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Our Laguna: Foundation awards grant money to nonprofits

December 07, 2011|By Barbara Diamond
(Courtesy Barbara…)

"We are headed in the right direction," Laguna Beach Community Foundation Chairwoman Laura Tarbox said last week at the second annual grants presentations.

The foundation awarded $140,550 to 27 nonprofits that are based in Laguna Beach or serve Laguna Beach residents. The presentations were hosted by foundation trustee Don Clurman at his hillside home.

Last year, the foundation awarded $80,000 to 20 organizations.

"This year, we were able to increase the grant award total because of the generosity of our donor partners: Donnie Crevier, W L. Lyons Brown III, the Ellen and Greg Hurley Charitable Fund, Susie and Jim Jacqua, Barbara and Greg MacGillivray's One World One Ocean Foundation; Scott McIntosh, owner of Asada; and individual contributors to the Asada event sponsored by One World One Ocean," Tarbox said.

The Massen Greene Foundation was involved in five grants, in addition to a contribution to the Community Foundation's Disaster Fund. A check for $5,500 was awarded to the fund to be used for disaster relief or prevention.

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"This is the first year we have contributed to the Community Foundation," said Rebecca C. Nelson, secretary director of Massen Greene — named for Roland Greene and Richard Massen, the late owners of Pyne Castle, the 62-room mansion in North Laguna once considered for Nixon's Western White House.

The mission of the Community Foundation is to encourage philanthropy in Laguna Beach. It was founded in May 2009 with an anonymous $500,000 donation. Founding trustees included Peter Kote and Mary Fegraus, both still on the board, and Trustees Emeritus Wayne Peterson and Michael Pinto.

"The purpose of a community foundation is to improve the quality of life in a population or geographical location," Tarbox said.

Based on extensive knowledge of local issues and conditions, the board and staff assists local nonprofits by providing information and assistance in areas such as taxes, governance, board development and fundraising support.

"The foundation emphasizes the need to give where you live and provides the vehicle to do that," said Councilwoman Elizabeth Pearson.

Grants this year ranged from $550 to $10,000.

"Grant providers always want to give much more than they have," said Kathy Krinsky, chairwoman of the grants committee. "I wish we had a billion dollars to give to everyone in this room, to everyone who applied and everyone who didn't."

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