Galas, Fundraisers, and Fun

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Crystal Cove Alliance’s 9th Annual Beach Gala Raises $200,000

On Sept. 24, 425 guests hit the bluffs of Crystal Cove for CCA’s annual fundraising gala themed “Surf, Sand and the Silver Screen” after the area’s rich movie-making history. The evening began with a walk down the red carpet greeted by movie characters (played by Chapman University theatrical group CAST), followed by cocktails and hors d’oeuvres above the beach. Notable attendees included Honorary Chairs Madeline and James Irvine Swinden, Director of California State Parks Ruth Coleman, The Beachcomber Café founder Doug Cavanaugh and Laguna Beach Mayor Toni Iseman. Under the big tent, a four-course dinner was presented by the executive chefs of Pelican Hill Resort and Montage Laguna Beach, while Wayne Foster Entertainment performed period classics. After dinner, guests danced and bid on auction items. In all, more than $200,000 was generated through sponsorships, underwriting, ticket sales, general donations and a live auction. The donations will help fund the nonprofit CCA’s mission of restoration, education and conservation at Crystal Cove.

Festival of the Arts Brings out the Stars for End-of-Year Finale

In celebration of the culminating weekend of the Festival of Arts, a medley of celebrities including Richard Karn of “Home Improvement,” Brenda Strong of “Desperate Housewives” and LeVar Burton of “Star Trek” joined local patrons on Aug. 27 to ride the last summer wave of support for our local art community.

“The Pageant of the Masters is something I saw 20 years ago, and it was such an extraordinary experience,” Brenda commented.

“I love all of Laguna,” said Robert David Hall of television’s “CSI,” who recently bought a house in north Laguna. “It has changed, but it still has all of the flavor that I remember. I like to go down to Heisler Park and have my coffee and read; it’s amazing.”

Greg Grunberg from the hit television show “Heroes,” said, “Anybody that expresses themselves creatively is a hero of mine. … Art is as important as reading to me.”

Richard Marx performed on the festival stage with a string quartet, while guests packed the open-air tables and courtyard to enjoy a final festival night under the stars. To finish the evening off, guests and celebrities enjoyed a full performance of the famed Pageant of the Masters.

LCAD Celebrates its 50th Anniversary at Seven-Degrees

The city’s beloved art institution, the Laguna College of Art & Design (LCAD), celebrated its 50th anniversary on Sept. 15 with a lively evening of tribute in a stellar location. With more than 100 attendees to commemorate the golden anniversary, the night was alive with the spirit of art and education, and the college’s prominent local history was on everyone’s mind.

An evening of cheerful remembrance, sweet reflection and the vibrant din of the future set the tone for a night that featured standout works from the college’s faculty along the walls and halls of Seven-Degrees in the canyon. Speakers included current LCAD President Jonathan Burke and Mayor Toni Iseman, both of which spoke in-depth about the crucial role that the college has had in Laguna’s colorful history.

Trustee and event Chair Mary Ferguson summed things up well with her statement: “I’m passionate about art and education, and LCAD puts it all together.”

The college has taught and graduated countless standout figures in the art world for half a century, and continues to cultivate the very best from our next generation of artists and creators.

Laguna Beach Magazine Celebrates its Eat and Drink Issue at Surf & Sand

Firebrand Media LLC’s most anticipated annual party of the year took place poolside on Sept. 22 at the Surf & Sand Resort, celebrating the recent eat and drink issues of Laguna Beach Magazine and Newport Beach Magazine.

As the sun sent evening rays through overcast skies, guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres by Splashes Chef Jeff Armstrong, wines from Constellation Wines, a beer station, a Tequila Ocho and Right Gin station from Altamar Brands (owned by local Lyons Brown), wine tasting courtesy of Townley Gallery, and music by Nick I of Common Sense and his live band. Saltfineart also brought artwork out to adorn the pool area.

In all, 180 guests attended, including Laguna Beach Magazine cover model and Studio chef, Craig Strong. After sunset, covers of both magazines were projected onto the side of the resort, and a dessert and coffee station topped off the night, as guests gathered around the warm glow of the fire pits.

Visit to stay up-to-date on future parties and special events. LBM

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