Support. Enrich. Inspire.

Hall of Fame

Mark Christy, Owner of Hobie Surf Shop and Managing Partner at The Ranch at Laguna Beach – 2016 Hall of Fame Recipient

SchoolPower honored Mark Christy, owner of Hobie Surf Shop and Managing Partner at The Ranch at Laguna Beach, with the Hall of Fame Award at its annual Trustee Dinner, hosted by Okura Sushi on June 5.

SchoolPower’s Executive Director Robin Rounaghi described Christy as a “homegrown champion for this community” who understands how important it is to support the Laguna Beach schools that he attended, along with his brother, sister, son, nephew and niece. Christy graciously accepted the award by acknowledging that the local schools did a lot for his family. “We like to keep it real, keep it in the community. We give what we can and we’re stoked to do it.”

Hobie’s contributions to SchoolPower go back as far as any other business in the SchoolPower books. Hobie purchased advertising in SchoolPower’s Student Directory as early as 1998, and Christy continues to actively bid for its prized cover spots. Hobie has donated countless auction items for the Dinner Dance throughout the years, as well as being a long-time Terminator Sponsor for the Dodgeball tournament.

Christy’s newest endeavor, The Ranch at Laguna Beach, started giving back before they were even fully up and running, hosting SchoolPower’s Trustee Dinner two years ago, and its Business Appreciation party this spring. Just recently The Ranch at Laguna Beach, along with Hobie, created and hosted the first annual 3 Clubs Barefoot Canyon Classic golf tournament, a hugely successful event that perfectly exemplified Laguna’s casual and wacky vibe. Remarkably, The Ranch and Hobie underwrote every penny so that 100% of the proceeds, about $40,000, went to SchoolPower. Who does such a thing? Homegrown champion and 2016 Hall of Famer Mark Christy, that’s who.

Mark Christy and Robin Rounaghi
Mark Christy and Robin Rounaghi

It is true that SchoolPower is only as successful as the passion and commitment of its donors. Throughout the years there have been certain individuals and businesses whose involvement in SchoolPower has made a singular difference in the success of the organization and our schools.

The Hall of Fame Award (aka The Claes Award) was named in honor of its first recipient, Claes Andersen. Mr. Andersen, owner of The Hotel Laguna and its Claes Restaurant, opened his restaurant to SchoolPower in 2001, underwriting his annual dinner for seven consecutive years, as well as hosting many dinners for 50 as auction items for SchoolPower’s annual Dinner Dance. Cumulatively, Mr. Andersen and his family have donated over $200,000 to SchoolPower.

In yet one more act of amazing generosity, the Andersen family had offered to host its 8th Claes dinner, when Mr. Andersen passed away tragically on August 11, 2010. Insisting that he would want it to continue, his wife, Georgia, carried on with the fall event. Recipients of this award are filling very big shoes. SchoolPower cannot express its gratitude enough to the Andersen family. We all are in their debt.

Claes Andersen


  • 2016 – Mark Christy of Hobie and The Ranch at Laguna Beach
  • 2015 – Kristin Karkoska of Blue Sky’s Studio
  • 2014 – Firebrand Media
  • 2013 – Fredric H. Rubel Jewelers
  • 2012 – Cary and Suzanne Redfearn of The Lumberyard
  • 2011 – Laguna Graphic Arts
  • 2010 – David Wilson
  • 2009 – Hearts of Montage
  • 2008 – Philo Smith & David Wilhelm
  • 2007 – Don Crevier
  • 2006 – Claes Andersen
Mark ChristyKristin KarkoskaFirebrand Media's Scott Sanchez and SchoolPower's Robin Rounaghi
Mike Austin and David RubelMike Austin, Cary and Suzanne Redfearn, Marcus SkenderianArash and Ali Rounaghi of Laguna Graphic ArtsDavid Wilson and Marcus SkenderianDon CrevierLaura Poochigian, Chris Loidolt, Jeff Spurlock accepting for Hearts of MontageDavid Wilhelm and Philo Smith

The Bill Steel Award

To understand the significance of the Bill Steel Award one must know of the achievements of the man it is named for. Starting in 1997-98, Mr. Steel took charge of the Community Campaign and ran it for ten years straight. The year he took over, the Community Campaign spiked from raising $30,000 the year prior to an unprecedented $81,000. He continued to inspire people to give more each of the ten years he was in charge. In 2008, his final year, the Campaign raised upwards of $500,000. In the midst of all this success, he also managed to add SchoolPower Board President to his resume from 2000-2001. Clearly, recipients of this award are individuals who are not only dedicated, but possess stamina as firm believers in Laguna's public schools.


  • 2016 – Christy & Tom Addis
  • 2015 – Lynn Gregory
  • 2014 – Kristi Cancellieri
  • 2013 – Kim Ressler
  • 2012 – Beth McCombs
  • 2010 – Kathleen and Bill Moore
  • 2009 – Fouad and Cynthia Houalla
  • 2008 – Bill Steel

Christy and Tom Addis