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Laguna gains another festival — for one night

Couple who plans to travel to Uganda to teach the Bible spearheads night of music at Vert Skate Ramp.

June 06, 2013|By Rhea Mahbubani
  • Anahi Skidmore and Sterling Pounds have organized the first ever Laguna Canyon Music Festival, which is scheduled from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday. All proceeds earned will benefit a faith-based trip to Masaka, Uganda at the end of June.
Anahi Skidmore and Sterling Pounds have organized the… (Chase Miller photography )

Anahi Skidmore plans to be in Masaka, Uganda at the end of June.

As part of a 20-person team, she will spend 11 days going door to door, or "hut to hut," she said, preaching the Gospel.

To benefit this expedition, the Mission Viejo resident, 19, and her fiancee, Sterling Pounds, will host the first-ever Laguna Canyon Music Festival from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday. Proceeds earned from $10 admission and the sale of art pieces will cover the trip's costs.

Skidmore has organized a variety of events to benefit the organization Invisible Children for the past five years and "got really excited" after stumbling across the chance to aid people not only with their physical but also spiritual needs as part of e3 Partners Ministry.

"It's really hard to raise money for a trip like this," she said. "It takes a lot for transportation, meetings and other expenses — a lot goes into it."

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Toward this end, the duo and their friend Mariya Tolmacheva, all of whom are plugged into Orange County's musical landscape, began contacting little-known local bands. Skidmore, who met enthusiasm across the board, said performances by Traveler, Will Winters, Charles Fullwood, Sounds of Satellite and Sunset Pilgrims are in the pipeline.

Chance Espinoza, the singer, songwriter and guitarist of the four-piece Sounds of Satellite, is amped up for the troupe's first show in Laguna Beach, which he hopes will be "super fun."

Knowing friends who have traveled to Uganda and ended up spending upwards of $3,000, he stands in full support of the upcoming voyage.

"Beyond helping people, when you see stuff on the other side of the world, it opens your eyes," said Espinoza, 21, of Dove Canyon. "It's not the same situation or circumstances, but it is the same hurt, and you return more equipped to love people regardless of who they are and what they look like or do."

Once in Central Uganda, Skidmore said, the volunteers will be split into groups of three to teach Bible studies and guide locals who are receptive till they can lead sermons on their own.

"We don't want to get in the way and for them to feel like they need us," she said. "We will facilitate and set up a model for them to create self-sustaining churches."

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