SAVE THE DATE! Young Masters Art Show 2014

“Every child is an artist.” – Pablo Picasso

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Every year in May, Assistance League of Irvine sponsors an amazing event that allows every child to be an artist for an afternoon. Our 24th Young Masters Art Show will take place on Saturday, May 3, from 1 – 4 pm at Irvine City Hall. The FREE activities will include hands-on art projects for children, musical performances by Irvine high schools, face painting, balloon artists and – complimentary refreshments! A perfect event for the entire family!

Along with all this, almost 500 artworks created by Irvine elementary school students (one selection representing each elementary school classroom) will be on display inside City Hall during the festivities. These “Young Masters” are so talented, it’s unbelievable. You’ll be awed by the creativity of the artwork, and you’ll have a new appreciation for the work our Irvine Unified School District Art Specialist teachers are doing in the classroom. And you’ll be similarly impressed by the high school music groups – these teenagers sound like professional musicians.

But the best part of Young Masters is seeing the joy the kids have as they make their own art projects at the hands-on art stations. Here “every child is an artist,” feeling the thrill of creativity and reminding us that the arts enrich us all.

Put Young Masters on your calendar for May 3 – we hope to see you there!

CLICK HERE TO VIEW EVENT DETAILS

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A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words

Spring is here! Spring means prom . .  graduations . . . and weddings. Prom, graduations, and weddings mean . . .  photos! Photos mean . . .  picture frames!

Yes, we all have hundreds of photos on our phones and computers, plus digital scrapbooks somewhere off in the cloud.  But memories like your  high-school prom, graduation, and weddings need to be expressed in something other than pixels.  These are shining moments in our lives that deserve a tangible presence: a printed photo in a special frame.  Think about it – what happens when you visit someone’s home for the first time? You’re immediately drawn to the photographs that are displayed around the house.  Why? Because those are the moments and the people that mean the most to them.

The next few weeks will bring many moments you’ll want to remember.  And the thrift shop ALWAYS has a selection of picture frames  in many styles and sizes.  Classic, casual, elegant or whimsical, portrait or collage-style – we may have the perfect frame to match your photo.

And while we’re on the subject of pictures – check out this link to our VIRTUAL TOUR OF THE THRIFT SHOP http://bit.ly/Q9PghZ

 See our sign and our entrance, and get an up-close look at our merchandising layout.  This is a great way to show your family and friends the shop where you find all those bargains.  (And if you’re having thrift shop-withdrawal symptoms when we’re closed between Sunday and Tuesday, you can take the virtual tour to satisfy your cravings.)

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Good Night Mortgage!

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Recently ALI held a very, very special celebration in our Community Outreach Center upstairs from the thrift shop. Yes, shoppers and readers, we’ve done it! We’ve burned our mortgage!

Let’s go back in time a few years, and we’ll explain how we fulfilled this dream of every Irvine property owner. Many of you may remember our original thrift shop on Main Street, near John Wayne Airport. We had a vision of buying a property, where we would have room to host our Operation School Bell clients, provide additional resources to the community, and house our thrift shop. We started a Capital Campaign, and the City of Irvine helped by awarding us a Community Development Block Grant. And in July 2009, we were able to purchase our business condominium unit at 2452 Alton! We made a down payment and took out a 10-year mortgage with a balloon payment due in July, 2019 (typical for commercial real estate loans).

Our new location was an immediate success, and soon our thrift shop was bringing in enough money for us to expand our philanthropic programs AND have extra cash. Our far-sighted finance director, Penny Bolton, pointed out that if we made additional payments on our mortgage, we’d be able to pay off the loan earlier than 2019, plus saving a lot on interest.   A lower mortgage – or no mortgage – down the road would give us even more money to give back to the community. A win-win! Our “Free ALI” fund-raising campaign was born!

Janet Lisle (long-time member and past president of ALI) and her husband, Phil, made a generous donation of seed money, matched by donations from our members, to start off the “Free ALI” campaign. And with hard work from all our members, plus the continued support of OUR THRIFT SHOP CUSTOMERS, we chipped away at that mortgage balance. Then last summer, we received an amazing, if bittersweet, bequest from the estate of another long-time member, Hedy Mulhausen. Hedy’s gift enabled us to pay off the rest of the mortgage in full in September, 2013 – just four years after we took out the loan!

We didn’t ACTUALLY burn the mortgage last week, because that would have set off the fire alarm and the sprinklers – but we burned it in spirit! Many who have shared this journey with us, were there to help us celebrate this momentous occasion – Irvine Mayor Steven Choi, City Council Member Beth Krom, City Manager Sean Joyce, and Jerome Carrasco, Greg Smith, Fawn Tanriverdi, and Margie Wakeham from our Community Advisory Council.

So if you notice extra-wide smiles on the faces of the ALI members the next time you’re at the shop or one of our events, it’s because the mortgage is gone – and we’re SMILING all the way to the bank!

Many memories have been made at our shop – check out some pictures over the years: