Giving Thanks!

November brings thoughts of Thanksgiving Day and all that entails. Thanksgiving Day at our house is about family and sharing the wonderful aromas from the kitchen that make that particular meal so special. We rely on the recipes that my sister and I grew up with, and the meal never disappoints. The day is also about being thankful for so much–our family and friends, being alive and living in this great country of ours.

This issue singles out a particular couple, who exemplify all that is good about giving. Suzanne and James Mellor, who are this year’s Outstanding Philanthropists honorees at the 2017 National Philanthropy Day on November 16th, began their philanthropic journey when Jim was CEO/Chairman of General Dynamics in Washington, D.C. in the 1980s and has continued through their move to Laguna Beach in 1997. Their philosophy of not only giving financially but also of their time and expertise has benefited so many, particularly in Laguna Beach–so much so that the City of Laguna Beach proclaimed April 11, 2017 “Mellor Day” in recognition of their significant contributions to the arts.

The 10th Annual CANSTRUCTION exhibit made an impressive “giving” statement through the month of September as local architectural, engineering, construction and planning and design teams created phenomenal works of art built entirely of canned food at South Coast Plaza, John Wayne Airport and ARTIC. The cans of food (77,333), representing 49,000 meals, were given to OC Food Bank to distribute to the county’s hungry.

Chef Josef Lageder offers some creative alternatives to the Thanksgiving classics we all know and love. Check out his recipes for some delicious side dishes for that special day–Quinoa with Baby Spinach, Dried Apricots, Pears and Toasted Pine Nuts as well as Kale and Cabbage Salad with Mangoes and Roasted Pecans.

Deirdre Michalski, our Parting Thoughts columnist, showcases some giving programs you might consider supporting at Thanksgiving time, including Orange County Rescue Mission’s Turkey Trot, volunteering for Someone Cares Soup Kitchen during Thanksgiving week or for Bracken’s Kitchen’s food trucks delivering healthy meals to those in need. South County Outreach has opportunities for people to donate turkeys and grocery store gift cards to people in need, and OneOC can connect volunteers with nonprofit organizations any time of the year.

Here’s hoping Thanksgiving will allow you some coveted time with family and friends and will give you a chance to reflect on your blessings.

Until next time,

Donna Bunce, Editor