A Piece of Orange County History

ArdenModjeska02We know you thrift shoppers love things that are historic . . . and are bargains! Here’s an outing in Orange County that combines these! It’s a tour of “Arden” – the Helena Modjeska House, a National Historic Landmark built in 1888, in Modjeska Canyon. The docent-led tour is only $5.00 and is offered on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays, or the 2nd and 4th Saturdays, every month.

Madame Modjeska was the most famous Shakespearean actress in the country in the 1880s and 1890s. She and her husband, emigres from Poland, dreamed of owning a ranch in California. In 1888 they purchased the land in Santiago Canyon that would become Arden. Designed by the noted New York architect Stanford White and named for the magical Forest of Arden in Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,” Arden became an idyllic retreat where they where they could enjoy rustic ranch life and entertain a glittering list of celebrities of the day.

Visitors will love the vintage furnishings, the oak-shaded grounds, and the legacy of an immensely talented, artistic woman. To make a tour reservation or learn more, call 949-923-2230.

On a recent tour, our docent was dressed in a gorgeous vintage Victorian costume. You might want to check out the ALI thrift shop before you go to see if YOU can find some Victorian-looking clothing to put you in the spirit of Madame Modjeska!

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The amazing donors of Team Stone Creek

donation-pick-upWe have thrift shop donors . . . and then we have thrift shop donors. Today we want to tell you about some truly amazing donors! They are called Team Stone Creek, and they’re a student service club of 4th, 5th, and 6th graders at Stone Creek Elementary School in Woodbridge.

At the beginning of the school year, the kids, along with their faculty advisors Mike Clarke, John Hernandez, and Shelley Nishikawa, brainstormed suggestions for service projects. They came up with the idea of a clothing drive to benefit the ALI thrift shop, since they thought most families have old clothing they’d be happy to donate to a good cause. Stone Creek School has a special fondness for the Assistance League of Irvine, since Susan Mehrtens, a long-time ALI member (and incoming chapter president for 2014-15) was the school’s principal from 1998 to 2006. The students felt our thrift shop would be a worthy recipient for their donations.

The 4th graders created a flyer and sent out an e-mail blast to the community, while the 5th graders made posters advertising the event. The 6th grade was in charge of picking up the donations. The clothing drive was a huge success – they collected almost 60 bags of clothing for ALI!  

These amazing kids also held a food drive at Thanksgiving to benefit Families Forward, and sponsored a book drive last month. Their efforts are one of the reasons Stone Creek was recently ranked as the fourth-best elementary school in Orange County (out of 371 schools) by the Orange County Register.

With students like these, we know the future of Irvine is in good hands. Thank you, Stone Creek Elementary School!