At a reception last week at the Laguna Art Museum, the Laguna Beach Community Foundation officials announced the formation of the Professional Council.
The council is open to professionals in law, accounting, financial services, insurance and real estate who live in or practice in Laguna Beach and donate $100 a year or more to the foundation. Attorneys Leslie Daff and Nicole Anderson were named chairs of the new group, whose activities will include educational and social events.
"With the assistance of these professionals, we will be better able to further our mission of increasing philanthropy in Laguna Beach," said foundation Chief Executive and President Darrcy Loveland.
The foundation assists charities by encouraging community philanthropy, developing endowments, providing information on legal issues and taxation, managing assets and bringing donors and needy organizations together to address the needs of the community.
"We help donors who might not know which group they want to support," said foundation Chairwoman Laura Tarbox.
The foundation has distributed more than $61,000 to Laguna Beach and neighboring area nonprofit organizations this year — and that is before the annual grants to be made Dec. 1.
In 2010, the foundation awarded almost $80,000 in grants.
The foundation began this year with a $25,000 contribution to the Laguna Relief and Resource Center from individual donations and from the Disaster Fund created to assist folks who suffered in the December deluge.
Three new charitable funds were also created, most recently the Claes Andersen Hospitality Scholarship Fund, established by Georgia Andersen and her children.
The Glennwood Housing Fund was established to help raise funds to open Glennwood House, a home at Ruby Street and South Coast Highway for young adults with special needs. Pledges and donations of $28,000 were raised for the capital campaign at an event at the home of Mary Kate and Kirk Saunders.
Barbara and Greg MacGillivray's One World One Ocean Foundation Fund was established to support their 10-year campaign to preserve the ocean, which includes three IMAX films and an eight-part television series.
The community foundation encourages folks to learn more about and donate to the fund by visiting http://www.oneworldoneocean.org.
Besides five workshops held this year to assist donors and potential recipients, the foundation also is sponsoring a philanthropic program at Laguna Beach High School. Foundation Trustee Mark Powell organized the class, which is designed to ignite students' interest in philanthropy by discussing issues, visiting sites and meeting people who work for or are involved in nonprofits.
Donnie Crevier, who attended the Boys & Girls Club when it was boys-only and now serves on its board, recently addressed the class on his commitment.
He is a member of the ambassadors, who spread the word about the foundation. The list of ambassadors also includes former Mayor Kathleen Blackburn, the MacGillivrays, architect Morris Skendarian, Ed Sauls and Vern Buwalda.
The foundation was launched May 2009 in a presentation to the City Council by Tarbox, but it had been in the works for almost six years.
Former Mayor Wayne Peterson, Laguna Canyon Foundation President Michael Pinto, former foundation Executive Director Mary Fegraus and board member Peter Kote did the spade work to get it off the ground.
The foursome created the trust, filed for nonprofit status and recruited trustees Rick Balzer, Robert Gamez, Richard Crum, Bob Dornin and Tarbox.
Fegraus, Kote, Balzer Dornin, along with Tarbox are still on the board, which also includes Don Clurman, Mark Towfiq. Pinto and Peterson are trustees emeritus.
For more information about the foundation, visit http://www.LagunaBeachCommunityFoundation.org or call (949) 494-8223.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun