Our Laguna: Playhouse fundraiser a California dream

November 23, 2012|By Barbara Diamond
  • Mark Christy, owner of Hobie Sport and a sponsor of the Surf Gala, brought some special guests. From left, Mickey "The Mongoose" Munoz, Laurie Alter, Jeff Alter, Peggy Munoz, Mark Christy, Leticia Christy, Tori Schwaner, "Charlie" and Dick Metz.
Mark Christy, owner of Hobie Sport and a sponsor of the… (Coastline Pilot )

More than $100,000 was raised at the Laguna Playhouse California Dreamin' fundraiser held Nov. 16 at Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa in Dana Point.

Founded in 1920, the Playhouse may be one of the oldest continuously operating theaters on the West Coast, but it hasn't lost any of its vitality. In 2011, the Playhouse was honored with the Laguna Spirit Award and the Chamber of Commerce Premier Business Award.

And the folks who attended the lively gala had a whale of a time.

About 300 Playhouse supporters, board members and staff duded up in Hobie Sports and Tight Assets beach-style casual outfits — never before were so many Reyn Spooners seen in the ballroom — for the surfing-themed gala. Flip-flops were de rigueur footwear, not political shenanigans.

"We were all able to relax and enjoy each other at this, our first casual surf culture-inspired event," said Karen Wood, Playhouse executive director.


Guests were welcomed by Joe Hanauer, president of the board.

"When we refer to the Laguna Playhouse, it has two parts: one is the physical place on Laguna Canyon Road and the other is the team of people who scour the planet for scripts to bring the entertainment to the place, as well as collaborate with other organizations like Laguna Beach Live!, Laguna Beach Dance and the Laguna Community Band," Hanauer said.

A seven-minute film about the Playhouse shown at the gala was the collaboration of Artistic Director Ann Wareham and Lauren Simon.

Laguna Beach businesswoman Heidi Miller and Playhouse development director and City Councilwoman Elizabeth Pearson co-chaired the gala, which included dinner, a silent auction, a live auction, opportunities to win a trip to Kauai, a wine tower or a Daimler Benz smart car, and dancing to the music of Beach Boys-style band, Pappa Do Run Run.

Kristen and newly elected Councilman Bob Whalen, Mary and Whalen Election Committee treasurer Matt Lawson, the Laguna Beach Visitors & Conference Bureau's Judy Bijlani, Dr. Gary and School Board member Betsy Jenkins, retired South Coast Water District Manager Mike Dunbar, Dave Sanford and Steven Dotorotos, Carolyn and Laguna Beach Clinic Director Dr. Thomas Bent, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kris Thalman and Patrick Quilter were among the throng of dancers.

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