Our Laguna: League is raising friends

September 12, 2013|By Barbara Diamond
  • From left, Judy Soulakis, president of Assistance League of Laguna Beach, Ann Hyde, Friend Raiser chairman, and Jon Madison, host of the Friend Raiser planned for Sept. 29.
From left, Judy Soulakis, president of Assistance League… (Jon Madison )

The Assistance League of Laguna Beach is looking for some friends.

Folks are invited to attend a Friend Raiser from 4 to 6 p.m. Sept. 29 at Madison Square and Garden Café, hosted by Jon Madison.

The event will include musical entertainment by Ken Garcia and a fashion show modeled by local celebrities, including Mayor Pro Tem Elizabeth Pearson. Hot and cold hors d'oeuvres, desserts and beverages will be served.

Reservations are not required. Admission is one item for the league's Thrift Shop, which reopened on Sept. 3. A $25 donation will also get you in.

"The Friend Raiser is a huge help to our thrift shop," said Ann Hyde, event chair. "Please attend and bring a Treasure."


Sales of the donated items at the Turnabout Shop or cash will support the league's many philanthropic programs.

League philanthropies include the free Early Intervention Program, begun in 1976, which helps parents of developmentally delayed babies through the difficult first year.

Parents are provided with the "hands-on" experience to guide them in furthering their child's developmental opportunities. Professionals make specific recommendations for each child to ensure his or her optimal development.

A parent support group meeting follows each session, facilitated by a marriage and family therapist who leads discussions of issues involved in parenting and caring for a child with special needs. League members care for the babies while the parents meet.

Members also commit to working in the Turnabout Shop twice a month and with the Early Intervention Program three times a year — bringing snacks or rocking the babies.

"EIP" meets from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesdays.

For more information about the program, visit websiteALLaguna@verizon.netor call (949) 494-6097.

Laguna's chapter is also considering ways it can support the recently opened facility on South Coast Highway for developmentally delayed young adults. The facility is filled to its capacity of 50 and there are 25 on the wait list.

"We will be meeting with representatives of Glenwood House to discuss what they need and how we can help," said Judy Soulakis, chapter president.

Other chapter programs funded by the Turnabout Shop: 

•Teddy Bears are supplied to the Laguna Beach Community Clinic and Fire Department for children in traumatic situations.

•* Operation School Bell provides backpacks filled with school supplies and jackets for children at the Boys and Girls Club of Laguna Beach.

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