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Laguna Beach residents turned out for Protect Our Planned party, which raised $216K

Photos by Corey Sandler

More than 225 guests came out on August 9 to help Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino and Counties raise more than $216,000 to further its reproductive healthcare mission at its summer fundraising event, POPP: Protect Our Planned Parenthood. 

The event was spearheaded by co-chairs Afsaneh Alisobhani and Teddie Ray with assistance from a 50-member committee of Orange County leaders dedicated to the cause of Planned Parenthood and the healthcare of the entire community. 

Held at an elegant, modern outdoor setting near the Irvine Spectrum, guests ate, drank, and danced under the stars. They heard the private reproductive healthcare story of a fellow guest who is a medical doctor and a foster and adoptive mother. 

Laguna Beach residents group

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The POPP Committee and several supporters strike a pose 

At the 19th week of a long-awaited pregnancy, her obstetrician gave her devastating news: the fetus had a chromosome disorder that affected her heart. There was no chance of a live birth, and her life was at risk. She turned to Planned Parenthood for the termination procedure required to protect her life because no hospital would perform it. 

“Her story could be any of our stories,” co-chair Teddie Ray told the crowd. “It’s a reminder of how important Planned Parenthood’s work is to maintaining a full range of medical services in our region.”

Laguna Beach Ray

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Co-chair and longtime Laguna Beach resident Teddie Ray poses with Michael Bryan

A portion of the funds raised at POPP is earmarked for education. One key element of education is de-stigmatizing birth control and STD prevention, starting with the condom. 

Co-chair Ray commented, “A condom should be viewed not as a reason for embarrassment but instead like a toothbrush or a tampon – part of smart, everyday self-care.” Indeed, research shows that condoms effective and easy to use. They help prevent both pregnancy and STDs.

The event’s proceeds will directly benefit more than 100,000 patients who receive healthcare at the nine centers located in Orange and Sam Bernardino Counties. Preventive care services comprise 93 percent of the healthcare its clinics offer, including life-saving cancer screenings, breast health exams, annual well-woman check-ups, STD prevention and treatment, family planning, and sexual health education. Services are provided regardless of a patient’s personal circumstances or ability to pay. 

More information can be found at www.healthwomentrust.org.