 47th U.S. Congressional District, will speak to her constituents at the Laguna Beach Democratic Club at a virtual meeting on April 12 at 5:30 p.m. Also speaking will be Nikkisa Abdollahi, an Iranian-American writer, speaker, artist and former TEDx organizer.

Prospective new Democratic Club members are invited to sign up to attend the April 12 online meeting. Club business begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by guest speakers. Club members do not need to be registered Democrats – independents may join – although Democratic Party registration allows only registered party members to vote on club matters, which include candidate endorsements. 

Orange County author Randy Kraft to launch Off Season, her new novel set in Laguna Beach, with April 2 reading and discussion

Former journalist Randy Kraft will launch her third novel, Off Season, at a reading and book talk this Sunday, April 2, at 4 p.m. at the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center, 235 Forest Avenue. Admission is $20 and includes a copy of the book. Net proceeds will go to the center to support literary events. 

Set in Laguna Beach in the winter months leading up to the pandemic, the story follows three couples at different stages of their relationships – steadfast, dependent, and divorced. 

Kraft has been writing fiction for nearly 20 years. She also writes book reviews and coaches aspiring writers. She holds a master’s degree in writing and an MBA. As a journalist, she wrote for regional and national magazines and local newsweeklies, including the Laguna Beach Independent. As a communication and fundraising strategist, she has worked with several local nonprofit organizations, including Friendship Shelter, the Laguna Food Pantry, and Laguna Beach Seniors, Inc. 

The painting on the book cover is by Laguna Beach artist Tracey Moscaritolo. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance at lbculturalartscenter.org.  

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 artalongthecoast.com 

Art in the Park is Back at Crystal Cove

Crystal Cove Conservancy and Crystal Cove State Park welcome the return of Art in the Park to the Crystal Cove Historic District, Los Trancos, Newport Coast, on Saturday, April 1, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. After a 3-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Art in the Park will offer a day of art and culture for all ages featuring a variety of activities, including yoga on the beach, guitar lessons, basket weaving, watercolor and squid ink painting, jewelry making and more.  

The day-long celebration will also include an arts & crafts bazaar, where guests can shop a selection of fine art paintings, candles, sea glass and upcycled jewelry, and painted wood wall hangings created by local artists. Vendors include Crystal Cove State Lifeguard Association, Kim Gordon, Serenity Candles, ReNvinted Jewelry and Art by Kimberly Nicole, Michael O. Smith, Laura Klepfer, Donita Lloyd, Gobind Boyes, Adornament and Sluggy Shug. 

A full schedule of events can be found at crystalcove.org/event/art-in-the-park.  

Laguna Art Museum April Events 

April 1 at 10 a.m. – What’s It Worth?

John Moran Auctioneers & Appraisers, in partnership with the Laguna Art Museum, invites the public to have up to five items professionally valued. Appraisers at John Moran Auctioneers will provide a verbal valuation of your treasures.

April 2 at 10 a.m. – Jean Stern Presents: The Historical Development of Watercolor Painting

In this illustrated lecture, Curator Jean Stern will trace the history and development of watercolor painting. Mr. Stern will define various water-based media and discuss such variants as watercolor, gouache, and tempera. He will review the historical evolution and show that water-based paint appears in ancient art dating back to the cave paintings of pre-historic societies. Also discussed will be the many forms of water-based media throughout history, with examples from ancient civilizations, including the Medieval, Renaissance and Twentieth Century.

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 participants should feel free to bring their own work gloves. Appropriate clothes and shoes will be needed for the beach cleanup.

Wellness Lab to host Happiness Workshop on April 29

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 South by phone, email, or text. Space is limited.

Susi Q’s Annual Legacy Ball takes place on April 15

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 www.thesusiq.org. 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. 

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