Heartway will launch handmade book, Elli’s Ride, at a fundraiser reception on April 23 at Anneliese School


Dr. Andrea Deerheart, the passionate founder of HeartWay, has recently completed a project very dear to her own heart, Elli’s Ride: Death Beyond Imagination.

A book launch and reception will take place on Sunday, April 23, from 2 - 5 p.m. at Anneliese School.  

Deerheart describes HeartWay, the non-profit organization she founded, as being “…dedicated to encouraging a return of intimacy, reverence, and sanctity to death and dying, regardless of age. We envision a world where no one dies alone, in pain or without the presence of love.” Last year, it helped more than 1,500 clients through the process of death, dying, and sorrow.

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Andrea Deerheart, author of Elli’s Ride and founder of nonprofit Heartway 

According to Deerheart’s invitation to the launch, “Elli’s Ride has been a 10-year labor of love written about an 11-year-old girl’s journey through death, dying, and beyond. We hope you will join us for our book release, reception, and fundraiser.”

“Elli lived in Laguna Beach and attended Anneliese Schools till right before she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma cancer when her family moved to Irvine,” she continues.  “She was my daughter’s best friend and our families were/are very close. We walked by Elli’s side through the almost two years she worked through her cancer, that eventually took her life. She was a teacher, a love, and a precious child. She is with me every day inspiring my life in service, love, honesty, and humor.”

The book follows the story of Elli and her spirit totem elephant, Naaz-e-Jaan (whose name translates to Grace in the Breath of the Soul). On their adventures through far off ancient mystical realms, she learns to embrace life and honor death. 

Elli writes of her adventures in love letters that she places in her mother’s heart pocket in the hopes of comforting her. This powerful tale has been hand crafted into a limited collector’s edition. Only 200 numbered copies have been created and stitched by loving hands. 

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A handcrafted copy of Elli’s Ride shown above Elli and her mother

Attendees are asked to join the book launch reception for a heartfelt 10-year anniversary celebration of young Elli’s life. Dr. Deerheart and Ladan (Elli’s mother) will be reading passages from Elli’s Ride and personally signing copies of the book. There will be a ceremony underneath Elli’s commemorative flowering plum tree. Attendees will be treated to music, delightful and tasty organic chocolate truffles with hand painted elephants, petit fours, tea and camaraderie.

Deerheart says, “As with Elli’s Ride, the arts, whether literature, poetry, films, or visual arts, make possible a more expanded consciousness and more intimate understanding of what speaks to the central concerns of human existence—life and death, transition and impermanence, uncertainty and meaning, and the many facets of our relationship with Self, others, and the broader community of beings with which we share our existence.” 

For more information and to RSVP for the book launch reception/fundraiser, click www.theheartway.org.

Bel Canto Women’s Choir will highlight Sunday service at LBUMC

Bel Canto Women’s Choir of Azusa Pacific University is set to perform at Laguna Beach United Methodist Church Sunday, March 19, during the church’s 10 a.m. worship service.  

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Bel Canto Women’s Choir will sing this Sunday at 10 a.m. at LBUMC

The Bel Canto Women’s Choir, under the direction of David Hughes, DMA, presents more than 20 performances each year. With more than 40 years of service history, the 50-voice ensemble travels extensively. 

The Choir has performed internationally in places as diverse as Romania, Poland, and South Africa in cooperation with APU’s Center for Student Action.

Caterina Paton, a member of the choir is also a member of LBUMC, which is located at 21632 Wesley Drive. A potluck luncheon will be served following the worship service.  

For additional information, visit the church’s website at www.lbumc.org.

Authors will speak at Laguna Beach Books on March 23 and March 26

On Thurs, March 23 at 6 p.m., Laguna Beach Books welcomes author Susan Meissner. Susan will be discussing her new book, A Bridge Across the Ocean, a compelling novel that follows the lives of three women, past and present, connected by a seventy-year-old tragedy that took place aboard the Queen Mary.

Drawing from memories of June Allen, a passenger on the first voyage of the Queen Mary in 1946, which carried war brides across the Atlantic to their American husbands, the story shifts between the war years in Europe, the 1946 voyage, and present day California. 

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A Bridge across the Ocean, an historic novel, by Susan Meissner

Susan Meissner is a former managing editor of a weekly newspaper and an award-winning columnist. She is the award-winning author of Secrets of a Charmed Life, A Fall of Marigolds, and Stars Over Sunset Boulevard, among other novels. 

On Sunday, March 26 at 4 p.m., Laguna Beach Books welcomes author Lisa Napoli. Lisa will be discussing her new book, Ray & Joan: The Man Who Made the McDonald’s Fortune and the Woman Who Gave It All Away.

Ray & Joan is an American tale of corporate intrigue and private passion: a struggling Mad Men–era salesman with a vision for a fast-food franchise that would become one of the world’s most enduring brands, and a beautiful woman willing to risk her marriage and her reputation to promote controversial causes that touched her deeply.

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Ray & Joan, a tale of corporate intrigue and private passion, by Lisa Napoli


Lisa, who has lived for the last dozen years in southern California, was inspired to write this book by a public artwork with a mysterious provenance. In her three decades as a journalist, she’s worked for The New York Times, MSNBC, the public radio show Marketplace, and a variety of other outlets. Her first book, Radio Shangri-La, is about the impact of media culture on the mysterious Kingdom of Bhutan, where she was invited to help start a radio station at the dawn of democratic rule.Laguna Beach Books is located at 1200 So Coast Hwy, Ste 105, 949-494-4779, www.lagunabeachbooks.com.

Time to do the wave – of jazz: Ocean Institute’s Annual Festival promises swell fun on March 24/25

The Ocean Institute will host its fifteenth Annual Jazz Festival March 24 and 25 at its Dana Point Harbor campus, 24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive. 

Themed A Wave of Jazz 2017, the event serves as a celebration of the Ocean Institute as it marks 40 years of excellence in marine science, outdoor education and experiential maritime history education. 

Festival organizers suggest that you dive in to the Wave of Jazz and enjoy two nights of fine dining, as well as musical entertainment provided by world-renowned jazz artists Ray Parker, Jr., Michael Paulo, Gregg Karukas and Kevin Toney.

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Kids love to get hands-on with sea creatures

And in “breaking” Wave news, Friday’s program begins with an artist meet-and-greet for VIP guests, followed by a wine reception and featured hors d’oeuvres provided by the some of the area’s finest local restaurants, including Craft House, Sundried Tomato Bistro, The Royal Hawaiian, Luciana’s, The Point Restaurant, Jay’s Catering, California Fresh and What a Dish Catering.

A Wave of Jazz—2017 continues Saturday evening with a gala dinner featuring a four-course gourmet culinary experience provided by local four and five-star resorts, including Monarch Beach Resort, The Montage, The Ranch at Laguna Beach and Park Hyatt Aviara Resort.

Both evenings will include silent and live auctions. 

The experience should be, well, immersive.

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The Jazz Festival supports marine science, outdoor education and experiential maritime history

Tickets are on sale now at www.oijazzfestival.com.  Those interested are encouraged to act quickly; both nights are expected to sell out. Friday night ticket levels include Premier ($125) or VIP ($250). Saturday night ticket levels include Individual ($500) or Table of 10 ($5,000). Purchasers of $5,000 tables also will be featured as event sponsors, if they so choose.

The mission of the Ocean Institute is “Using the ocean as our classroom, we inspire children to learn.” 

The Annual Jazz Festival is the most important fundraiser for the Ocean Institute, and all proceeds go directly to its 61 award-winning STEM education programs, as well as the Ocean Institute Adopt-A-Class program, which enables more than 10,000 underserved students from Title One schools across California to participate in Ocean Institute programs free of charge.

Shamrocks: Is wearing them lucky or unlucky? Depends on what century you live in…


Everyone knows the lighter side of shamrocks as symbols worn in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. Finding a rare four-leafed clover is said to be a sign of good luck. And apparently, St. Patrick used them to teach people about Christianity, with the three leaves representing the Trinity. 

Celtic children believed that if they carried a shamrock, they could see fairies. Druid priests thought the clovers warded off evil spirits and used them in healing rituals. Love, healing, and fairies.  All good.

We also associate shamrocks with cute leprechauns (though if you’ve seen the movie Leprechaun, perhaps not), and pots of gold. But, as with many symbols, shamrocks have a darker side.

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S. Laguna Community Park’s Elf looks suitably complexioned for St. Paddy’s Day

In the early 18th century, things took a bad turn when the shamrock became a symbol of Ireland and, by association, Irish nationalism and independence. Patriots started wearing the shamrock and the color green to show their support for nationalism.

British authorities wanted to quash the rebellion and banned people from wearing green or shamrocks as a symbol of their Irish identity. Those who wore it were threatened with death. 

Symbols can indeed take an ugly turn when discrimination against race, religion, nationality or creed results in their use for nefarious governmental purposes.

But that issue with shamrocks is well in the past. These days – luckily, you could say – the color green, and shamrocks, and funny hats just mean that it’s time to party.

See Diane Armitage’s LB Best column on Front Page I to find the best places to have fun in Laguna this Friday!

On National Doctor’s Day, March 30, recognize your

physician with a message of appreciation

As part of National Doctor’s Day, Mission Hospital asks everyone to recognize a special physician who cared for them or a loved one. Words as well as support are the most powerful source of gratitude. Nearly 800 highly skilled physicians are affiliated with Mission Hospital, encompassing 56 medical specialties from addiction medicine to infectious diseases and internal medicine to vascular surgery. 

Not only will the gift affirm the commitment of an exceptional physician, it will also support the critical programs and lifesaving care provided every day at Mission Hospital. Mission Hospital Foundation is the philanthropic catalyst for Mission Hospital. The foundation embodies the Spirit of Giving™ by building lifelong relationships with community members and raising funds for Mission Hospital.

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First do no harm

On National Doctor’s Day, thank your physician

Every dollar donated to Mission Hospital Foundation supports ongoing investment in: advanced technology and cutting-edge programs and services, innovative research, nursing excellence, and community benefit programs. Philanthropy will enable Mission Hospital to acquire and provide the most sophisticated resources to enhance the comprehensive integration of care at every level, yielding superior patient outcomes. 

Send a message of appreciation to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Mission Hospital Foundation at (949) 364-7783. Community members may also make a contribution in honor of a physician at www.mission4health.com/doctorsday.


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