Pearson must be especially pleased that she is the first Legacy recipient to be honored following the opening of the Susi Q Center earlier this year.
The accomplishment of getting a new and beautiful community and senior center off the ground cannot be understated. There were a lot of obstacles, even though the family of Elizabeth Quilter started the ball rolling years ago with a huge cash infusion and kept the fundraising going with herculean efforts.
The Quilter family — particularly Chris, Anne and Emily, who have carried the water for the Susi Q — are also deserving of Legacy awards, and we expect them all to be on the receiving end of one of these beautiful statues in years to come.
Elizabeth Quilter, for whom the Susi Q is named, was a columnist for this newspaper for many years, writing under the moniker “Susi Q.”
It was not only a fitting tribute to their beloved mother but a remarkable act of giving to the community that her sons and their families have led the way in creating the center that bears her name.
For her part, Pearson was a no-holds-barred champion of the senior project, both as a member of the Laguna Beach City Council and as an advocate for the cause.
Everyone liked the idea of the seniors having a new home, of course, to replace the rickety and inaccessible American Legion Hall where they had been stationed.
But the question was where to place such a large public complex in a built-out town. When the demolition of the historic cottages that were on the Third Street property became a reality, many activists and neighbors jumped in to try and stop the project cold.
Some of the oldest cottages were salvaged, and at least one has been given a new home elsewhere.
It took political will — as well as financial acumen — to get this project built, and that’s what Pearson provided.
Hopefully, the critics are now as delighted with the new center and what it offers as are the seniors.