How it all began: In March 1999, the Dana Point Historical Society honored Lucy Chavarrias-Saunderson as the Local Woman of Women’s History Month and she was the featured speaker at the monthly meeting. President Beverly Sels reported, “It was a standing-room-only meeting with everyone enjoying her stories of the old days.”
Lucy was the founder of Lucy’s El Patio Cafe in Capistrano Beach. She started the restaurant in 1951 and it is the longest continually run business in the city. Lucy cooked for hundreds of men working at the Cotton Ranch and then went into the restaurant business in 1937. According to a May 31st Dana Point News article by David Bro entitled “El Patio Cafe still cooking after 76 years,” Lucy’s recipes are still being used to prepare dishes at the popular restaurant now run by her son Jack since 1989. OC Register subscribers may view the article online here: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/saunderson-510758-lucy-patio.html.
Lucy passed away on April 8, 2000, and her services at San Juan Capistrano Basilica filled the church inside and had nearly as many people outside to pay their respects. Lucy’s family requested the Society’s participation with them in establishing a scholarship fund in her memory. Donations were made for a Lucy Chavarrias-Saunderson / Dana Point-Capistrano Beach Historical Society Scholarship to be awarded at the end of each school year, beginning in 2001.
Doris I. Walker was the DPHS Founders Day honoree, History Advisor and Program Chair who arranged interesting monthly meetings for the Dana Point Historical Society over many years. Just two months ago, on April 16, Doris’s sons Brett and Blair Walker joined our City Council and other dignitaries in dedicating a sculpture to Doris, commemorating the stories she has written for us. Following the November 2011 memorial service in her and husband Jack Smith’s honor, the Society decided to rename our already existing second scholarship as the Doris I. Walker Scholarship, given in her name for the first time last year.
Joining us in remembering past DPHS President Beverly Sels will be her husband, Glenn. He will speak about Beverly’s involvement in the Society and her love for community participation. In addition, Jack Saunderson and Blair Walker will comment about their mothers’ legacies in the Dana Point area.
This year, the $1,000 Doris I. Walker Scholarship has been awarded to Sarah Anne Martino of Dana Hills High School and the $1,000 Lucy Chavarrias-Saunderson Scholarship has been awarded to Melissa Chmelik of San Clemente High School.
A change in venue and style has been announced for this year’s scholarship fundraiser dinner. Jack Saunderson, son of scholarship namesake Lucy Chavarrias-Saunderson, will be preparing a Mexican-themed picnic for the attendees. This year’s picnic will take place at Lantern Bay Park, on Park Lantern Street, the entrance of which is located Doheny Beach. Look for the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Hotel sign. “Picnic Mexicano” will include a variety of your favorite Mexican dishes, along with soft drinks and dessert. Beer and wine will also be available.
Parking is available in the lots past the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Hotel entrance, up the hill. Our picnic area is on the left-hand side just past the parking lots and has plenty of tables as well as restrooms across the street.
Tickets are $25 with advance purchase or $30 at the door (get the form in this newsletter on Page 2 or print it now from our website: Registration Form. Tickets for children under 12 are $10. Advance purchase reservations must be received by June 21. Please volunteer to help at this event by calling Vice President for Programs Ann Shultz at the museum office, 949-248-8121 (message) or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.