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Laguna Beach

 Volume 13, Issue 31  |  April 16, 2021

Rotary Club kicks off scholarship fundraiser for LBHS graduating seniors and LCAD students

The Rotary Club of Laguna Beach and its Grapes for Grads® committee have kicked off their 2021 Scholarship Donation Campaign for Laguna Beach High School (LBHS) graduating seniors and Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) students. The Grapes for Grads event is Laguna’s premier wine tasting event which began in 2006 and has contributed $482,500 in scholarships over the past 15 years.

With the support of a few wineries and the efforts of the first committee, which included current event co-chairs Jeffrey Redeker and Stephen Dotoratos, Grapes for Grads was created. The first year of the event was so successful, it was decided that the event would be held annually. As the event grew more successful the scholarships grew in number.

In 2020, the Rotary Club was unable to hold the Grapes for Grads® event due to the COVID-19 health crisis and the ensuing public lockdown. However, they were still able to award $26,500 for 2020 scholarships from funds donated by sponsors and from funds provided by the Laguna Beach Rotary Foundation.   Unfortunately, the Grapes for Grads event will not be held again this spring because of the continuing health crisis. 

Rotary Club Cho

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LCAD student Eunhye Cho, 2019 Grapes for Grads scholarship recipient

“In 2019, my family was in the midst of a financial struggle. With my first senior semester soon to start, we were trying to save and collect as many funds as possible to pay for my remaining tuition,” says LCAD student Eunhye. “Then with the help of Grapes of Grads scholarship, I was able to pay a huge part of the tuition of the fall semester and successfully finish the semester. The Grapes for Grads scholarship not only made it possible for me to pay for the fall semester but gave my family a chance to save up for the upcoming Spring 2020 semester’s tuition as well. I am forever grateful to the Grapes for Grads program for granting me this scholarship to students like me and for helping me further my education at LCAD.” 

Committee Chair Redeker says, “The goal of Laguna Beach Rotary and the Grapes for Grads committee has always been to support higher education for Laguna Beach High School and LCAD. We know the past several months have been tough so we are doing everything we can to continue to help students in need reach their academic goals again in 2021 even during these trying times. We sincerely hope to reach our goals for 2021 and to see everyone in person in 2022.”

Rotary Club Palino

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LBHS graduate Katie Palino, Class of 2019, Grapes for Grads scholarship recipient

Palino, LBHS Class of 2019 graduate, expressed her gratitude in her testimonial letter, “I am a freshman pursuing a BA in Theatre with an emphasis in Theatre Technology, with a potential minor in Film at Chapman University. I am so appreciative of the opportunities that I have been given and I have jumped right in to experience all that college has to offer. I have been the Assistant Stage Manager for a student production for Archetypes, acted in a show for The Players’ Society, and provided hair and makeup for the COPA production Measure for Measure as a part of my theatre practicum. I am continuing on with my philanthropic work, and in October I shared my Girl Scout Gold Award project, which addressed the issue of storm drain pollution and prevention, with over 100 students at the Santa Ana Boys and Girls Club. It was such a rewarding experience. I am so grateful for the support and generosity that the Laguna Beach Rotary and Grapes for Grads has awarded me, and I will continue to pay it forward and make a difference in the future.”

It is important to the Rotary Club that local students have the opportunity to achieve their academic goals and dreams, especially during this difficult time.  The Grapes for Grads committee is asking for the community’s assistance to provide scholarships by contributing to the Rotary Club’s 2021 Scholarship Donation Fund. 

The fundraising efforts will continue until May 1, 2021. The past year has been challenging for everyone and the Rotary Club appreciates any size donation supporting LBHS graduating seniors and LCAD students. Donations can be made through the Grapes for Grads’ website located at

Save the date for the next Grapes for Grads event on May 1, 2022.    Laguna’s premier wine tasting event will be back next year with great wines, fabulous music, and wonderful food from local restaurants. 

For more information on Grapes for Grads, go to


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In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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