Laguna Beach Independent: Fastest Woman Alive Leads Race for the Cure

Laguna Beach Independent

September 26, 2014

The inaugural Night at the Ranch fundraiser welcomed over 200 guests with a farm-to-table outdoor dinner served family style and musical acts set amid a eucalyptus grove. Altogether, the event earlier this month raised $65,000 for the Boys & Girls Club, three times as much as organizers expected.

The brainchild of former club member Leif Hanson, he was looking for a way to give back and enlisted fellow club alumnus Steve Blue for the task.

“The number of kids who need us has grown so fast that we’re just trying to keep up,” says Executive Director Pam Estes. “Leif, Steve and every supporter of this event came to help at a critical time.”

Since as kids Hanson and Blue spent the majority of their time at the club playing volleyball and basketball, they wanted to honor an influential force in their lives. They put the spotlight on volleyball Hall-of-Famer Rolf Engen, of Emerald Bay, “the godfather of indoor volleyball” in Laguna Beach, Hanson said. He and his family and several of his volleyball protégés were among the crowd.

Hanson also called on the crowd to support another club initiative, the newly opened Lang Branch at Lang Park, still in need of equipment, materials and supplies.

The Ranch’s chef, Cameron Wood, crafted the menu, Bianchi Vineyards supplied wines, Molly Wood Garden Design created centerpieces, Nick I and Pato Banton performed and guests opened their wallets. When auction bidding reached a fevered $7,700 for an Angels’ baseball package of box seats and special privileges, President John Carpino, who was in the audience, spontaneously signaled the auctioneer he could sell two, satisfying both warring bidders, an “unscripted moment,” Hanson said.

“We already can’t wait for next year!” he added.

Fastest Woman Alive Leads Race for the Cure

Carmelita Jeter, the fastest woman alive, will be the official starter of the 23rd annual Komen Orange County Race for the Cure, taking place Sunday, Sept. 28, from 6:30 a.m. to noon, near the Pacific Life Building at 700 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach.

Jeter is a three-time Olympic medal winner and world record holder. “I’m so fortunate to be part of an organization that I’m so passionate about,” said Jeter. “Not only am I here for my aunt and cousin, who all faced breast cancer first-hand, but I’m here, too, for all the women and men who are fighting this disease every day.”

General registration for adults is $35- $40; breast cancer survivors, seniors and youth, $25; kids, five and under, $5.

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