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Donations pour in for the “Dream Play Yard” at the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach


In a future edition, look for an additional article on the donors and what the Boys & Girls Club Laguna Beach (BGCLB) has meant to them and the community. 

Due to generous community donations – now totaling $284,000 – the “Dream Play Yard” for the Boys & Girls Club Laguna Beach (BGCLB) playground renovation is well on its way to fruition.

Since its inception in 1952, BGCLB has been serving the children in Laguna Beach and the Saddleback Valley. As described, the “dream play yard” outdoor space will increase attendance from the community, expand current offerings at the Canyon Branch, and create collaboration with local nonprofits focused on environmental and ocean stewardship.

Plan set into motion

Starting with the vision of BGCLB CEO Pam Estes, in response to recent academic and socio-emotional deficits, the team decided to create more ways for kids to learn, play and heal. The plan for this enhanced outdoor space was put in motion in November 2021. A talented and diverse team took the idea and ran with it and countless donations of time, talent and materials.

The renovation will involve: clearance and demo of existing storage containers, re-allocation for storage systems; redoing the hardscape and opening it up to more than 10,000 square feet of flat space for basketball, skating, bicycling, handball and other activities; installation of a new turf area and new shade structure; a new greenhouse, raised gardens and butterfly gardens; an art wall with chalkboards of all sizes for creative expression and art therapy; local artist installations and a local history bronze wall and an Olympian mural featuring club alumni; and replacing the existing aged play structure with a new option to reside in the back corner of the turf. 

donations pour playground

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of BGCLB

Current donation amount – $284,000 toward a goal of $350,000

BGCLB’s Michelle Highberg recruited an impressive list of entrepreneurs, artists, business owners and experts to bring this project to fruition. Now working in partnership with Jason Garza, founder of LocalsforLagunaBeach, who is dedicated to the Boys & Girls Club Project with an all-star team. (Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to get involved with volunteering.)

A few of the generous donations are as follows: 

Jeff Greenough and Donna Schuller. In memory of their father,
Barry E. Greenough. “If my father hadn’t died in a car accident when my brother was 10 and I was 13, my brother would never of had the experience he had down at the Boys and Girls Club of Laguna Beach,” said Schuller. “I thank God for the Boys and Girls Club. The donation money came out of gathering Fearless Women. This is what we do. We support nonprofits.” 

Compass Cares Orange County Community Fund. The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach was chosen to be a recipient of their Compass Cares Orange County donation for 2021 Q4 funds. BGCLB will receive $2,0415.50 on behalf of the Orange County Community Fund from the American Online Giving Foundation.

Artist Doug Miller, who donated a painting of Main Beach for the auction, said, “A member of Sawdust Festival since 1971, I have painted every day for the past 28 years. I have painted more than 19,000 paintings and sold more than 16,000 to this point and the paintings are numbered to prove it. This particular piece is of Rockpile beach from the Heisler Park Gazebo from last year, my 19,062nd numbered painting. Most of my pieces are small acrylics on canvas – this one is 6x8 inches. Becky and I have been residing in our little house on Coast Hwy south of Pearl Street since 1979. Becky is a writer. We have two adult sons, Jesse and Josiah Miller.”

donations pour painting

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Courtesy of Doug Miller

Painting of Main Beach donated for auction by artist Doug Miller

 Due to their donation, Robert and Kathleen Brunswick will be remembered on the Lend-a-Hand Wall. “I recall my mom regularly dropping me off at the Boys and Girls Club in Laguna as a young boy and the positive impact it had on me…so I was enthusiastic to pay it forward with a gift to help fund their new playground,” Robert said.


Naming rights opportunities are available for you/your business to invest in the well-being of precious children and youth.

Dream Play Yard Naming Opportunities:

~$1,000 Lend-a-Hand Wall – All families are welcome to make a tile.

~$2,000 (10/5 remain) Picnic Tables – Stagg Family, Tarbox Family

~$5,000 Handball Court and Wall – Austin Family

~$5,000 Creative Expression Art Wall – Ellingson Family

~$8,000 (2) Basketball Nets

~$8,500 Raised Gardens and Greenhouse – Laguna Garden Club

~$10,000 Media/Movie Screen Wall – Julie Laughton

~$22,000 The Shade – Carrie Click (Tuttle-Click Family)

–Includes four (4) admissions to both “Time to Play” and VIP dinner

~$30,000 Eco System Environmental Stewardship

~$30,000 Ocean Stewardship Exhibit

~$40,000 (2) The Turf

~$80,000 Skate Park Conversion

~$100,000 The Play Structure – Wayne Peterson

~$150,000 The De-Constructor

~$200,000 The Maintainer 

–All naming rights participants ($1,000+) are invited to celebrate with BCGLB at Hotel Laguna on February 20, as well as at their ribbon-cutting party on the grounds, Summer 2022. Two tickets are available with a 100% tax deductible donation of $1,000 or more.

–Sponsors/donors at $25,000 and up are gifted with four (4) admissions to “Time to Play,” plus four (4) admissions to the VIP dinner at Larsen following the event.

–Sponsorships and visibility opportunities may be crafted around individual needs including social media, print, website, marketing items, as well as visibility at the event through signage.

–All pledges above $5,000 may be planned for multi-year.

The BGCLB is located at 1085 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach.

To get involved, email/phone Michelle Highberg at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or 949.813.7681 to donate to the project. Visit


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