You are currently viewing Around Town: Serving People in Need, Second Harvest Food Bank of O.C. earn $200K grant from Bank of America

Around Town: Serving People in Need, Second Harvest Food Bank of O.C. earn $200K grant from Bank of America


Serving People in Need in Costa Mesa and Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County in Irvine were each awarded a $200,000 grant by Bank of America for being the 2020 Neighborhood Builders, selected for their work to address food insecurity and homelessness.

The Neighborhood Builders program provides skill development and topics to help nonprofits address current and future community challenges and is refined yearly by Bank of America to include topics varying from strategic storytelling to human capital management and highlights themes critical to moving the nonprofit sector forward. Since 2004, the program has invested $260 million in 50 communities through the program. About $5 million has been invested in Orange County nonprofits over the last 15 years.

“As we consider many of the challenges that our community is facing — from the health and humanitarian crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic — the Neighborhood Builders program is a relevant and timely initiative to support the communities we serve,” Orange County market president for Bank of America Allen Staff said in a statement.

Laguna Art Museum’s Art & Nature

Laguna Art Museum’s Art & Nature, an annual program in its eighth year, will come back to town next week.

A Skynet titled “Sunset Trace,” by Patrick Shearn of Poetic Kinetics, will be installed and extend from the gazebo in Heisler Park to Main Beach Park.

Installation of the project began Friday, and the Art & Nature program will take place from Nov. 5-15.

The public is asked to follow COVID-19 safety protocols of wearing a mask and practicing social distancing while enjoying the installation.

A virtual keynote lecture for the Art & Nature event will be given by artist and designer Dan Goods on Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. Shearn will also give a lecture online about his work on Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. Registration is required prior to both events and is open until 4 p.m. the day of each respective lecture. To register, visit

The Art & Nature Family Festival is on Nov. 8 with several free virtual events for an audience of all ages.

Costa Mesa’s Project Hope Alliance awarded $10,000 Spectrum Digital Education grant

Costa Mesa nonprofit Project Hope Alliance, which helps secure positive educational outcomes for homeless youth throughout Orange County, recently received a $10,000 Digital Education Grant from Spectrum for a digital literacy program designed to shrink the “digital divide.”

Spectrum presented the grant to Project Hope Alliance officials Wednesday at the nonprofit’s office in Costa Mesa in a small event attended by Costa Mesa Councilwoman Arlis Reynolds.

Tracy Carmichael, president and chief strategy officer for Project Hope Alliance, said distance learning during the coronavirus pandemic has shed light on the gap between students who have access to technology and those without reliable service and connections.

“Homelessness creates a barrier for kids from having a regular, safe, and quiet space with reliable internet access to their online classes and schoolwork,” Carmichael said in a release. “Through the incredible generosity of partners such as Spectrum, Project Hope Alliance is equipping kids and youth with devices, pre-paid Wi-Fi hotspots and consistent moral and academic support to ensure that they have every chance to succeed in school and life.”

Reynolds expressed her hope that the grant would make a tangible difference for the county’s most vulnerable learners.

The grant is part of Spectrums multiyear $6 million cash and in-kind national commitment to digital education in the communities across the country where Spectrum provides service.

Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce hosts State of the City

The Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce is hosting the annual State of the City meeting on Nov. 13 at City Hall.

Featured guest speakers, including Mayor Lyn Semeta, Mayor Pro Tem Kim Carr and City Manager Oliver Chi, will review the city’s accomplishments from the past year and discuss the current state of Huntington Beach. They will also present upcoming projects, address challenges and opportunities, and offer a preview on what’s ahead for the city’s business community and residents.

Coffee and pastries will be provided for the event, which starts at 8 a.m.

Tickets cost $20 for Chamber of Commerce members, and $25 for non-members. Seating is limited, and seats are available by visiting or calling (714) 536-8888.

Sponsorship opportunities are available; inquire with Tina Figarsky at

Alzheimer’s Orange County honors 2 ‘Outstanding Dementia Caregivers’ in Costa Mesa

Two healthcare professionals in Costa Mesa — Carla Turney of Assured In-Home Care and clinical psychologist Dr. Miriam Galindo — were recently named Alzheimer’s Orange County (AlzOC) Outstanding Dementia Caregivers.

Turney was selected in the Administrative Professional category, which recognizes individuals in licensed residential and care facilities or who serve as administrative professionals in other service agencies to persons with dementia.

For more than four years, Turney has cared for her mother with the utmost care and respect.

Galindo, who runs a practice with an office in Costa Mesa, was selected in the category of Medical/Clinical Professional, which honors physicians, researchers, geriatric counselors, clinical social workers, geriatric nurse practitioners, care managers, case managers and other clinical professionals in the field of dementia care.

Since 2016, Galindo has been a highly valued volunteer educator with Alzheimer’s Orange County, logging more than 100 hours of service, and is one of the organization’s most sought-after speakers.

“The task of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease represents a challenging and emotional journey,” AlzOC CEO and president Jim McAleer said in a release.

To learn more, call (949) 955-9000 or visit

Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire will hold its 2020 Ambassadors of Hope Gala on Nov. 14 at 6 p.m.

The free virtual event will be themed “Wish Extravaganza,” during which Bob Chapek, the chief executive officer of the Walt Disney Company, will be honored. Disney has granted more than 140,000 wishes over the past 40 years.

Founded in 1983, Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire has helped more than 7,300 wishes come true for children with critical illnesses.

Make-A-Wish has postponed the fulfillment of wishes that necessitate travel or gathering in public due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“While the health and safety of our wish families is our top priority, we remain committed to our vision of granting every eligible child their wish,” Gloria Jetter Crockett, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire, said in a release. “With a situation unlike any other we’ve faced, we all are in need of some extra ‘hope’ this year.

“We are thrilled to honor Bob Chapek with this year’s Ambassador of Hope Award and all it symbolizes. Without the aid of our local community, we would not be able to provide children the wishes and hope they so deeply need.”

Those who want to become a sponsor or donate can visit

Harvesters Fashion Show raises $1.6 million to address O.C’s growing hunger crisis

An Oct. 7 virtual fashion show, a collaboration between supporters of Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County and Costa Mesa’s South Coast Plaza, raised more than $1.6 million to help the area nonprofit meet the overwhelming need for service during the coronavirus pandemic.

South Coast Plaza representatives produced and curated the runway show featuring highlights from the fall/winter 2020 collections of iconic fashion houses, including Chloé, Isabel Marant, Lanvin, Marni, Max Mara, Moncler, Oscar de la Renta, Salvatore Ferragamo and Versace.

The event was organized by Harvesters, an independent volunteer organization of committed and philanthropic women who raise funds and awareness for Second Harvest. It also featured a virtual silent auction with luxury indulgences, exclusive experiences and the latest fashion trends.

Second Harvest has so far met the rising need for food caused by the pandemic. But the shift in the volume of food distributed has sky-rocketed compared to previous years. From March through August, the group distributed 32,303,589 pounds of food — a 104% increase from the same time last year.

“We’re incredibly grateful for the dedicated partnership between Harvesters and South Coast Plaza in championing awareness and fundraising for the important issue of food insecurity that we face in our county,” Harvesters Chairman Gail Haft said in a release.

To learn more, visit

‘Pan-Damn-It!’ Zoom play highlights mask debate in schools

A one-act, 90-minute Zoom play called “Pan-Damn-It!” by Kyung Hyun Kim, a faculty member in the UC Irvine’s department of East Asian Studies and Visual Studies, will be live broadcast on YouTube on Nov. 15, starting at 4 p.m.

Kim said the play was written based on a personal experience and highlights the mask debate in schools. The play is co-directed by Jane Page, a faculty member in UCI’s Drama Department, and Gavin Cameron-Webb, theatre director.

The live Zoom reading will include professional and MFA actors and is sponsored by the Center for Critical Korean Studies and Illuminations at UCI.

No RSVP is required. The broadcast can be viewed at

Laguna Beach Children’s Holiday Palettes

The Children’s Holiday Palette exhibition is coming up, and children ages 5-17 who live in Laguna Beach or attend a school or art program in the city are encouraged to participate by drawing or painting original designs that celebrate the holiday season.

Palette designs submitted by Nov. 16 will be considered to be displayed on wood palettes at City Hall and to be recognized by the Laguna Beach City Council. Up to 12 designs will be selected, and the artists of those palettes will be recognized at the City Council meeting held over Zoom on Dec. 1 at 5 p.m.

Submissions can be made to the Cultural Arts Department at City Hall, 505 Forest Ave., or via email to

An application and instructional video for the contest are available on the city’s website at

Sherman Library & Gardens to host Nights of 1,000 Lights

The Sherman Library and Gardens will be hosting Nights of 1,000 Lights for 10 nights this December, starting on Dec. 10. No tickets will be sold at the gate. All tickets must be purchased in advance at or calling in to (949) 673-2261.

All guests must be wearing a face covering and choose a timed, ticketed entry to ensure safe physical distancing. Tickets are $15 for members of the Sherman Library and Gardens. Tickets are $25 for non-members. Children ages three and under are free.

“Yes, Nights of 1000 Lights is happening with the comfort and well-being of our members, volunteers, guests and staff as the top priority,” said Scott LaFleur, executive director of Sherman Library & Gardens, in a statement. “This beloved annual event will have several safety protocols in place, beginning with timed, ticketed admissions to ensure safe physical distancing.”

“In addition to timed admissions, we’re limiting guest capacity in the Gardens each night. It is our hope that the community will join us for a safe and spectacular stroll through the Gardens this holiday season,” LaFleur said.

Nights of 1,000 Lights will be open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Dec. 10-13 and Dec. 17-22 each night.

Red telephone booth temporary art installation contest

The Laguna Beach Arts Commission is holding a contest for the installation of temporary public art incorporating the red telephone booth on Forest Avenue.

Proposed designs or installations may include the interior or exterior of the booth, and the application asks that designs be “imaginative, whimsical and colorful.”

Entries will be judged by the seven members of the Arts Commission, based on criteria of creativity and appropriateness for the location. The chosen design will be installed for a period of two years.

The contest is open to residents of Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, San Diego and Ventura counties. There is an honorarium of $5,000.

The deadline to submit designs is noon on Jan. 4 at

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