Category: our team

The Power of Community

This week, we came together and raised over $175,000 to help over 300 families in our district who are facing financial hardship. I am proud to announce we have exceeded our goal. We are blown away by the generosity of this community and so thankful for all 176 donors who got us to this point. Yesterday, we reached the initial goal of $150,000 after a surprise $50,000 gift from the Wayne Peterson Fund of the Laguna Beach Community Foundation. Today, Carol and Dennis Berryman gave an additional $25,000 to enable us to do even more to help families! We [...]

A Note of Gratitude

We are thankful to you! This community's generous support of SchoolPower has strengthened our schools and directly benefitted students since 1981. This year, students need our support more than ever. We are grateful for the social emotional support team and programs that your donations helped put into place. Through grants made possible by your gifts, our teachers and coaches are well supported as they teach in new ways. We appreciate your support and the opportunity to continue to help Laguna students thrive. As you celebrate the holiday today, perhaps in a whole new way, I hope you are able to [...]

SchoolPower Sets Goal to Raise $150,000 for LBUSD Families on Giving Tuesday

This Giving Tuesday, December 1, 2020, SchoolPower will launch an effort to raise $150,000 for its COVID Impact Fund to help Laguna Beach school district families in need. “Over 300 students in Laguna Beach schools are eligible for free and reduced-price meals--that’s 11% of the student body,” says SchoolPower Executive Director Sarah Durand. “Our goal is to provide real help for students and families in our small community, many of whom are experiencing major challenges due to the pandemic.” SchoolPower is partnering with LBUSD to amplify the district’s support of students and families in need and secure resources for [...]

SchoolPower Invites Community to Join Together in Supporting Students, Teachers & Families

SchoolPower kicked off its community campaign with a $10,000 gift to Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach from its newly formed COVID Impact Fund. SchoolPower’s community fundraising efforts this year will focus on immediate help for students, teachers, and school district families. “This year, more than ever, I think we all want to help. We want to ensure our educators have the resources to effectively deliver instruction within the constraints of the health authorities, and we also want to make sure we help district families who are struggling,” says SchoolPower Executive Director Sarah Durand. SchoolPower’s gift to the Boys [...]

Gorjana Receives SchoolPower’s 2020 Hall of Fame Award

On Sunday, May 31, 2020, SchoolPower presented its top honor, “The Hall of Fame Award,” to gojana. Owned by LBUSD parents Gorjana and Jason Reidel, this company began supporting SchoolPower in 2014 when their son was in kindergarten. “When we saw the tremendous impact that SchoolPower had on our schools, we wanted to get involved,” says Jason Reidel. The Reidels went on to join the Board of Trustees, with Jason eventually serving as vice president of the executive board and Gorjana chairing the annual dinner dance. “We wanted to make a positive impact on all the children in this [...]

Kendall and Chris Clark Receive SchoolPower’s 2020 Bill Steel Award

On Sunday, May 31, 2020, SchoolPower presented “The Bill Steel Award,” its annual recognition of exceptional volunteerism, to Kendall and Chris Clark. The Clarks have been passionate, unwavering supporters of SchoolPower for 23 years. In 1997, their neighbor invited them to become SchoolPower trustees, prompting them to make an usual decision--to join before their children had even entered Laguna Beach Schools. “Chris and I looked down at our 3 kids aged 4, 2 and 6 months and wondered, isn’t it a little early for us to get involved?,” says Kendall. “But Chris said it was precisely the time to get [...]

Listening & Learning

During these times, I’ve struggled with what to say. Sometimes I wish things would go back to “normal,” but the current protests remind me that “normal” was not comfortable for many. As I prepare for another year in my position at SchoolPower, I am reading, listening, learning and thinking. As a parent, I feel the weight of my duty to raise empathetic, compassionate global citizens, now more than ever. We have work to do as parents and within our schools to fight racism and unconscious bias that persist in our society. Last week, Superintendent Dr Viloria shared a few [...]

Hundreds Turn Out for SchoolPower’s Dodgeball X

More than 380 costumed players on 50 teams ducked, dived and dodged balls at LBHS on October 16 for SchoolPower’s 10th annual Dodgeball Tournament. Each champion team won $500 in prize money to designate to a teacher or school program of their choice. The event raised over $13,000 for SchoolPower! “The kids bring so much excitement and joy to the tournament,” explains Jeff Bhaedhayajibh, first-time coach of We Kick Balls. The popular event included students from all four local schools, teachers, PTA leaders and school staff, Laguna Beach firefighters, and local business supporters. Competition was fierce in all three [...]

Incredible Impact: Hexberg Family Foundation Over $330,000 to Athletics Funding in 9 Years

This year, funding from the Hexberg Family Foundation allowed LBHS Athletics to continue to provide and expand strength training for student athletes. Students flocked to the outdoor “muscle beach” weight stations, coached by a highly qualified staff. “The funded strength training staff has taken our strength program to the next level. Partnering with a trainer who thinks about our conditioning as their top priority has allowed us to run a much more detail-oriented program,” says Ethan Damato, Head Coach Boys & Girls Water Polo. Next year, the Hexberg Family Foundation will continue their support with a $50,000 grant, [...]

Hexberg Family Foundation Receives Hall of Fame Award

On Sunday, June 2, 2019, SchoolPower presented its top honor, “The Hall of Fame Award” (aka The Claes Award), to the Hexberg Family Foundation. The award was created in honor of Claes Andersen, owner of The Hotel Laguna and Claes Restaurant. Andersen opened his restaurant to SchoolPower back in 2001 and underwrote an annual dinner for seven consecutive years, in addition to other generous donations. The Andersen family contributions to SchoolPower totaled over $200,000. With the Andersens as the benchmark, this award is not given lightly. However, it would be hard to find a more deserving recipient than the Hexberg [...]

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