La Jolla village shining after volunteers do their part

By Dave Schwab

Staff Writer

La Jollans are definitely getting into the holiday spirit, hanging festive lights and coming up with the money to pay for the “Season’s Greetings” sign and decorating Torrey Pines Road.

While funds from the La Jolla Business Improvement District covered the cost of the shooting stars in the Village proper, volunteers have added even more to brighten the community this year.

Egon Kafka, a La Jolla Town Council trustee who operates the La Jolla Village Lodge with partner Maureen Murphy, spearheaded a group that has been stringing icicle lights along Hershcel and Girard avenues and Prospect Street. He also gave up a room at the lodge to store the shooting starts and see that they light bulbs were working. The volunteers, who have been out at night and in the rain, included Michelle and Shannon Lerach of CUPS on Girard, Anna Palmer of Anna Palmer Design on Hershcel and Phil and Nicki Coller of Everett Stunz on Girard. They’ve been joined by Michele Addington and others who’ve pitched in.

“We still need volunteers to help with powering up shooting stars on Girard (Avenue) and with some repairs on the ground,” said Kafka. He still has some lights available and said any merchants interested in illuminating the space outside their stores should call him at (858) 551- 2001.

On top of those who have been hanging lights, La Jollans have pitched in $2,340 to put up the Season’s Greeting sign and lighted stars on Torrey Pines, said Joe LaCava, president of the La Jolla Community Planning Association.

“We kicked off low-key fundraising in October and received donations just in time for Thanksgiving,” LaCava said, noting the effort became necessary last year when the Promote La Jolla finances rendered it unable to fund holiday signage and decorations as it has done annually. Last year donations were needed to cover the entire village as well as the Torrey Pines area.

This year, the La Jolla Business Improvement District is able to fund holiday decorations within the Village, but the lighted sign on the pedestrian bridge at the “Throat” and from La Jolla Shores to Prospect Place are located outside the BID and needed to be funded privately.

LaCava thanked the donors including CUPS (Michelle & Shannon Lerach), Front Porch Development (Casa de Mañana), Scott Benson, Bob Collins, Orrin Gabsch and Warwick’s (Nancy Warwick).