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Recipients tell of benefits of foundation scholarships

Annual dinner honors donors before winners of $323,000 worth of awards are announced.

June 13, 2013|By Barbara Diamond
  • Charlene Rainey (for the Dick Metz Scholarship), Debbie Naude (Naude Family Scholarship), and Randy Ray (Friends of the Library scholarship) at the Laguna Beach High School scholarship reception Friday night.
Charlene Rainey (for the Dick Metz Scholarship), Debbie… (Handout, Coastline…)

The Laguna Beach Scholarship Foundation hosted ceremonies before the 2013 Honors Convocation on Friday for the donors of millions of dollars given over the years to graduating seniors.

This year alone, $323,000 was awarded to 107 students. Donors and presenters were recognized at a dinner in the Laguna Beach High School quad before the convocation in the school's Artists' Theater.

"This is about you," said foundation President Kerry Rubel. "There would be no awards ceremony without you.

"The scholarships we give tonight, through your generosity, recognize the potential in these students and give them opportunities they might not otherwise have," he said.

Ebell Club was the lone donor in 1947. This year, 122 contributors — including one renamed for the late Patsy Ann Weaver, 18 — were honored by the Festival of Arts and 22 by the Rotary club.

Caroline Canaan spoke at the dinner. Last year she received six scholarships and one award.

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"A common thread among the awards was your recognition for my academic record, community service and specifically my commitment to working with children," said the USC student.

"With the help of the convocation scholarships, I was not only able to carry a full class schedule, be active in a sorority, play intermural soccer and go to every football game, but to spend over 400 hours as a camp counselor and mentor for USC's official philanthropy, Troy Camp."

Counselors tutor at-risk students at the camp, started 65 years ago by Laguna Beach resident Otis Healy, she said.

"Thanks to the generous support of your scholarship donations, student like me are encouraged and financially prepared to focus on their goals and ambitions beyond the walls of Laguna Beach High School," Canaan said. "So whether we become a Bear, a Gator, Hoya, Duck, Cardinal, Bruin or Trojan, we are all grateful to take with us the strength and encouragement of this community as we follow our dreams.

"Fight on."

Trevor Murphy, who graduated more than two decades before Canaan, expressed similar gratitude for the financial assistance that helped him to a rewarding career in community service.

"Twenty-three years ago on this night, I received a $500 scholarship," Murphy said. "I put that money along with a drawer full of tips earned bussing tables at Sorrento Grille into a savings account. I tapped into that account to buy text books and school supplies for my first two years at UC Berkeley."

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