The Barefoot Movement plays at Laguna Beach Live! Bluegrass and BBQ at LCAD on Sunday,June 10 

Bluegrass music fans, BBQ lovers, and libation aficionados will enjoy a delightful afternoon of incredible bluegrass music and delicious BBQ at Laguna College of Art & Design (LCAD) on Sunday, June 10. 

Entertaining music lovers will be The Barefoot Movement, named «Band of the Year» by the International Bluegrass Music Association in 2014. They performed for Laguna Beach Live! in a sold out concert at The Ranch in 2014.

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The Barefoot Movement (L-R): Alex Conerly, Noah Wall, Tommy Norris, Katie Blomarz

This year Laguna Beach Live! has partnered with several local companies to bring attendees an even more hometown experience: Laguna Beach Beer Company, established in 2014 by co-founders and lifelong Laguna Beach residents Brent Reynard and Mike Lombardo, will be serving Second Reef (Blonde Ale) and Main Tower  (Pilsner). 

Purple Corduroy, a California culture inspired wine company produced by the three Bromigos (Dr. Riptide, SLi Dawg and Brandavi), with their Laguna Beach-to-Lodi connection, will be offering Blonde Siren (Sauvignon Blanc) and Rose Siren (Rose). 

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Laguna College of Art & Design

Gnarly “Q” will be grilling it up, offering freshly smoked choices of Pulled Pork, Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs, or Tri Tip (all plates include baked beans, baked corn mash and Hawaiian style coleslaw). 

Grounds open at 4 p.m. for BBQ and bar. The concert is from 5 - 7 p.m. 

Concert only tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at door. BBQ and beverages will be sold separately. VIP tickets are $100 and include reserved table seat, concert, and BBQ.

To purchase tickets, go to www.lagunabeachlive.org or call (949) 715-9713.

LCAD is located at 2222 Laguna Canyon Rd.


Treasures on a rainy day

Photo by Bret Davis

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Beach glass treasures collected by Holland Davis, six years old, on a rainy Sunday at Victoria Beach


Two Laguna locals unite to help women in the US and around the globe

Suzy Elghanayan and Sarah Vanderveen first came together as co-room moms for their sons’ third grade class at El Morro Elementary. More than a decade later, their boys are college sophomores and Suzy and Sarah’s endeavors together have multiplied. 

On Sunday, September 16 at The Ranch at Laguna Beach, they and their husbands will join forces with a committee of twenty-six others to raise awareness and much needed funds for the Tahirih Justice Center by hosting its Inaugural Gala in Orange County. 

The Tahirih Justice Center is a national, nonprofit organization that protects courageous immigrant women and girls who refuse to be victims of violence by elevating their voices in communities, courts, and Congress. Committed to promoting the equality of women and men, Tahirih works to create a world where all women and girls can live in safety and with dignity. 

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(L-R) Sarah Vanderveen, Suzy Elghanayan and Tahirih Major Gifts Officer Carey Eisenberg at Lugano Diamonds

Lugano Diamonds, the first sponsor to sign on for Tahirih’s Inaugural Gala in Orange County, has created a jewel-encrusted dove that will represent man and woman – two wings of the bird of mankind which, until equal in strength, will not soar to the greatest of heights. This original Tahirih-inspired creation will be auctioned off at the Gala.

Since 1997, Tahirih has answered more than 25,000 pleas for help from women and girls seeking protection from gender-based human rights abuses such as rape, domestic violence, female genital mutilation/cutting, forced marriage, and human trafficking. As the only national, multi-city organization providing a holistic model of service – including free legal and social services, policy advocacy, and training and education for frontline professionals – Tahirih displays the highest levels of efficiency and effectiveness.

In this current climate of #MeToo and #TimesUp, it is more important than ever to come together in support of organizations like Tahirih. If you would like to make a difference in the lives of thousands of women and girls and add your name to the list of generous supporters, sponsors, and auction item donors, visit www.Tahirih.org/OCGala today. 

For more information on Tahirih and its work in California and around the globe, please contact Carey Eisenberg at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Guests at the Chhahari 10-year anniversary fundraiser come through for the children at Kathmandu shelter

By DIANNE RUSSELL

Photos by Hayden Kessenich

The layer of grey mist didn’t put a damper on the 10-year anniversary fundraiser for Chhahari, a nonprofit organization that shelters at-risk children in Kathmandu. Even as jazz singer Victoria McGinnis sang “Blue Skies” to invoke the sun, the 75 plus guests chatted in the beautiful gardens of Jim and Ann Shea, listened to McGinnis (also a Chhahari board member) and keyboardist Rusty Gillette’s renditions of classic songs, and dined on the Spanish themed fare of Chef David Pratt of Brick Restaurant in San Clemente. 

This was a Sunday in which there were several charity events in Laguna, but this group came out in full force – and with open wallets – to support Chhahari (“shelter” in Nepalese), which houses 19 children, and supports five in their home villages.

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Chris Casey, founder of Chhahari

A decade ago, Laguna Beach resident Chris Casey created her nonprofit to benefit the orphaned, neglected, and abandoned children she had seen while on a trek in Nepal in 2007. She solicited the help of LB Attorney Tom Davis to set it up, and from that moment on, all proceeds raised have gone to the support of Chhahari, a detail Casey, a former banker, scrupulously oversees.

With a goal of raising the annual budget for support of the children, Casey says,  “We are the fundraisers, and the money goes to Chhahari to spend.” And she puts all her banking expertise into this project, staying from three to five months each year in a room she has in Kathmandu, to assure that every penny is used properly.

Responding to my question about how they find the children, Casey says, “These are children whose parents are deceased, or have drug or mental problems, or too many children. They wouldn’t thrive in the village, but we assure that the children thrive.”

The children attend school at Sagarmatha Educational Academy, spending long days studying and learning the arts, and live as a large, loving family at Chhahari. 

As part of the vision for this new generation, Chhahari also assists the children in career and further educational planning. “Three of the boys are now on track to come here to university,” Casey says. 

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Board Member Tom Davis (on left) greets Nick Ross at the buffet table

Over the years, many children have thrived and gone on. “They are from ages five to 20 years, and 40 have come and gone since Chhahari was founded.”

I was shocked at the relatively small amount it takes to support all these children. 

Casey says, “Forty thousand dollars takes care of the cost of living for all of them for a year, including housing, food, education, care, transportation, clothes, and medical and dental needs.” 

I was fortunate to sit next to Chhahari’s first doctor, Dr. David Monahan, and his wife, Sally, who were there in 2010, 2011, and 2012. 

Dr. Monahan recalls, “Initially, I was there to look at the orphanage, and it morphed into a clinic downtown, where medical students from Brisbane and Singapore assisted.”

As the program begins, photographer Hayden Kessenich recounts his trips to Nepal, and how much his experience at Chhahari positively affected his life. The newest board member, Lexie Ross, a Stanford graduate with aspirations of being a doctor, tells of her trip to teach at Chhahari. During her second trip this past summer, she designed a course in first aid that she taught to the students.

Taking the microphone, Casey acknowledges Chhahari “firsts,” noting that, “It’s not just one person, it’s a huge group effort.”  

Some of the first supporters and volunteers include: First donor: Laura Parker; first board member: Peggy Long; first public relations person: Barbara McMurray (who also put the wonderful fundraiser together); first attorney, as noted above: Tom Davis.

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The furious bidding begins

Casey went on to thank all the board members: Chairman, Tom Davis, Secretary and Treasurer, Tamara Campbell, Vice-President, Ingrid Hoffmeister, Lexie Ross, Jerry Hoffmeister, Ann Shea, Barbara McMurray, Laura Parker, Bella Hann, Victoria McGinnis, and Tori Johnston.

Earlier, when I asked how much they usually raise at these events, Casey says, “Sometimes $15,000 or $20,000, sometimes $40,000.”

I’m hoping this 10-year fundraiser tops all the others.

Before opening the bidding, Casey emphasizes that there are no administrative costs, and again that 100 percent of proceeds go directly to Chhahari.

Although the total figure hasn’t been tallied as yet, many guests (and board members) rose to the occasion once the bidding started. 

A short list of some of the items funded: Two dinners and two plates from the buffet from Brick Restaurant went for $300. Then the bidding started for funding items for the shelter: $7,500 (annual tuition for all older kids at Chhahari), $1,800 (rice for one year for everyone) – there were two bids on this one, so two years of rice for everyone – $1,400 (boxed lunches for everyone for a year), $1,000 (milk for everyone for a year) and many large ticket items went as well.

Whether it be grey skies or blue didn’t seem to matter to these partygoers. They were in high spirits and in the spirit of giving, and Chhahari couldn’t be a better recipient of their support. 

Casey and her vision that, “Every child has potential and deserves a chance,” is embodied in this endeavor. And it’s certainly one to be commended.


LB Summer Breeze takes the hassle out of driving and parking for visitors, free from June 30 through September 2

Visitors can ride free and enjoy all of Laguna Beach without driving and parking hassles by climbing aboard the Laguna Beach Summer Breeze (OC Bus Route 89) at the free Laguna Canyon Rd parking lot in Irvine and traveling all the way to the beach.

This service is just on the weekends for the summer – from June 30 through September 2 on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. until midnight. The stops include: Sawdust Art Festival, Laguna Art-A-Fair, Festival of the Arts, Pageant of the Masters, Laguna Playhouse, and the Laguna Beach Bus Station.

From the Laguna Beach Bus Station, visitors can connect with the free Laguna Beach Trolley. The trolley connects with shopping and foodie destinations along Pacific Coast Hwy. To return, riders hop aboard at any of the stops and ride to the parking lot.

This complimentary service is provided by City of Laguna Beach.

To view the route map, go to octa.net/images/LB_SummerBreeze_mapbig.jpg.

For a bus schedule, go to www.octa.net/Bus/Routes-and-Schedules/Special-Bus-Service/Laguna-Beach-Summer-Breeze.


Learn far in advance how best to manage financial matters when a loved one passes away  

Loreen Gilbert, president of WealthWise Financial Services, counsels her clients to help their loved ones prepare for what needs to be done when they die to lessen the stress of coping with a family tragedy and ensure financial continuity.

“Many of our wealth management clients are busy business owners with complicated financial profiles that need to be managed when the primary provider passes on. But the same is true for virtually everyone with a retirement fund, banking relationships and investments, whether they are a high net worth investor or successful manager for a corporation,” says Gilbert.  

“And it’s especially true for the widow or widower who will be passing on assets to the next generation.” Loreen Gilbert manages more than $185 million for WealthWise clients.

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Loreen Gilbert 

Loreen Gilbert offers expertise on related topics including: why you will need original death certificates for every account relationship; how to obtain a birth certificate for the deceased; why you will need your marriage certificate if the decedent is your spouse; the most recent statement for every financial account including bank accounts, investment and annuity accounts; retirement, pension and insurance policies; credit statements such as credit cards, mortgages and auto loans, prior year Federal and State tax returns; decedent’s Social Security number and benefits information; health insurance statements including Medicare; and business buy/sell agreements and other relative documents. 

Loreen Gilbert works with family and business attorneys to help direct the survivor(s) on opening a checking account to pay estate bills which should not be paid personally. It is the estate that maintains liability for outstanding debts, not the survivor(s) personally.  

She also encourages the survivor to contact the Social Security Administration to arrange an appointment to determine the impact on benefits, such as the survivor’s benefit. And lastly, a final tax return is often required, and a Federal estate tax return, which needs to be filed within nine months of the date of death, may be required.

While all these details can seem overwhelming in the moment, knowing ahead of time what will be needed can make even the most trying times more manageable.

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Lynette Brasfield is our Features Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

Maggi Henrikson is our Contributing Editor.

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Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Cameron Gillespie, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle, Marrie Stone, Samantha Washer and Suzie Harrison are staff writers and/or columnists.

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