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Our Laguna: Strengthening the Susi Q center

December 13, 2012|By Barbara Diamond
  • From left, Nancy Wilhelm, Susan Davis, Steve Dicterow, Katrina Dicterow, Judith Bijlani, Peggy Trott, Karyn Philippsen and Karen Wood.
From left, Nancy Wilhelm, Susan Davis, Steve Dicterow,… (Coastline Pilot )

The Susi Q is where Laguna's seniors can make new friends, visit with old friends, learn new skills, eat a hot meal and get advice.

Laguna Beach Seniors Inc. built the center with help from the city, and no one is more passionate about maintaining it than the Quilter family. The sons of Susi Q — the nom de plume of the late Coastline columnist Elizabeth Quilter — donated $750,000 toward the construction. But that was only the beginning.

"We are very committed to a place that will be around when your children have grandchildren," Laguna Beach Seniors Inc. President Emeritus Chris Quilter told the guests at the annual luncheon Monday at Tivoli Terrace.

"No one should go through life alone, which brings me to my brother Pat — our secret Santa, who is going to once again cough up five grand for a challenge grant," she said.

"I will kick it off with $1,000."

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Not to be outdone by his brothers, Charlie Quilter quickly pledged $1,000, followed by past Seniors President Pauline Walpin's $1,000 pledge. Mayor Kelly Boyd, Councilman Steve Dicterow, Joy and Tom Peters, Randy Kraft, Maggie Hempen, Katy Moss and another past President Louise Buckley made pledges to more than meet the challenge, which took about five minutes.

"Keep it coming," Pat Quilter said. "I'll meet it."

The luncheon began with the guests singing "The Star Spangled Banner," after which event co-chairwomen Buckley and Tina Haines were introduced. Haines took over as president from Chris Quilter.

"I started begging her a couple of years ago to be president," Quilter said. "We have big dreamers, and she is such a perfect person to take over the reins."

Haines said it was a privilege to be a member of the board and the community.

Board members include Quilter, now secretary; Bob Arovas, vice president; Jim McBride, treasurer; and directors Ann Quilter, Pam Horowitz, Terri Johnson, Dorene Butler, Linda Butterwick, Leslie Daff, Debbie Meeker, Dr. Ruth Stafford and Becky Barber.

Haines praised the center staff, headed by Nadia Babaji.

"We couldn't do it without them," Haines said.

Haines also acknowledged the contributions of the Laguna Beach Seniors Council, headed by Bill Allen.

"They provide programs we really need and they have created a scholarship a high school scholarship," Haines said.

It was Haines' pleasure to introduce the entertainment: Deborah Glass and the Laguna Beach High School Strings — Leani Kramer, Eliot Glass, Casey Koprowski and Jace Rosenthal — and singer Clare Howell.

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