Laguna Beach Parents Club hosts a successful Moms Night Out

On Wed, Dec 6, the Laguna Beach Parents Club held its sixth annual Mom’s Night Out event at the Montage. Moms Night Out is an evening to honor and recognize all of the hard working moms in the club. “I thought the night was a HUGE success,” said Andrea Ballesteros, Co-President of the club.

This is hands-down one of the clubs most popular events of the year. It’s a wonderful evening for moms to connect, dress up, and have a few cocktails with each other. “We had a fabulous turnout this year with about 50 Moms in attendance. It was so nice to celebrate all of these amazing women and kick off the holiday season,” said Jill Epple, Co-President of the Club. 

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50 hard working moms were in attendance to enjoy a fun night out 

The Laguna Beach Parents Club is a non-profit organization. The club raises money to hold community events and do community projects for families that live, work, or have children in school in Laguna Beach. The club also selects local charities and community organizations to support and work with throughout the year. 

For more information on the club or if you are interested in joining the Parents Club, visit

MY HERO Project Gallery was a rousing success at Art and Nature Family Fest at Art Museum 

With the support of a grant from the FOA Foundation, the MY HERO Project Gallery participated in the fifth Annual Art & Nature Family Festival at the Laguna Art Museum during November. This year’s event was attended by more than 400 participants, and it was a great success in bringing the themes of art and nature together in a museum setting.

The MY HERO Gallery provided attending families with a Harmony in Nature project that combined environmental awareness with collage and drawing elements that appealed to all ages. 

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Girl shows off Harmony in Nature collage

“I am thrilled with the enthusiasm of the participating children and their parents and grandparents who all made colorful hats, flags and banners that celebrated the relationship between animals and their habitats,” said Victoria Murphy, MY HERO arts outreach director.

Irin Mahaparn, assistant curator of education at the museum, thanked the MY HERO team, saying, “Your support played an integral part in the event’s success. Thank you again for helping us make Family Festival a true celebration of art, nature, and community!”

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Photo by Eric Stoner

Victoria Murphy joins children as they create art projects

 For the last five years, the Laguna Art Museum has invited The MY HERO Project to participate in both the Annual Art & Nature Festival in the fall and the OC Imagination Celebration in the spring. The FOA Foundation has generously funded these art outreach activities in the greater Laguna Beach area each year. 

 The MY HERO Project is a 501 (c) non-profit educational organization and has administrative offices in LB. The MY HERO Project celebrates the best of humanity, one story at a time. It has created a global learning community with participating students and educators from 197 countries and all 50 states.

For more information on the MY HERO Project, go to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Net-Works Christmas Eve breakfast for the homeless will include music and giveaways

Net-Works is inviting all residents to enjoy Christmas Eve breakfast and celebration with homeless friends who will perform carols and special music. The festivities will take place at the Woman’s Club, 286 St. Ann’s Drive, on Dec 24 at 9 a.m.

“Come to eat, come to serve,” says Net-Works’ founder, Don Sciortino.

Knapsacks filled with practical items will be handed out. 

Want to donate toward a knapsack (filled with practical items) for our homeless friends?

Sciortino is asking for community help to provide 80 knapsacks. Each knapsack costs $35 to fill.

Those who would like to donate are asked to call Don at 949-328-7230 or visit to donate via Pay Pal or send checks directly to Net-Works LB, 303 Broadway #107, Laguna Beach, CA 92651.

Helping Hands from the Homeless is another project of Net-Works Laguna Beach.

To learn how you can get help from the homeless this holiday season, email Don at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Penguin Café will give 30 percent of Dec 16 sales to the Food Pantry – a delicious way to donate

Family-owned local favorite The Penguin Café is in the business of feeding people, and on Sat, Dec 16, it will feed even more by donating a substantial percentage of its total sales to the Laguna Food Pantry.

Throughout the entire month of December, Penguin customers who bring nonperishables to donate will receive 10 percent off their dining tab. The Laguna Food Pantry suggests donating its most-needed items: tuna, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, jelly, pasta, pasta sauce, rice, beans, and cereal. 

Donation forms will also be available, since monetary support goes even further to help feed the 1,200-plus families that rely on the pantry every month to help make ends meet. 

Everyone gets a piece of the pie on Friday Pie Day

Customers are encouraged to take advantage of Friday Pie Day on Dec 15. Order an apple, pecan, pumpkin or Dutch apple pie by noon Thurs, Dec 14 for pickup and the Laguna Food Pantry will receive a slice of the sale. 

“We love that the Laguna Food Pantry provides free groceries to anyone who needs them, and we wanted to contribute to that,” said Sabrina McMurray, who with her husband Michael has owned the modest 40-seat café since 2001.  

“We will be benefiting other nonprofits in town but the Pantry is the first organization that came to mind when we decided to do a series of ‘Penguin Gives Back’ donations to organizations that help strengthen the community.”

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Photo by Suriya Khan Mastroberti

Sabrina McMurray, owner of The Penguin Café, is ready for the Dec. 16 “Penguin Gives Back” day to benefit Laguna Food Pantry

“The Penguin” is known far and wide for its basic, traditional American breakfast and lunch fare including French toast, omelettes, pancakes, hash browns, bottomless cups of coffee, burgers, sandwiches, milkshakes, and baked goods. It is open for breakfast and lunch from 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. seven days a week. It is located at 981 South Coast Highway between Anita and Thalia streets in Laguna Beach.

Every weekday, Laguna Food Pantry collects and distributes 4,000 lbs. of free, fresh, nutritious groceries, serving more than 300 low-income families each week. Half of those families include children. 

Located at 20652 Laguna Canyon Road north of the Dog Park, the Pantry is open from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. New volunteers are always welcome. Phone: 949-497-7121

Ring in the New Year at Laguna Playhouse with

Superstar Comedienne Rita Rudner on Dec 31

Laguna Playhouse announces the Fourth Annual New Year’s Eve return of Rita Rudner in her hilarious new show, Rita Rudner: Laugh, Drink and Leave. For her one-night special performance on Sun, Dec 31, at 7 p.m., The Musical Duo Molly Bergman & Sidney Bowen will open the show. 

Rita Rudner is not only one of America’s top comedians, she’s also a New York Times bestselling author, as well as an award-winning television personality, screenwriter, playwright, Broadway dancer and actress. 

Now this comedy legend is hosting her own early evening New Year’s Eve party at Laguna Playhouse, where the audience can toast the end of 2017 and watch the ball drop on the East Coast with a complimentary champagne drink and dessert. 

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Rita Rudner brings in the New Year at the Laguna Playhouse on Dec 31

A house-filling favorite in Vegas, Rudner is beloved for her witty one-liners, which have helped make hers the longest-running solo show in Vegas history – she’s sold more than a million tickets during her time there. 

The New York Times says of her, “Soft-spoken but not without bite, and all delivered with exquisite timing!” 

Rita’s first solo HBO special, Rita Rudner’s One Night Stand, was nominated for several awards, as was her eponymous English BBC television show that later appeared in the US on A&E. She has written five books and is a frequent collaborator with her writer/producer husband of 20 years, Martin Bergman. The couple’s first produced film script was Peter’s Friends.  

The opening act features Molly Bergman and Sidney Bowen, two local teen singer/songwriters who sometimes perform as a duo. They appeared together at the Laguna Playhouse when they performed last year for recent-Emmy-winning comedian Louie Anderson. They’ve also been part of several benefits around OC. 

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Singing duo Molly Bergman and Sidney Bowen

As well as performing covers of popular songs with beautiful harmonies, both Molly and Sidney independently write their own songs. They are both teen ambassadors for the TLC program.

Tickets range from $99 - $125 and can be purchased online at or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787). Group discounts are available by calling 949-497-2787 ext. 229. Prices are subject to change.      

The box office is open Mon – Sat: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (open until show time on performance days); Sun: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.  

For more information on all shows and programming, visit the website listed above.

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd.

Rita Rudner lives Monarch Beach, CA, with her husband and daughter. For more information on Rita, log on to her website at

There’s a pale moon on the rise

Photos by Scott Brashier

By day, the moon is just a shadow of its former self

But at night, the moon comes into its own


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Shaena Stabler is the Owner and Publisher.

Lynette Brasfield is our Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

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Alexis Amaradio, Cameron Gillepsie, Allison Rael, Barbara Diamond, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle, Maggi Henrikson, Marrie Stone, Samantha Washer and Suzie Harrison are staff writers.

Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle and Suzie Harrison are columnists.

Mary Hurlbut, Scott Brashier, and Aga Stuchlik are the staff photographers.

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