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 community,” says Gorjana. “What we love about SchoolPower is how it contributes in a very efficient and meaningful way to our schools. We wanted to be trustees to help contribute to that positive and immediate impact.”
In 2016, gorjana joined SchoolPower’s Business Alliance and continued to enthusiastically support SchoolPower events. Over the past seven years, gorjana has donated hundreds of pieces of jewelry each year to be used at auctions for local benefits and galas across the country, including SchoolPower’s annual BoxBlitz campaigns and dinner dance. With its commitment to supporting Laguna Beach schools and local nonprofits, gorjana exemplifies the generosity and community spirit celebrated by this award.
“We all love their jewelry,” says outgoing SchoolPower president Allison Motherway, “but their business goes above and beyond the jewelry. They work so hard to give back and they are an important part of the fabric of the Laguna community.”
The company has generously included SchoolPower in its “gorjana Gives Back” program in which it co-hosts virtual and in-store fundraising events and donates a percentage of proceeds back to the cause of choice. This spring, in spite of the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, gorjana teamed up with SchoolPower to host its Families Forward event. Through this fundraiser, gorjana donated 19% of sales to Families Forward, the Orange County nonprofit dedicated to housing, food, counseling, education and other support services to OC families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Reflecting on the Hall of Fame Award, Gorjana says, “We knew from the beginning that we wanted to use our business platform to make a difference in our community and to causes that are important to us. It is the most rewarding part of what we do, and we are super grateful for this award.”
The Hall of Fame award (aka The Claes 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.