The Assistance League of Long Beach (ALLB) and city officials celebrated the groundbreaking of the Earl B. and Loraine H. Miller Foundation Children’s Center and Orthodontic Pavilion on February 28. Located at 6220 E. Spring St., adjacent to the existing ALLB facility, the new center will house the organization’s expanded Operation School Bell program, providing as many as 12,000 Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) students with uniforms and supplies annually. The new facility will also include ALLB’s Orthodontic Program, providing orthodontic services to around 1,000 LBUSD students each school year, according to Cynthia Terry, Creating Smiles capital campaign chairman with ALLB. “As of today, we’ve got 80% of our [$5.5 million] financial goal,” Terry said during the event. “This groundbreaking signifies a call to action where we want the entire community to join us in support of our Creating Smiles capital campaign.” The new center was named after Earl and Loraine Miller in light of a $1.25 million contribution by their foundation. The ALLB’s current facility is being renovated and renamed the Cherese Mari Laulhere Philanthropic Center, after a $1 million donation by the foundation of the same namesake. Chris Laulhere explained that her daughter Cherese died while studying abroad when she was 21, and that she had a heart set on helping children. “After we lost her, we knew that we needed to carry out her hopes and dreams, and keep her memory alive,” Laulhere said. “We were extremely impressed with how much [ALLB] does for school kids. Of all the Assistance League’s throughout the country, Long Beach has the most volunteers and it touches our hearts.” Pictured from left: Joseph Coriaty, partner with Frederick Fisher & Partners; Randy Wilson, contractor with Norm Wilson & Sons; John Berley, senior associate architect with Frederick Fisher & Partners; Cindy Summers, capital project chairman with ALLB; Laulhere, president of the Cherese Mari Laulhere Foundation; Terry; Walter Florie, president of the Earl B. and Loraine H. Miller Foundation; Christian Brown, an LBUSD student; JoAnn McDonald, president of ALLB; 5th District Councilmember Stacy Mungo; Mayor Robert Garcia; former ALLB Presidents Patti Brown, Vickie Sullos and Suzanne Powell; and ALLB Executive Director Annette Kashiwabara. (Photograph courtesy of the ALLB)