Barbara’s Column

Girls, girls, girls



Girls Night Out photos by Mary Hurlbut

A bevy of women kicked up their heels at the ninth annual Girls Night Out fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club.

Killer stilettos to sparkling sandals echoed the fundraiser’s logo---a high heeled pump, which was featured on the Save the Date mailer and was sculpted in ice for the event. Attendance and proceeds were at an all-time high this year, with a gross of $134,000 dollars. 

“Girls Night Out sells out every year, but this year we over-sold because the event is so unique,” said first-time Chair Celeste McCarthy.

McCarthy is a member of the Girls and Boys Club board, as is Paula Arnold, who chaired the 2016 fundraiser.

The event included an aura reader, a fashion show, food, drinks, silent and live auctions and an opportunity prize drawing.

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Host Holly Wilson is flanked by Carole Reynolds and Annette Henry

“We picked the date this year to make sure auctioneer Letitia Audrines was available,” said McCarthy. 

Audrines, who auctioneers around the country, is partial to the Boys and Girls Club fundraiser, and has visited the club.

“It makes women able to be working moms,” she said.

Winston’s Crown Jewelers contributed the opportunity prizes: rose gold earrings with sapphires, amethysts and pink agate, valued at $10,000; pearl studs and a string of freshwater cultured pearls. 

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Girls model Winston Crown jewels

Choosing the site was a no-brainer; Dave and Holly Wilson have opened their home for the fundraiser since it began in 2009. She spent a good portion of the evening at her command center on the lower level of the foot home, where several of her neighbors gathered. 

“She always invites us,” said Annette Henry, widow of Emmy-winning director and Festival of Arts board member. “We call her the caregiver of Rockledge.”

Other neighbors included Linda Supowitz and Carole (with an e) Reynolds.

The Wilsons’ home was built in 1987, designed by Fred Briggs for the Boyd Jeffries family, who called it “Pacific Reflections.”

Jeffries had the 12,500- square-foot home built after he was thwarted in an attempt to buy the Moss Point estate, according to the late Constance Morthland, who outmaneuvered him for ownership. 

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These girls were ready to party!

Outstanding features include the extensive use of beautiful woods, a circular staircase with a glass landing extending over the ocean. The master bedroom has a domed ceiling that retracts electronically.

Girls Night Out followed on the heels of the fourth annual Night at The Ranch fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club, which grossed $235,000. 

Among the familiar faces seen at Girls Night Out: Francine Scinto, Margaret Warder, Martha Lydick, Stu News publisher Shaena Stabler, Winston Crown Jewelers President Glenn Verdult, the only male guest at the event. Working staff members included Pam Estes, Michelle Ray-Fortezzo and Chris Switzer.

Classic Car show draws a crowd

The Rotary Club’s Classic Car Show on Sunday drew a record-breaking number of stunning vehicles to Laguna Beach on Sunday.

“We had almost 200 entries,” said Andy Turner, second in command to car show chair, Harry Bithell. “It’s one of the largest exhibits we have had in a long time.”

The show featured 28 vehicle classifications, from antiques to woodies, muscle cars to Jaguars and cars manufactured from 1946 to 1960, foreign and domestic. 

Laura Newhall-Allen, a Laguna Beach High School graduate, exhibited her cherished 1957 T-bird. She named the powder pink car Carmen.

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Rotary Classic Car Show attracted a large crowd

Proceeds from the show benefit local non-profits and scholarships for LBHS graduating seniors.

“The intent of our show is that we have a fun and enjoyable day and raise money for our local charities,” said Bithell.  

Bithell expressed his gratitude to show sponsor Pepper Tree Lane and venue sponsors Crevier Classic Cars and Pacific Life. 

New to the show this year was a silent auction. Donors included artist Michael Obermeyer, Starfish restaurant, European Optical, Bushard’s Pharmacy, The Ranch, I2I Optometry, Angela Popowa and Rotarians Marianne Raczkowski, Ward Blackburn and Rod Hatter.

A stay at Montage Laguna Beach was the opportunity Prize. 

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

12 Angry Men debuts at the Playhouse

Twelve Angry Men, written by Reginald Rose and directed by Ovation Award-winning director Michael Matthews, is now on stage at the Playhouse.

“We are so excited to be presenting this classic of the American theatre on our stage. Our subscribers and audiences are going to experience this timeless play at a time that will feel more relevant than ever,” comments Laguna Playhouse Executive Director Ellen Richard.  

Adds Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham ,“We are so honored to be presenting thirteen of Southern California’s finest actors in this production. We are particularly thrilled to have the inspired direction of Michael Matthews leading this courtroom.”

12 Angry Men is a suspenseful thriller that pits passionate jurors against one another in a timely, timeless and bold examination of the American justice system. 

Director Michael Matthews is thrilled to be returning to Laguna Playhouse after directing last season’s Billy and Ray. Michael is the recipient of the 2015 LA Drama Critics Circle Award for Career Achievement in Direction.

Reginald Rose, playwright, was inspired to write Twelve Angry Men after a stint on jury duty in the Foley Square courthouse in New York in 1954. He won an Emmy Award in 1954 for best-written dramatic material for the original television version of “Twelve Angry Men” and received a nomination for an Academy Award in 1957 for the screenplay of the film version, which he produced with Henry Fonda, who was also the star. 

Scenic design is by Stephen Gifford; lighting design is by Tim Swiss; costume design is by Kate Bergh; and the production stage manager is Vernon Willett. 

This season is generously underwritten by The Hale Family. Twelve Angry Men is produced by Laura and Louis Rohl.  

Twelve Angry Men began previews on Wed, Oct 4; will open on Sun, Oct 8 at 5:30 p.m. and will run through Sun, Oct 22 at the Playhouse, 606 Laguna Cyn Rd.

Performances will be Tues through Sat at 7:30 p.m.; Thurs and Sat at 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 1 p.m. There will no Thurs performances on Oct 12 at 2 p.m. There will be an additional Sunday performance on Sunday, Oct 15 at 5:30 p.m.

Tickets range from $45 - $80 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 subject to change.

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

Painting with Passion Plus: A course for artists who love the challenge of a blank canvas

Talented local artist Carole Zavala will again be offering her five week course, Painting with Passion Plus, through the City of Laguna Beach, beginning Thurs, Oct 26, from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  Classes are held in the Art Room at the Susi Q.

“Are you motivated by the challenge of a blank canvas? Are you looking for ways to enhance your work and take it to the next level?” Carole asks. “Then Painting with Passion Plus is just the course for you.”  

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Submitted photo

One of Carole Zavala’s beautiful paintings

Carole recently finished an intensive art boot camp at the Watts Atelier in Encinitas under the direction of well-known artist, Jeffrey Watts. The school focuses on the classic and traditional forms of painting and drawing, and Carole is looking forward to sharing some of the techniques and insights she gained during the sessions.

All media are welcome and participants are encouraged to have some specific goals or ideas in mind when they arrive. Carole integrates contemporary art trends along with information relating to the more traditional forms from the past.  

This “Plus” session also include explorations into wire sculpture (materials will be provided) and other art forms and materials that allow the artist to “push the boundaries” of their art making. The course is $175 for the five sessions, $35 for drop-ins.

Bring your own materials, and bring non-toxic Gamlen if using oils. Some experience in painting and/or drawing is recommended.

For additional information contact Carole at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  Sign up through the City website or in person at the Susi Q. 

Laguna Beach Republicans announce monthly meeting Oct 12 

The Laguna Beach Republicans, otherwise know as the LBGOP, will hold their monthly meeting on Thu Oct 12, at Mozambique located at 1740 S Coast Hwy. The Social hour will be at 5 p.m, followed by the meeting at 6 p.m. that will end promptly at 7:15 p.m.

Laguna Beach Republicans set their monthly meeting for Oct 12 

Emil Monda, President of the LBGOP, invites all Republicans, Independents and Libertarians to attend the meeting. “We will discuss the attempts to repeal Prop 14 (Top two primary), signature gathering for John Cox’s Neighborhood Legislative Initiative and review the Measure LL “Oversight Committee” and its true powers.” according to Monda.

Those interested to attend, RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as space is limited.

Friends of the Library holds annual dinner on Oct 13

On Oct 13, at 6 p.m., the Friends of the Laguna Beach Library will hold its annual dinner in the lovely library at 363 Glenneyre. The Friends are proud of all the improvements that have been made possible by monies earned by the Friends Bookshop, generous grants and donations from the community.

Author Suzanne Redfearn will be the guest speaker. Many may know Suzanne as she and her husband, Carey, are the owners of Lumberyard. Her presentation will surely provide for an interesting evening. Her books will be available for purchase.

The dinner, which includes wine, is $65. Make your reservations by sending a check made payable to Friends of the Library to Sandy Hovanesian, 1310 Moorea Way, Laguna Beach, 92651. Or go to the website at where you can use PayPal to reserve your seats. For more information, call 949-376 5135 or 949-497 7053

Peace Vigil will take place tomorrow, Sat Oct 7, on the Boardwalk at 6 p.m.

Laguna Beach Peace Vigil will hold a gathering tomorrow evening in remembrance of those lost to gun violence, lighting candles in their names.

“We will come together regardless of skin color, background, religious beliefs and the like to bind together for a greater cause. We are stronger together,” said organizer Erin Nealy.

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Submitted photo

Location of the Peace Vigil

Nealy is urging as many peace-loving residents as possible to gather. 

“I’m sure many of us had other plans, but let’s gather for those that also had plans this weekend and are no longer with us,” she says. “Let’s show gratitude for the fact we are still here to create an impact, to share our light and help move our communities to greater cohesiveness, understanding and unification. We can absolutely crowd out the dark with our combined strength and endurance of heart. 

“Laguna Beach has always been a beacon of love and progressiveness in Orange County so it seems fitting to fill our boardwalk with candles, hugs and tears. Thoughts and prayers are always great, but we need to do more/better. This is a start. Please join us.”

Participants should bring blankets, a candle, and flowers, as an ocean blessing at the shoreline is planned at sunset.

Shaena Stabler is the Owner and Publisher.

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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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