The Beautification Council is more than a pretty face.
"We are the stewards of the city's beauty; we assist the city in keeping the city pristine; we keep an eye out for chancellors of taste and provide support to those who have none," council President Ruben Flores said Monday night at the group's first-ever fundraiser.
Montage Laguna Beach hosted the event.
The hotel did them proud with a sumptuous dinner in the ballroom to celebrate the group's Diamond Jubilee and a cake with a frosted lifeguard tower, in honor of the council's late founder and "Window to the Sea" advocate Harry Lawrence.
Flores, who loves growing things and all things beautiful, enthused over the revitalization of the council.
"Our motto is 'Keep Laguna pristine and quaint,'" Flores said. "Come beautify with us. What have you got to lose?"
The event included a silent auction, with items from Lawrence's collection, donated by his widow, Zahide, including basketfuls of his ties and scarves and a beautiful teak model of a Chinese Junk.
Other donations included two scripts from "Hot in Cleveland," signed by Betty White, a Lygia Delgado painting and gift certificates for Sawdust art classes and a meal at the Lumberyard. John Barber and Gavin Heath donated vases.
Sergio Prince, executive director of public affairs for Supervisor Pat Bates, presented proclamations on behalf of her and the state Senate. Bates was at the event early, but had to leave before dinner.
The city was represented by council members Elizabeth Pearson, Toni Iseman and Mayor Pro Tem Verna Rollinger.
Event committee members included Barbara Ring, Chloe Echternacht, Joan Sutch, Lecia Davis, Max Brown and Flores. Michael Gosselin took souvenir photographs of the guests.
Also on the guest list were longtime councilmember Eleanor Henry, Laguna Beach Visitors Bureau board chairwoman Karyn Philippsen and president and CEO Judy Bijlani, John Gustafson and Jim Palmer, former Mayor Ann Christoph, Sawdust exhibitor Dennis Junka, Laguna College of Art & Design board member Nelson Coates and Cathy and attorney Larry Nokes.
Seated at the Chamber of Commerce table were President Michael and Cheryl Kinsman, Sam and board member Michelle Clark, Executive Director Kris Thalman and Luciano Stefaninini.
The opening night gala of the Tony-award winning play, "39 Steps" on Saturday was a sellout.
Theater-goers were welcomed by Playhouse Executive Director Karen Wood, Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham, Development Director Elizabeth Pearson, staff members and volunteers — the women all dressed in 1930s-style black dresses and pearls — and Wally Ziegler, actor and audience services manager for 22 years.
Also on hand was Lauren Simon, library manager, whose job is called dramaturgy. Simon screens scripts, helps select presentations and conducts adult education programs.
Nolet, parent company of Ketel One Vodka and Nolet Dry Gin, and the newest Playhouse sponsors, served glamorous '30s-style cocktails.
Laguna Concert Band members Cathie Schroeder and Chuck Johnson performed '30s standards at the reception, applauded by band founder Carol Reynolds.