Barbara’s Column

More thanks



As I predicted last week, I missed a couple of fundraising events, but just because Thanksgiving is over is no reason to stop giving thanks.

Here are some more organizations that deserve our gratitude.

The Laguna Beach Rotary Club provides entertainment for car buffs with its annual Classic Car Show in October and raises funds for local non-profits and for scholarships for graduating seniors.

Speaking of which, countless numbers of local high school graduates and their parents owe thanks to the Laguna Beach Scholarship Foundation and to the donors who contributed to it. This June, $380,975 was distributed to 147 students by 131 donors. The local Ebell Club started it all in 1947.

The Fourth Annual Gratitude for Glenwood Gala on Oct. 7 at The Ranch was sold out. The event helps fund independent living for young adults with special needs.

Taste of Laguna on Oct. 19 was a night to savor. A record-breaking crowd attended the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce signature event, held on the Festival of Arts Grounds. Tasty samples by Laguna’s finest restaurants and chefs were showcased. The number of participants also broke an event record, according to Nia Evans, Chamber marketing and event manager. 

Chamber programs benefited.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Scott Brashier

Taste of Laguna made no bones about being a great bash

Still to Come

The Laguna Beach Woman’s Club’s annual Tarnished Treasures luncheon offers two ways to give: donations to the sale and buying the donations of others.

“What you don’t need may be exactly what someone else treasures,” said luncheon chair Cheryl Kinsman.

Donations can be dropped off from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekdays at Kinsman & Kinsman, 32355 Coast Highway or from 9 a.m. to noon, Tuesdays or from 1 to 5 the clubhouse, 286 St. Ann’sDrive.  

No large items such as sofas, furniture or mattresses, but practically anything else is welcomed, particularly holiday decorations, art, jewelry, toys and sports equipment.

Admission is $35 for members, $40 for non-members. Reservations required by Monday. Call club President Kitty Malcolm for more information.    

Proceeds and any donations not bought at the luncheon will benefit underserved families in Laguna.

The annual Christmas Party started by Sande S. John and Marsha Bode about 27 years ago in a parking lot is scheduled for 4 p.m., Dec. 9 at the Woman’s Club.

Donations specifically for the party may be dropped off starting at 8 a.m. that day.  

“We need folks to adopt a family,” said St. John.

A gift that keeps on giving

Everybody owes an incalculable debt of gratitude to Laguna Greenbelt Inc. For almost 50 years---the group will celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2018---the group has fought to preserve open space surrounding Laguna Beach as well as the plants and animals that live in it.

Greenbelt members have battled with major landowners, politicians and public inertia in court, in the press and on ballots to save Laguna Canyon and nearby wildlands from development. 

The 22,000-acres of coastal open space that separates Laguna both geographically and philosophically from the rest of South Orange County is comprised of Laguna Coast, and Aliso and Woods Canyons wilderness parks, Bommer Canyon, Quail Hill, Crystal Cove State Park and Upper Newport Bay.

But the Greenbelt is not resting on its (Laguna) Laurels.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Laguna’s wilderness park/greenbelt is the gift that keeps on giving

The group is working diligently to connect the coastal open space to the Cleveland National Forest, which will allow animals to move freely from the coast to the top of the Santa Ana Mountains.

“We are looking at 50 years of activism, hopefully finalizing the wildlife corridor to ensure the continued proliferation of our wildlife,” said Greenbelt Vice President Norm Grossman.

According to a recent letter from long-time Greenbelt President Elisabeth Brown, animals and the plants that nourish them must be able to migrate between the preserved open spaces in order to survive and thrive. 

Unfortunately for critters, parks and preserves – mostly acquired piecemeal –were were not planned to connect. Many have become green oases, surrounded by neighborhoods and roads, neither conducive to wildlife longevity.

The Greenbelt’s efforts need financial support: Memberships cost $35 for the calendar year. 

Join or renew memberships at

We owe it to the Greenbelt and to ourselves.

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