On Monday evening at the Montage Resort Laguna Beach, over 3,000 visitors enjoyed cookies and cocoa, listened to carolers, and watched as a 60-foot fir tree was lit up with thousands of twinkling lights.
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Guests were treated to complimentary snacks and beverages. There were also several children's activities available throughout the resort. Santa was on hand for a visit and photos.
After a gorgeous sunset vanished over the Pacific Ocean, the time came to light the tree.
Todd Orlich, general manager of the Montage, welcomed visitors to the event. He thanked Montage Hotels & Resorts founder and CEO Alan Fuerstman, managing director of Montage Laguna Beach James Bermingham and MH&R conference services manager Joyce Logan for their vision, support and effort. He also thanked the Hearts of Montage which provides financial assistance for local community organizations.
Orlich also acknowledged the work of the Pacific Marine Mammal Center.
"On your behalf tonight," said Orlich, "we would like to recognize the Pacific Marine Mammal Center for 41 years of work. The Pacific Marine Mammal Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to rescue, rehabilitation and release of marine mammals stranded along the Orange County coastline. [It increases] public awareness of the marine environment through education and research."
Orlich presented a check for $5,000 to PMMC board of directors president Jeff Brumett and PMMC development director Melissa Sciacca.
"Today, we're honoring you all," said Orlich, "I want to congratulate you. I want to thank you for everything that you have done for our kids, for our animals, and for our community. You are all truly amazing."
Brumett received the check and thanked the MRLB and said, "We're very excited ... for 5,000 pounds of fish."
After the PMMC was applauded, the crowd began to count down, and then the tree was lit to cheers and applause. "Snow" began to fall on the guests.
Montage guests Debbie and Bill Allen brought their doggies Toby and Yoyo to stay the night at the resort.
"We just decided it was a real special treat this year to stay," said Debbie Allen. "It's such a beautiful area and such a beautiful place. The [Montage staff is] really, really nice."
Bill Allen said, "We've already had sparkling wine ... and a chocolate tray delivered to the room. So you can't go wrong. [The Montage staff is] great here."