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Lido Paddle Project thanks Laguna Beach teens as service unites generations

On Wednesday, June 16, Laguna Beach teens met at the new Port Student Union to paint well shells for first responders and veterans. Lido Paddle Project lead therapist Brooke Bergman Parr, MFT, spoke to the youth about the impact of their volunteerism. 

“When you paint these shells, you are putting your energy and creativity into an object which helps our protectors to relax,” Brooke said. She thanked the Laguna Beach teens for helping the nonprofit create these beautiful tokens that aid in wellness. Protectors are presented with well shells after a paddle or kayak session, followed by meditation.

Lauren Pozen from Spectrum TV heard about the event, felt it made a great human-interest story, and asked to film it for later viewing. Lauren also wanted to get to know Newport Beach Air Force Veteran David Schnur, 93, who has been kayaking with Lido Paddle Project on a regular basis.

Lido Paddle Dave

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Veteran David Schnur Arianna Mahroum, and Lauren Pozen from Spectrum TV

According to Dave, “I do not know what it is about the shell, but, when I rub the smooth inside, I feel happy.” Formerly Dwight Eisenhower’s pilot, then a dentist, now father, grandfather, volunteer first responder, and community leader, Dave’s life is a rich tapestry of history. When COVID hit, this Newport Beach Chamber Ambassador and “social butterfly” became isolated. Through Lido Paddle Project, Dave enjoyed safe distanced activities with others, and had his first introduction to yoga and meditation.

Laguna Beach’s Ariana Mahroum had already been a teen ambassador volunteer for Lido Paddle Project. Like many students embarking on safe distance learning from home, she sought opportunities to help others. When the community service opportunity arose at that town’s new teen center, Ariana volunteered to paint and present Dave with a beautiful well shell. Together, they enjoyed a mediation outside of the Port Student Union before the exchange.

Lido Paddle creating

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Brooke Bergman Parr teaches how to create well shells

Although Ariana and Dave are 77 years apart, they both sought opportunities to combat isolation this past year. And with it, they both found themselves outdoors, on the water, deepening their resolve to help others through volunteerism. According to Ariana, “It feels good to help others. It feels good to get outside of ourselves. I guess it took COVID for me to realize how important it is to volunteer. Plus, we are making shells for those who choose to serve and protect us. They deserve our respect.”

Briana, coordinator at The Port High School Student Union, leads weekly community service projects at the new hangout space for high school students in the local and surrounding communities. The Port was envisioned by teens from its interior design to its mission statement, and everything in between. 

To learn more about events at the Port, visit To learn more about Lido Paddle Project, visit


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