Our Laguna: Showing support for leukemia sufferer

July 03, 2013|By Barbara Diamond

The applause began as Darrin Reed made his way slowly across the Festival Shopping Center parking lot. By the time he reached ReMark's, everyone in the restaurant was on his or her feet and clapping.

Reed's friends had gathered at the restaurant to show their support for him as he battles his way back to health and to help him pay for the harrowing fight against leukemia. The fundraiser was sold out within a week after it was announced. Almost $12,000, including donations from supporters who could not attend, was raised.

"I am so humbled by this outpouring of love and goodwill," Reed said. "Being in this position of receiving is a bit foreign to me. I am normally the one that is organizing such events or fundraising."


He specifically thanked Planning Commissioner Anne Johnson, former Laguna Beach Unified School District Supt. Theresa Daem, Laguna Beach High School Principal Joanne Culverhouse and Debbie English for organizing the fundraiser and Roxanna Ward and Bree Burgess Rosen for the entertainment.

It was most touching when Rosen sang Reed's favorite song, "Someone to Watch Over Me," as he walked in the door of ReMark's. It was the first time Rosen has sung publicly since she was operated on for cancer.

"This is the longest I have ever gone without singing," Rosen said.

The two are friends from parody specialist "Lagunatics," founded by Rosen.

"She sounds good," said Chris Quilter, Rosen's cohort.

The city, the school board and the district were also well represented.

"This is like old home week for the school district and its all for a wonderful cause," said board member Betsy Jenkins.

Reed has worked for the district since 1999. He hopes to be cleared to return in April.

School board members William Landsiedel, Jan Vickers and Theresa O'Hare and former board member Susie Mas and Councilman Robert Whalen were there to support Reed. As well as Supt. Sherine Smith made a brief appearance.

Among the current and former district employees at the fundraiser: Dean West, assistant superintendent for business; special education director Debra Ann Nickel; her administrative assistant, Debra Nash; teacher Irene West; Top of the World teacher Mary Minerman; and Patty Beaver, who to the staff is "Ma" to Reed's "Pa."

Victor Guthrie, who recently resigned as technical director for the district; Steven Keller, former assistant superintendent; and Patricia Twitty, recently retired Thurston Middle School science teacher were on the guest list.

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