Barbara’s Column

Firefighters flipped for a good cause



Photos by Mary Hurlbut

The Exchange Club’s annual Labor Day Pancake Breakfast is always a labor of love, but more so this year.

In addition to the funds raised to prevent child abuse, the breakfast helped the Laguna Beach Firefighters Assn raise money for the folks left homeless by Hurricane Harvey. Donations are being accepted on-line at Click on Donate and write in Hurricane Harvey.

“This was a wonderful, loving opportunity to help the survivors of a horrible disaster and of abuse,” said Sande St. John, in charge as always.   

Twenty firefighters participated in the breakfast: Don Conway, Brian Adams, Adam Schulenburg, Kurt Bladergroen, Tony Carlson, Brent Buccola, Forest Lazicki, Brandon Hawkins, Jeff White, Chris Ornelas, Danny Kulscheuer, Thomas Padden, Al Pacheco, Chip Gilmore, Pat Cary, Division Chief Api Weinert and Captains Ed Valdez, Andrew Hill and John Kuzmic. Matt Rolfe was in charge for the association, sprung from duty by Scott Hammond.  Interim Fire Chief Kirk Summers took his turn at the grill.

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L-R: John Pietig, Frank Buckner and interim Fire Chief Kirk Summers

Kuzmic and Carysold department T-shirts to raise money for association programs. Gilmore’s eight-year-old son, Cooper, was in charge of the chip reader. The T-shirts are also sold online. Pink Tees are available to honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. 

Beach Patrol Officer Aureliano Beccera was detailed to deliver pancakes and sausages to retired Captain Eugene D’Isabella. “Diz “was at home recovering from an operation and unable to drive his beloved 1931 Seagrave Pumper, which still needs a home to protect it from deterioration. Hill subbed behind the wheel, not an easy drive. 

“It was more like controlled braking,” said Hill. 

Lifeguards Porter Hogan, Steve Mais and Maddie Johnson showed up by 6 a.m. to set up the grills. 

Animal Control Officer Chris Holub attended the breakfast, but not in uniform. He was just recently cleared to return to duty after a liver transplant.

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Doug Miller entertains the crowd

Service began shortly after 7 a.m. People arrived early this year to beat the heat, but the breakfast is the true harbinger of fall in Laguna, “weather” or not. 

“The breakfast is the unofficial take-back of the town,” said St. John. 

By 11 a.m., City Councilman Steve Dicterow had handed out more than 600, each customer paying $5 (and sometimes an added contribution) to Kathryn Delp Dew and Bob Lively, for a grand total of $3,200. 

Early birds included Ken Jillson and Al Roberts, founders and funders of AIDS

Services Foundation. Heidi Miller stopped by before heading downtown to open her South Coast Highway shop, Tight Assets. 

The Dog Days of August obviously flopped over to September. 

Peggy and City Manager John Pietig included “Boomer” in their outing. George Nelson, owner of Fawn Memories on Forest Avenue (where Fire Department T-shirts are also sold) was accompanied by Speedy, a rescue, and Cissi Frigarde, who was walking Bob Mosier’s Pomeranian, Black Jack. Karen Martin’s Charlie came from South Korea and responds joyfully when he hears someone speaking Korean said his owner. Duke tagged along with Susi Q board member Ruth Stafford

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Skipper greets Heidi Miller of Tight Assets

Cat owner Mayor Toni Iseman attended the breakfast, sans pet.

Patriots Day Parade Committee member Christopher Tomlin stopped off for breakfast before going on to the annual committee meeting at the Susi Q where the section of officers was to be held. 

Diane and Carl Kloke had made their contribution to help the victims of Harvey even before the breakfast.

“We sent a check to the Red Cross, because they were the first one here when we lost our home in 1993,” she said. 

Locals at the breakfast included Karl Koski, Barbara Ring, Bobbi Cox, Joslyn Aitkin, Lily Portia, Jim Rue, Margaret Warder, Shirley and Laguna native Storm Case.

Also: Riley, Reese, Kate and Allie Weinert, Trudy Josephson, Carolyn and former Community Clinic Director Dr. Tom Bent, first-timer Andrea Wallace and Glori Fickling, who just turned 91, not 90 as previously written by this reporter. 

Breakfast volunteers assisting St. John included Sandy Thorton, Connie Burlin, Cindy Adamson, Diane Chesney, Water Melon Fairy Jessica de Stefano, violinist Doug Miller and Housing and Human Affairs Committee member, Gail Duncan

But wait – there’s more. You will find advance notice of all the fun and interesting stuff for visitors or residents to do in Laguna by reading

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