It goes without saying that your community is only as good as the people who live there and put the effort it in to make it a better place. I think it's important to support the people and organizations who make Orange County a fine place to live, work and raise families; here are a few that I think make a difference:
"Presenting the world's finest performing artists and companies is a noble, inspiring task. It is also time-consuming, labor-intensive and costly."
The Orange County Performing Arts Center is a world-class arts organization located in Costa Mesa and home to the Pacific Symphony. September 2006 witnessed the inauguration of the new Renee and Henry Segerstom Hall designed by Cesar Pelli, truly a magnificent performance center.
I was born in Hawaii and moved to Irvine in the early 80's... it certainly wasn't Hawaii, but it was close enough to the beach to still be alright...that was, until I jumped into the surf... I'll never forget it... sixth grade, down at Crystal Cove... the waves were huge and my sixth grade class was on a field trip... all the other kids knew I was from Hawaii and I HAD to go in to prove how unafraid I was... to this day I can't decide what was worse - a new type of unrelenting and pounding winter shore break I'd never experienced, or the unbelievably cold waters... to my credit, I stayed out in the surf for a good ten minutes taking a solid beating trying to catch waves... I was the coolest kid afterwards and all the surfer groms were coming up to me going "Bro - we would have NEVER gone out in that! That was insane! You're crazy!" I paid my sixth-grade dues, and no one noticed me spitting up sand and kelp for the rest of the afternoon...
Thirty years later, if I've got the time, I'll be out out swimming in Laguna Beach on a December afternoon; to me, there is nothing like the Pacific Ocean, whether it's freezing cold or bathwater-warm. Orange County's identity, welfare and prosperous future is tied to the preservation and careful stewardship of our coastline and ocean habitats. Surfrider advocates for our beaches, does an excellent job on both the local statewide levels and has become a powerful lobby in its own right. In their words -
"The Surfrider Foundation is a grassroots, non-profit, environmental organization that works to protect our oceans, waves, and beaches. Founded in 1984, Surfrider Foundation's most important coastal environmental work is carried out by Surfrider Foundation's 60 chapters located along the East, West, Gulf, Puerto Rican, and Hawaiian coasts."
KCRW - 89.9 on your FM dial - is a radio station run from the basement of Santa Monica Community College. It is a wellspring of excellent new music, elevated discourses on the arts & culture and the politics that affect our lives. It is run by passionate people and is funded entirely by public donations.
"KCRW, a community service of Santa Monica College, is Southern California's leading National Public Radio affiliate, featuring an eclectic mix of music, news, information and cultural programming."
The Orange County Great Park in Irvine should prove to be an amazing place, and the groundswell of support that the people of Orange County have been showing for the park is evident in the grassroots projects and organizations that are steering the Park in its infancy. The Great Park Conservancy's goal is to "generate and maintain public and private support throughout Orange County and beyond for the development and operation of the Orange County Great Park."
"The Orange County Great Park will transform the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station into one of America's largest metropolitan parks."
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