For reservations and directions to any activity or meeting, please call Laguna Outreach at 949.497.4237, or send us an email. Please contact us at least one day before the event to give us enough time to retrieve your message and respond. All Laguna Outreach activities are free to members and $5 to non-members, unless otherwise noted.

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Please see the Directory page for complete contact information for the 2002 Board.

On February 23rd at the Garden Grove Community Center, Joseph Amster, our Laguna Outreach CoChair and Editor of the Orange County/Long Beach Blade, was honored for his long standing contribution to the Gay and Lesbian community in Orange County. Following is his acceptance speech mentioning Laguna Outreach.

"Volunteering for L.O. has been an incredible experience for me. It has given me the opportunity to do things I would not have been able to do otherwise. Through L.O.'s Gourmet Group, I have tapped into long-dormant talents that I now share with others. Tomorrow night, I will be leading a cooking class in Eastern European cuisine for nearly 20 people. Where else but L.O. would I be able to do something like that?

"I am very proud of my involvement in L.O., but more so in how the organization has changed in the last few years. When I first served on the board in the mid 1990s, L.O. was faced with a dwindling membership and participation. In the late 1990s, the board decided it was time to take action. We listened to the membership and instead of doing the things the group had always done, we made changes. Groups like Awesome Adventures, Great Conversations with Gays and Lesbians, Men's Video Night, Women's Social Night, and more recently the Gourmet Group and Culture Club have proliferated and are popular with the community. Now entering its 20th year, L.O. is stronger than ever.

"Sometimes, those of us in leadership fall into the trap of doing the same thing over and over again, because that's the way our organizations have always done them. We are not the same community we were five or ten years ago. We need to realize that there is a big community outside of the people gathered in this room. We need to find out why we are not reaching those people, adapt, and change to meet their needs. That is the only way we will see more participation in our groups. I am very proud that L.O. realized this and is regaining popularity because of it."

The Co-Chairs' Corner


by Nancy Pearl

The Laguna Outreach Executive Board meets the first Wednesday of every month to discuss various issues regarding the running of this organization, planning of activities, financial issues/concerns, newsletter, publicity and so forth. One of the topics that is discussed each and every month is our fluctuating membership. It is up and down, different from last year, this month and so on. Moira McGee, our membership chairperson, has done an awesome job organizing the membership report, the membership list, keeping track of new members and the renewals of old memberships. She is one person on our Executive Board who reminds us and the members of our community the importance of paying our dues. I mention this as we have recently heard from some, that being a member of LO is too expensive, that it not only costs too much, but basically, what's in it for me? I would like to say a few words about belonging to and supporting an organization such as this. Laguna Outreach just celebrated its 20th anniversary. LO didn't become what it is today without the support of its members. LO didn't grow, evolve, mature and function without the sweat, work, time and the support of its people. LO wouldn't be able to offer the speakers, activities and community involvement without the incredible enthusiasm, continuing commitment, pride and support of you, the members of our community. The Executive Board is made up of members chosen by members. This Board spends a large amount of time and money to bring quality programs to benefit you, our community. The Executive Board is composed of people who donate their time, their effort and their passion to this organization that serves us all, our community. It costs money to run an organization. It costs money to put this newsletter together. It costs money to have a place to hold meetings. It costs money to do all of the things LO does. LO is very cost conscious. It does not spend its members' dollars frivolously. LO encourages nonmembers to attend its functions, however, there does come a time when it is important to acknowledge that nonmembers who do participate are reaping the benefits of the good work of others. Belonging to and supporting an organization that champions our causes, creates pride in ourselves and who we are is important. The cost of LO is quite reasonable in comparison to the professional organization dues that I pay. The pride and passion I have for LO and its ongoing efforts is no less than what I have for my own profession. I will continue to renew my memberships in both because I know that my money and my support will help keep these groups active and involved and continue in bringing quality to my life. I encourage all in our community to renew your memberships and to encourage your nonmember friends to join in support of this organization. I challenge all to become involved. Join the Board, volunteer to help out with our events and take the time to think about where LO would be if it didn't have the financial support of its membership, the dedication of its Board and the pride we have about ourselves and this organization.