Brea Old and New: Tick-Tock, History Isn't So Boring After All™ ~ Charlie the Clock

brea community center

  • Daxon: Shop ’til you drop for Brea Community Emergency Council

    4 years ago by

    December arrived and the holiday decorations and Santa have been around for weeks. It is time to get serious about holiday gifting.

      A great way to start is by adding the Brea Community Emergency Council’s annual Holiday Basket Program to your gift list. The council plans to make the holidays brighter for around 200 families and needs our help by Dec. 16. No one should go hungry on Christmas day, or any day, especially children and the elderly.

        Brea Community Emergency Council is a nonprofit organization that has been helping Breans in need for about 60 years, according to nearly 30-year member and long-time president Bill Higgins, who is also the chairman of the holiday project.

          How can we help? A good way to start is at the grocery store or your kitchen pantry. In order to fill 200 baskets – they are really boxes – the council needs canned food, peanut butter, cereal, pasta, beans, rice and other dried foods, household cleaning products, personal care products, including soap, paper products and razors. See something on sale? Pick up a couple to donate. But please do not donate expired food or dented cans. We don’t want to make people sick.

            If your children attend Brea’s public schools, you probably are aware of the collection boxes at each school. There are also donation boxes at the Brea Community Center, the Civic Center, the Brea Senior Center and for the first time, at Ralph’s in the Gateway Center.

              “The new manager wanted to get involved in a local community event to help the needy,” said Higgins via email. I’d say that is definitely the holiday and Brea spirit!

                On Dec. 18, after 1 p.m., council volunteers will bring all the collection boxes to the Brea Olinda High School cafeteria and sort the contents by categories. Starting at 8 a.m. on Dec. 19, more volunteers will show up to fill the holiday boxes with items from as many categories of food and household products that they can fit into each box. The families receiving the boxes will come to pick them up starting at noon.

                  My fellow Soroptimist of Brea/La Habra Club members and I help out each year, and we’ll be there this year, as will members of other Brea service clubs and community volunteers.

                    To help fill the boxes on Dec. 19, just show up at the high school cafeteria and be prepared to work. And if you or someone you know is in need of a big box of groceries this holiday season, call 714-529-6776.

                      Hate to shop? Higgins added that council needs cash and checks too, because it works all year with the Brea Family Resource Center, Active Christians Today, the Brea Ministerial Association and other groups helping families and individuals with everything from food to tires so someone can get to their new job.

                        Drop off your tax-deductible donations at the high school on Dec. 19 or mail to BCEC, P.O. Box 8624, Brea, 92822.

                          Terri Daxon is a freelance writer and the owner of Daxon Marketing Communications. Contact her at

  • Old & New – The Brea Family Resource Center 4th Annual Halloween Costume Exchange

    4 years ago by


      We’re approaching October and many of us are looking forward to the holiday season, starting with Halloween! You’re probably thinking of costumes to choose from and may have many old costumes you don't wear anymore.

        If you don’t have use for old Halloween costumes or are in need of costumes -- you’ll want to participate in the 4th Annual Halloween Costume Exchange presented by the Brea Family Resource Center on Saturday, October 10th, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the Brea Community Center.

          Note: They’re taking Halloween costume donations through Thursday, October 8, so clean out your closet and give to a good cause in making children in our community celebrate Halloween with a great big smile:) Plus, if you donate a costume, you can shop their Halloween Custume BOO-tique during priority hours on October 10, from 9 – 10 am.

            If you have any questions please call the Brea Family Resource Center at (714) 990-7150.

  • Brea Olinda Class of 1985 30-year reunion

    4 years ago by

    The Brea Olinda High School Class of 1985 reunion committee: Vanessa (Arevalo) Mathison, Diane (Riscol) Reafsnyder, Greg Dixon, Valerie Napoli, Jeff Blakenship, Carol Buck.

    The Brea Olinda High School Class of 1985 reunion committee: Vanessa (Arevalo) Mathison, Diane (Riscol) Reafsnyder, Greg Dixon, Valerie Napoli, Jeff Blakenship, Carol Buck. (courtesy Susan Gaede)

      Brea Olinda High School’s Class of 1985 gathered August 1 for a reunion

        “It was so exciting to have the event at the Community Center because there was an old-school feel about it,” said Valerie Napoli, a member of the organizing committee.

          Classmates gathered from all over the country to celebrate their 30 years out of high school. Some traveled quite a distance to attend, such as Patti (Costello) Bauer, Boston; Ellen (Shin) Blau, New York City; Matt Englen, Washington, DC., Darla (Miller) Giambattista, Omaha; Matt Thatcher, Bend, Ore.; Jeff Blankenship and Dale Klevan, Las Vegas; Ann Kramer, Seattle; Kathy (Bakke) Velotta, David George and Stacy (Reno) Hill, Arizona; Karen Gramberg, Heidi (Johnson) Funseth, Tony Barcelo and Chris Malloy, from parts of Northern California.

            Cameron Mathison and Vanessa Arevelo Mathison at the Brea Olinda High Class of 1985 reunion.

            Cameron Mathison and Vanessa Arevelo Mathison at the Brea Olinda High Class of 1985 reunion. (courtesy Susan Gaede)

            Cameron Mathison, a former soap opera star now with “Entertainment Tonight,” was in attendance. His wife, Vanessa Arevelo Mathison, formerly an international model, was on the reunion committee.

              Cameron told me the committee had worked for more than a year on the event, and he was very very impressed with the job they did. He also mentioned how much he liked Brea. He had taken their kids to the art gallery and civic center during the day. Cameron said he was sorry he had to leave early to catch a flight for an important interview with Meryl Streep.

                Left to right Ladycats: Rami Burkhardt Paye, Jodi Klebler Brashoff, Rebecca Nelson, Marcy Munroe Musselman, Sharon Vam Cort Rath, and Pam Chiotti Rha (courtesy Susan Gaede)

                Left to right Ladycats: Rami Burkhardt Paye, Jodi Klebler Brashoff, Rebecca Nelson, Marcy Munroe Musselman, Sharon Vam Cort Rath, and Pam Chiotti Rha

                  It was fun seeing the 1985 Ladycats again. Good friends Lisa White Phillips and Kristin Clizbe were so glad to see each other they just kept crying and hugging,

                    Classmates who have since married include Nancy (Strickland) Szydloski and Brett Szydloski (Class of 83) who have been married 29 years; Gina (Galaviz) Rangel and Rudy Rangel, who have been married for 27 years; and Dave Fox and Rhonda (Scott) Fox, who have been married for 26 years. By the way, the Scotts have six kids, three biological and three adopted from Ethiopia. So, they won the prize for most kids.

                      Stacy (Reno) Hill has been married to Rob Hill (Class of 83) for 25 years.

                        Any news? Give Susan Gaede a jingle at 714-529-8561 or email her at

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    Laurel PTA spearheads community involvement for Lagos de Moreno Park Revitalization Project

    6 years ago by

    This year Laurel Elementary School’s Park, Lagos de Moreno, turned 45 years old. For the past five years PTA volunteers, Mary Martinez and Diane Stites, along with fellow school park enthusiasts, have been on a mission to revitalize the park (open to the public when school is not in session). Today the park is in poor condition with the playground area containing just a few equipment, much different than it was in October of 1973, the day it was renamed from Laurel Elementary Park to Lagos de Moreno in honor of Brea’s sister-city located in Mexico.

      Back in September of 1973, plans were made to welcome 13 visitors from our sister-city Lagos de Moreno, Mexico established in 1969. At the time Lagos de Moreno was 300 years old with a population of 65,000 residents, which was large in comparison to Brea then and surprisingly now. Various city committees were developed with specific duties to entertain the guests’ five-day stay in the City of Brea. It took many people to make the event a success. Among the committee members were Brea’s Mayor Don Fox and his wife Pat, along with fellow council members and their wives, city staff, Brea-Olinda Unified School District board members, and 30 citizens, many of who were Mexican-American residents residing near Laurel Elementary School, the city’s largest Mexican-American populated area.

        Lagos de Moreno busy five-day Brea itinerary started with the official welcoming on Wednesday, October 3, 1973 at the Brea Community Center. Thursday morning began with a breakfast at the Imperial Golf Course, followed by two separate luncheons: one for the women and another for the men. After lunch the women engaged in a two-hour shopping excursion while the men participated in an industrial tour. To unwind and relax, a late afternoon siesta time was allocated as dinner was planned at Sandy’s Casita. The highlight on Friday was the football game of Brea-Olinda vs. Laguna Beach held at the high school. Then on Saturday morning the Lagos group joined Brea dignitaries for the formal Lagos de Moreno Park dedication to start the daylong festivities, which included an installation of a plaque at the park's one acre entrance. It was also noted that Lagos de Moreno Park was intended for the Mexican-American residents located in the central area of the city. Sunday morning consisted of a tour of Disneyland. And finally farewell activities were scheduled before the Lagos group made the long trek back home.

          Many of you who are familiar with Lagos de Moreno Park remember the significance of the fire truck. According to Don McBride, longtime rotarian member, the Brea Rotary Club was instrumental in gifting Lagos de Moreno a working fire truck along with other necessity items. Prior to the sister-city relationship evolving, Don recalls going down there and serving as an interpreter on a boat in Mexico translating how we wanted to develop a mutually beneficial program between our two cities, which soon after became the first sister-city Brea adopted. We also had a fire truck that was donated by the City of Huntington Beach and placed in the park for children to enjoy. Jack Smith, Olinda native and museum docent, recalls installing the 1946 Seagrove fire truck at Lagos de Moreno Park in 1975. But where is our fire truck today?

            After a few phone calls, the fire truck was found just down the road at Unicorn Metals on Lambert Road in La Habra. Luis Ornelas owner of Unicorn Metals said, that the City of Brea contacted him about 10 years ago to relay that the fire truck, due to its unsafe worn condition, was available for purchase. Luis said he purchased it but did not have a plan in mind regarding what he was going to do with it. So, today it’s located in his scrap metal yard, in tact, and according to Luis, if anyone is interested in restoring it, contact him as it is for sale.

              What’s next for Lagos de Moreno Park? Mary and Diane have been working hard to gather funds to restore Lagos de Moreno Park creating Revitalize the Heart of Brea: Lagos de Moreno Park - Laurel Elementary. In the past, many of their attempts included applying for grants from major corporations such as Kohl’s, Avery Dennison’s and taking the Pepsi Refresh Challenge in 2010, offering a million dollars a month for playground equipment to the winning school based on votes. Unfortunately, they did not win, but to their delight they gained a lot of attention from the city and residents of Brea that led to the Laurel PTA members meeting with representatives of the City of Brea and Brea-Olinda School District on June 4, 2014, to discuss plans about revitalizing Lagos De Moreno Park-Laurel Elementary "lower" playground.

                On the agenda this summer is an open community forum. A date will be announced soon. Everyone is invited to lend a voice to the revitalization project of Lagos de Moreno Park. Mary and Diane ask that concerned citizens help spread the word to attend and assist in creating a concrete plan for ‘our gem’ of a park in the ‘Heart of Brea.’

                  A special thanks to former Mayor Don Fox's wife Pat for the Lagos de Moreno articles of memorabilia and also to Mary and Diane, Laurel Elementary PTA members, for contacting Beautiful Brea Old and New Facebook to assist in spreading the word.

                    We can do it if we work together.

                      Carolyn Campbell

  • Brea’s Bridal Show this Saturday

    6 years ago by

      Lots going on at Brea’s Bridal Show this Saturday, January 25, from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the community center! Whether you are in the beginning, middle, or end of planning a special event, this show has vendors from reception sites, bridal gown and wedding party apparel shops, photographers, florists and DJ services, to travel representatives. Plus sampling wedding cake is always a favorite!

        In addition, you can enter a raffle with the chance to win a gown worth up to $800!

          Admission is $6 and parking is free. For further information call the city at (714) 671-4427.

  • Brea to welcome sister city students from Hanno, Japan

    6 years ago by

      Brea is very hospitable and welcoming community. Currently, we have visitors from our sister city, Anseong, Korea. This Thursday, the Hanno Student Delegation will be arriving in Brea and staying until January 22. If you would like to meet the students from Hanno, Japan, following is their event itinerary.

        Hosted by the Brea Sister City Association, a Welcome Dinner is scheduled for Thursday, January 16, at 6:00 p.m. at the Community Center. Followed by the Farewell Dinner on Tuesday, January 21, at 6:00 p.m. in Community Room A.

          Of final note, a Brea Day - Reception is slated for Wednesday, January 22, from 12:30 p.m. -3:00 p.m., with lunch and a tour of the City of Brea. Location details are forthcoming.

  • Anseong Welcome Reception at Brea Community Center

    6 years ago by

      Join the city of Brea in a celebratory welcome for Anseong student delegation. The warm Welcome Reception for Brea’s Sister City is slated for this Friday, January 10, at 9:00 a.m. at the Brea Community Center.

  • Holiday Schedules for City of Brea

    6 years ago by

      Holiday Schedules for the City of Brea 2013

        Information provided by Cindie Ryan, Communications and Marketing Manager

          BREA, Calif. — In observance of the upcoming Christmas and New Year's holidays, the City of Brea administrative offices will be closed beginning on Tuesday, December 24, through Friday, January 3, 2014. The Curtis Theatre box office will be closed December 24-25 and December 31 through January 1, 2014. The Brea Gallery's 45th Watercolor West International Juried Exhibition is on display until De- cember 15. Then the Gallery closes and a new exhibition is set to open on January 25, 2014. The Brea Community Center, as well as the Brea Family Resource Center, will maintain regular operating hours with closures on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 24 and 25, as well as on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 31 and January 1, 2014. The Brea Senior Center closes Tuesday, December 24, through Friday January 3, 2014. Emergency Police and Fire remain unchanged. There will be no trash pick-up on Wednesdays, December 25 and January 1, 2014. Then, for the remainder of those weeks, refuse collection service will be delayed by one day from the normal schedule. There will be no street sweeping between December 24 and 27 and on New Year's Day.

            As a courtesy, to help accommodate additional visitors over the holiday period, there will be no ticketing of residential street sweeping parking violations between December 23 and January 3, 2014. Holiday trees will be collected on normal trash pick-up days between December 30, 2013 and Jan- uary 6, 2014. Residents are asked to recycle trees by cutting them up and placing into the brown yard waste container. Or, they may be placed curbside near the trash containers. Trees over six-foot tall must be cut in half. Remove all ornaments, lights and stands. Tree bags and flocked trees are not recyclable and require you to schedule a special pick up time.

              For trash collection information, please call Brea Disposal at (714) 238-2444.

  • 20th Annual Nutcracker Craft Boutique at the Brea Community Center

    6 years ago by

      Like clockwork, the city’s 20th Annual Nutcracker Boutique is just around the corner. For two consecutive days next week, shoppers can find beautiful holiday handmade crafts, decorations and collectables from over 250 vendors on Friday, November 15, from 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., and Saturday, November 16, from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at The Brea Community Center. Admission is $2, benefitting Brea’s youth, teen and family programs. Parking is free.

        If the center’s parking lot is filled up, additional parking has been expanded, as a trolley service will be conveniently available at the Brea Baptist Church to take you to and from the Boutique at no charge. Due to the popularity of this event, strollers can’t be accommodated. However, The Brea Community Center will offer KidWatch babysitting services for only $2.25 an child per hour.

          The Brea Community Center is located at 695 E. Madison Way. For further information, please call (714) 990-7771.

  • Brea Spring Bridal Show

    7 years ago by

    The Brea Bridal Show is this Saturday, April 20, from 11:00 a.m -3:00 p.m. at the Brea Community Center. This show is timed perfect for those brides who are in the beginning stages of planning and those who are in need of specific services to complete their wedding planning checklist. It's an Ideal show for anyone planning a special event! See flyer for further details.