Rock for the Cause, benefitting the Friendship Shelter, was very possibly the most outrageously fun fundraiser ever. No, forget the fundraiser part, it’s up there for most outrageously fun NIGHT ever. Seriously, organizers Clay Berryhill, Danielle Cavallucci, Marshall & Elizabeth Ininns, Rick & Dianne Allen, and, of course, the Stu News gang (Shaena, Lynette and Bill Brasfield) totally crushed it. Generously hosted by the Skyloft with entertainment by the 133 Band, this was an A-list cast of Laguna’s finest. Taking it over the top were the many swaggy (yeah, that’s a made-up word) raffle prizes that were awarded. Who wouldn’t die for a yoga lesson on a standup paddle board? This was a proper party.

Face it, with the 133 Band playing, cocktails flowing and delectable Hors-d’oevres making the rounds, even the most determined curmudgeon would be obliged to bust a rib-eatin’ grin. My intention was simply to support a great organization, grab one cocktail and make a quick, discreet exit. Hah! After just five seconds of Nick Hernandez belting out “I Will Believe,” I texted home, saying “I’m going to be late.” By the way, Nick had some awesome Joe Cocker moves going on to complement his vocals.

A couple songs later, Steve Wood got everyone moving with his rendition of “It’s All Good.” No title could have been more apropos for this event. At the risk of omitting a number of great songs and musicians, Jason Feddy brought the house down by belting out Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone.” Jason’s song selection was particularly poignant, jolting the audience back to the purpose and meaning of the event with the words “Nobody’s ever taught you how to live out on the street…” What truth. None of us were ever taught how to live on the street and few, if any, in the audience has ever had to suffer the indignity of learning on their own. For most of us, the terror of that is unimaginable.
Which brings us back to why we were all there in the first place. The Friendship Shelter has been providing support services, meals and housing to people in need since 1988. Over 10,000 clients have been assisted since their inception. Over 160 people per night are relieved from the fear and anxiety of spending a night on the street or out in the open. Thirty-two men and women are provided housing with three meals per day and a safe, warm bed to sleep in. It’s not just a handout; residents are expected to work, save money and develop life-skills so they can achieve fully productive lives.

The women and men who run, support and volunteer at this organization have hearts that are two sizes too large. Being the people we are, Laguna Beach residents showed their hearts, as well. The event raised a record $10,800 for the Shelter, led by a surprise giant $1,250 check from Alex DelTorro and his team at the Termite Guy. How fabulously fortunate we are to have so many people like this among us. And how wonderful it is that the Friendship Shelter continues to thrive after 30 years of service.

Every non-profit organization struggles to acquire the funds needed to fulfill their mission. Donate to the Friendship Shelter; They are making our world a better place. Thank the Skyloft by giving them your patronage. And, by all means, go see the 133 Band wherever they are playing.