Around town: The annual sandcastle competition takes place on Sunday at Corona del Mar State Beach


The 59th Annual Newport Beach Sandcastle Contest returns this Sunday to Corona del Mar State Beach, starting at 10 a.m. and ending at 4:30 p.m. Last year’s contest was canceled due to COVID-19.

This year’s theme is “Explore the World”.

Organizers still accept requests from teams, with entry fees ranging from $ 30 to $ 60, but members of the public who are not entered in the competition can view the works for free. A limited number of on-site registrations will be available starting at 9 a.m. on the morning of the event. More information can be found at

Two local schools receive the prestigious Blue Ribbon distinction

On Tuesday, Davis Magnet School in Costa Mesa and Isojiro Oka Elementary School in Huntington Beach were named the 2021 Blue Ribbon National Schools, a designation granted by the US Department of Education to recognize academic excellence.

The two local campuses were among 325 in the nation to receive the honor and among only 28 schools in California.

Davis Magnet, a unified school in Newport-Mesa, has been recognized for overall academic performance and improving its school subgroups over the past four years.

“We are constantly striving to make a difference in the lives of students every day and I am incredibly proud of our Davis team for this well-deserved recognition,” Principal Christy Flores said in a statement Thursday.

Oka Elementary, a K-5 campus operated by the Fountain Valley School District, took home the award in a category that seeks to celebrate campuses that have made exemplary strides in closing the achievement gap.

“[This] is a testament to the brilliant work of our students, teachers, support staff, leaders and families, ”FVSD Supt. Mark Johnson said Friday. “It is with great pride that we celebrate the commitment to excellence and the tremendous efforts of all of our Oka Wolfpack that made this recognition possible.”

The schools will be officially recognized, along with all Blue Ribbon 2021 schools, at an awards ceremony in Washington, DC in early November.

Project Independence Association appoints new CEO

The board of directors of the Costa Mesa association Project independence, which helps people with developmental disabilities find jobs, form friendships and live independently, announced this week that associate director Robert Watson will assume the role of chief executive starting October 29.

A resident of Laguna Niguel, Watson replaces Debra Marstellar, who is retiring after leading the organization for nearly 40 years. The two worked together in 2007 to complete a merger between Project Independence and the Vantage Foundation, creating a program focused on promoting independence and choice. Watson said in a statement he was honored to receive the vote of confidence from the board.

“I look forward to continuing, with our engaged and passionate employees, the mission and vision of Project Independence during this time of transformation in our industry,” he said.

US Bank Foundation grants $ 25,000 to prepare OC girls for college

Orange County Girls Inc. Officials Celebrate Recent US Bank Foundation Grant of $ 25,000 to Support Its Girls Meet the Workforce Program externship program in favor of high school girls.

The free four-month employment preparation program is designed for girls who might not otherwise be exposed to professional workplaces to learn about career paths before college. Participants learn to identify their potential professional interests and prepare for a modern workforce.

The grant will help program participants explore various careers, benefit from guided mentoring, and participate in seasonal programs to help them prepare to apply to college.

Working Wardrobes replaces founder Jerri Rosen

The members of the board of directors Work cupboards, a Santa Ana nonprofit that helps residents get professional coaching and give them appropriate work attire, announced Wednesday that a new CEO has been found to replace founder Jerri Rosen, who plans to retire.

Bonni Pomush, executive director of the Samueli Center for Progressive Judaism, was selected after several months of research. Pomush brings 25 years of nonprofit experience to this role and has a reputation for obtaining millions of dollars in funding.

She will begin with Working Wardrobes on November 8 and will assume all responsibilities of Managing Director effective January 1, the day after Rosen leaves.

“I am really happy with our choice,” Rosen said in a statement. “After 31 years at the helm of this organization, I am ready to retire and add new experiences to my life and I can do so knowing that we have found the right successor.

Vanguard University Global Center for Women and Justice raises $ 200,000 to fight human trafficking

An annual Priceless Luncheon September 18 fundraiser attended by 250 guests raised over $ 200,000 to help Vanguard University Global Center for Women and Justice in its fight to bring dignity, justice and freedom to women and children around the world.

Hosted in the new state-of-the-art Waugh Student Center on campus, the lunch included a performance by the Voices of Hope children’s choir, silent and live auctions, and an impact report that highlighted the centre’s work. to prevent human trafficking.

The lunch also included a keynote address by Vanguard alumnus and board administrator Nicole Suydam, president and CEO of Goodwill of Orange County. Proceeds raised will be used to develop resources and education for defenders to study and make a difference in the fight to end human trafficking.

Blue Bell Foundation: Cat’s Meow Champagne Brunch

The seventh annual Cat’s Meow Champagne Brunch, hosted by the Blue Bell Foundation for Cats, will take place Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Seven7Seven, 777 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach.

Participants are encouraged to get into the feline spirit, as there will be a prize for the best cat-themed outfit. There will also be a silent auction.

The event aims to raise funds for the Community Cat Fund, which helps the Blue Bell Foundation take care of older cats who often struggle to find a permanent home through adoption. Blue Bell receives cats from local shelters, such as Laguna Beach Animal Shelter.

The Blue Bell Foundation, a non-profit organization in Laguna Beach, is on a mission to provide a retirement home for senior cats who have not been adopted or whose owners can no longer care for them. The group estimates that it costs around $ 50,000 for cat food and $ 5,000 for cat litter per year to care for their furry friends.

Tickets for the event are $ 70 for adults and $ 20 for children 12 and under. Entrance tickets will not be sold at the door. To purchase tickets, visit

The Laguna Beach Patriots Parade is back

Assn. on Tuesday evening received authorization from the town hall of Laguna Beach to return to the streets of the town on March 5, 2022.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the previously scheduled parade has been canceled.

Laguna Beach Classic Car Show

The Laguna Beach Rotary Club Classic Car Show will be held Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the entrance to the village into town.

It costs $ 45 to enter the show, which includes two passes and a gift box. Up to 200 cars will be on display and compete for awards in a total of 27 categories.

All proceeds from the event will be donated to Laguna Beach charities.

Coastal Road Sidewalk Improvement Project

The coastal road sidewalk improvement project at Laguna Beach is scheduled to begin work on the north side of the street on Monday.

Work is scheduled to take place between Ledroit Street and San Joaquin Street from September 27 to October 11.

During construction, traffic will be reduced to one northbound lane from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and one southbound lane from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday.

For updates on the project, send LBTRAFFIC by SMS to 888-777.

Tickets are on sale now for a performance of the Paris-based Modigliani Quartet presented by the Philharmonic Society of Orange County at 8 p.m. on Friday, November 12 at the Irvine Barclay Theater.

The quartet has been recording for the Mirare label since 2008 and has released nine CDs.

The Irvine Barclay Theater is located at 4242 Campus Drive, Irvine. Ticket prices start at $ 38 and are available at the Philharmonic Society box office at (949) 553-2422 and online at

OCMA welcomes eight new directors

The addition of eight new directors to the Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) was announced on Tuesday. This brings the total number of museum board members to 32.

The board members are Barbara Bluhm-Kaul, Phillip J. Bond, Idit Ferder, Sean Green, Linda P. Maggard, Cheryl Kiddoo, Robert Olson and Lucy Sun, representing a range of philanthropic and professional expertise, according to the museum officials.

They joined him under the leadership of Heidi Zuckerman, general manager and director of the museum, who took the reins in February.

In October 2022, the museum will open in its new home: a Segerstrom Center for the Arts building designed by Morphosis under the direction of architect Thom Mayne and managing partner Brandon Welling.

Daily pilot staff

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