Autumn always brings thoughts of the glorious panorama of leaves that have turned bright yellow, orange and red! Please indulge me–I’m from the Mid-West, where taking in the beauty of autumn was always a highlight. That’s why I have that dynamic on the cover. However, October in California is time to celebrate wine harvests (see our feature on “The Best of Napa”), Oktoberfest and Halloween.

We are also taking the time to honor the philanthropists in our midst. Angelitos de Oro, a 55-year old women’s support group for Big Brothers Big Sisters that originated in Newport Beach, is celebrating its 15th annual Angelitos Card Week, where, by purchasing a card, you are treated to 20% savings in more than 120 South Coast Plaza select stores. The 70-member group has given BBBS nearly $6 million over the years to help its mentorship program for young people.

Also of note is UC Irvine biology student Lydia Natoolo, who has created a nonprofit called Love A Community that is committed to improving the living conditions in rural Uganda, her native country. Newport Beach resident Paul McDonald, best known as a star USC quarterback and for his NFL career with the Cleveland Browns and Dallas Cowboys, started his philanthropic work in Cleveland when he formed “Paul’s Pals,” an organization that aided hematology/oncology patients at Cleveland Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital. Today, he supports local charities, in particular, Kure It Cancer Research. He co-founded Rivals (referring to USC/UCLA football) United for a Kure, a support group for Kure It that raises money for underfunded cancers.

Then, there is the couple on the other end of the philanthropic spectrum–Joe and Mechelle Lawrence Adams. They head two major nonprofits in the county: Joe, for Discovery Cube Orange County and Los Angeles, and Mechelle, for Mission San Juan Capistrano. They are a team, in that they daily share at morning coffee support ideas and feedback about their respective nonprofit work.

You’ll enjoy the story on Laguna Beach glassblower John Barber’s 46-year career. His commissioned chandelier work is breathtaking, and, even more so, is the 27-foot mural in cast glass called “Eternal Sunset” at Montage Resort.

The Perfect Pumpkin Halloween Treats featured in Culinary Creations will make your mouth water, and the ginger tomcat lying on the computer keyboard in Parting Thoughts will bring a smile. I have a ginger tomcat who looks just like him!

In closing, enjoy your October! Take a drive up the coast to Napa for some great wine tastings, purchase an Angelitos Card to satisfy your shopping cravings and help a charity or bake those yummy Halloween treats.

Until next time,

Donna Bunce, Editor