Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society reinstalls board, awards scholarships


Celebrating last year’s successes, the Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society welcomed another year with the re-installation of its board June 19 during the society’s annual dinner at Tony’s Jacal.

Mayor Lesa Heebner helped swear in Virginia Garland as president for a third term. Pat Smart was also re-elected vice president, Cindi Clemons was re-elected corresponding secretary, Suellen Lodge was re-elected recording secretary and Tom Golich was re-elected treasurer.

“It is an honor to be selected as officers of this society,” said Heebner, who was joined by her colleagues, Deputy Mayor David Zito and Councilman Peter Zahn at the event. “We get to do this very official installation every year to remind you of your duties and the gravity of the job that you’ve taken on.”

The evening kicked off with a preview of North Coast Repertory Theatre’s upcoming “Side By Side By Sondheim,” a musical that runs July 15 through Aug. 9 at the Solana Beach theater. It was the fifth time the local theater has opened the annual dinner.

Although cast members had finished only their third day of rehearsals, they performed three songs from the 28-song show.

The society then awarded scholarships to two local high school graduates.

Canyon Crest Academy graduate Shea Irwin and Torrey Pines High School graduate Tim Holdsworth each received $1,000. With a goal to be a graphic designer, Irwin will study art and design at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Holdsworth, who wants to be a professor, will study mechanical engineering and sociology at the University of San Diego.

“These kids have done a super job in school and in our community,” Clemons said. “This is the second year that we’ve had this scholarship program. It’s just a huge honor to be able to support two high school graduates as they go on to higher education and learning.”

Offering financial support for college-bound Solana Beach students is just one of the ways the society gives back to the community.

The Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society evolved from the Solana Beach Women’s Civic Club, which was founded in 1953. After Solana Beach’s incorporation in 1986, the City Council asked the club to become custodians of the city’s history. In 1989, its Certificate of Incorporation was officially modified to create the Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society, and men were welcomed into the organization.

Today the society focuses on civic and cultural advancement, education and philanthropy. Some of the projects the society has sponsored include the renovation of the Fletcher Cove Community Center, the acquisition of the Gateway property and the continued beautification of the city through plantings and public art. The society also educates local students and community members about Solana Beach’s history through programs at the Heritage Museum located in La Colonia Park.

This year, the society brought history to life for Solana Vista Elementary School third-graders through the Living History program, recognized two local high school graduates with scholarships, and helped replace a dead Torrey pine on the city’s Coastal Rail Trail.

“I really feel a lot was accomplished last year,” Garland said. “We do what we can to better our community.”