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Welcome Back

Visit our Car Show Booth August 27th

Please save the date for our DPWC booth at the Dana Point Car Show August 27th, 10 to 3 PM. Members will be on hand with our brand new brochures and event flyers, helping to introduce DPWC and Community House to the public. Contact if you can help with a 2- hour shift at this fun membership opportunity.

“Back to School” Meeting September 7th!

Our next General Meeting will be September 7th at 11 AM at Community House. Our meeting will feature an update on our many Board accomplishments over the summer, and two brief Project Literacy Presentations -- one from Rebecca Bailey, Principal of Palisades Elementary, and one from Sharon Miller and Laura Casellas of the South Coast Literacy Council. We will be hosting a Back To School book drive for Palisades Elementary School in Capistrano Beach this year (we plan to alternate with RH Dana each year so that both Dana Point elementary schools are covered). If you can help, please purchase books from their Amazon wish list (click link) and plan to bring them to the September meeting where we will attach a “donated by DPWC” sticker on the inside covers and present them to Principal Bailey at the end of the meeting. If you can’t attend the meeting, please either drop them off or send them to the meeting with a friend, or use the Amazon option of sending them directly to Palisades School. Note that most of the books are hard cover editions because these fare best with many little hands opening them over several years.

We will also be hosting a community FAM food drive at Community House during our September meeting. We are asking willing members to bring peanut butter (and jam if you’d like). Peanut butter is a delicious and convenient protein that is in huge demand and very useful for hungry kids heading back to school – but any canned or dried food is also welcome. FAM (Family Assistance Ministries) tells us local demand for food is very high right now and they are so grateful for our help. Our Hospitality Chair, Karin Marsh, is planning wonderful centerpieces and a delicious, boxed lunch from Ellie’s table including a sandwich, potato salad, and yummy dessert. She and a team of 7 volunteers will be setting up and cleaning up after the meeting, but as always, we ask for your assistance in busing your own tables. Many hands make light work!

A Word on Charitable Giving

Our Board recognizes that we make many “asks” of our members throughout the year, and we hope you don’t feel you have to say “yes” to everything. We offer many philanthropic choices for your consideration each month. Whether you like to purchase items for our drives, solicit or donate a gift basket or raffle item for our fundraisers, make cash or in-kind donations, work on a committee or otherwise volunteer your time, the generous giving of your time, talents and resources is greatly appreciated! Everything we do matters to the recipients of our philanthropic programs, many of whom are the most disadvantaged members of our community. Every member is free to choose how, when, where, and how often they would like to contribute, according to their individual means and abilities. Please know that every one of you makes a significant difference for our community. Your generosity is sincerely appreciated!!

Girl’s Night Out at Jack’s, September 12th

Following our successful “Night Out” at Brio, our Ways & Means Chair, Marla Freeman, was able to schedule another dinner with members, their families and friends. This one will take place on Tuesday, September 12th from 5 PM onward Jack’s restaurant on Del Prado in the Lantern District.

This will be our second dinner at Jack’s. We are very grateful to Jack Loconsolo and his landlords, Marvin and Eric Winkler of Lantern District LLC, who surprised us with matching donations at our dinner last year. We hope many members can attend and thank them personally for last year’s generous donations.

Dinner at Chipotle in October

Fancy an easy, take-out or eat-in weekday lunch or dinner? On October 12th , Chipotle restaurant in Laguna Niguel will donate 33% of your purchases to DPWC. Our Ways and Means Chair, Marla Freeman and volunteers will be distributing flyers to the public at our Car Show event on August 27th. This is a great way to help our philanthropies – and take a night off from cooking!

Midsummer Wine Tasting

In case you missed it, our Midsummer Wine Tasting event was a huge success! The sold out evening featured 5 blind wine tastings and delicious hors d’oeuvres curated and served by our Board members. A major highlight was the spectacular homemade chocolate truffles made by our wonder-chef and treasurer, Donna Childress. Everyone had a fantastic time, and we raised over $1500 for DPWC philanthropies. You can read more about the event here.

Girls’ Night Out at Brio

Many thanks to our members and their guests who attended our “Night Out” event at Brio. About 40 members and their guests attended. We so appreciate Jill and Enzo Scognamiglio who, for the second time now, generously donated 10% of our food and beverage bills to DPWC philanthropies. Stay tuned for our next upcoming Night Out event when we return to Jack’s restaurant on Del Prado.

Community House News

We have a lot happening at Community House, led by our enthusiastic new Community House Director, Jody Hughes. Here are some key highlights:

  • Community House has a new look and a new logo. Check out our attractive new sign by the double doors facing San Juan Avenue. A second larger sign is coming soon and will be installed in the lawn to the left, visible to drivers from both sides of the lane.

  • A new promotional brochure has been completed and you can check it out at the September meeting!

  • Community House is not such a “secret” anymore. Your Board has been advertising on Next Door and Facebook, increasing our exposure in the community. And it seems to be helping! Jody is doing an amazing job booking new events!

  • Andrea Gordon has agreed to be supplies chair for Community House and has already made some lovely changes in our restrooms – check it out.

  • Mary Ellen Marsh, Judy Amiano and Penny Wetton have volunteered as our “Garden Gals” and are planning landscaping improvements, subject to budget availability. Check out the beautiful grooming job on the large jade plant on the right of the double doors.

  • Diane Levy prepared a list of vendors to add to our referral list for services to renters.

  • We have new trees! Thank you to the City of Dana Point for the installation of several lovely “strawberry” (arbutus marina) trees in its easement along the front of our property on San Juan Avenue. These will be beautiful and will stay relatively small, with distinctive red barked trunks.

  • We have finalized a new rental contract and Jody Hughes, along with our Treasurer, Donna Childress are working together on a joint calendar and spreadsheet so that every contract is tracked and monitored to ensure deposits, insurance, rent and signed documents are accurate and timely.

Please consider signing up for a one-time job or ongoing responsibility with Community House. Jody needs volunteers to assist her in showing the property and overseeing routine maintenance and repairs.

Membership News

Please welcome our three new June – through mid-August members, Laura Mackay, Lisa Marie Moreno, and Devin Marie Sims. We have three more prospective members who we hope will join us soon. We look forward to introducing all of you at our September 7th meeting. Welcome!

Please help us spread the word about Community House – the best kept secret in Dana Point. For questions about Community House, contact Jody Hughes at

We’re also very happy to announce that we have a new Sunshine Chair, Diane Sagan, who volunteered to send cards and organize food trains or other help to support members who experience health issues, bereavement or other challenges. Please let Diane know if you or a member you know is in need of a little “Sunshine”.

Coming Soon

Our photo booth, originally planned for our September and October meetings, generously hosted by our brand-new member and local photographer Devin Marie Sims, has been postponed to December because we simply have many activities on our fall agendas. We look forward to taking photos which we hope to use on our new website in a members’ only section.


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