By Kristina Pritchett
During the Dana Point Historical Society’s Founder’s Day event, Dana Point residents were honored for their contributions to Dana Point History.
Founders Day was created to recognize individuals who have made a significant contribution to the history of Dana Point, according to the Society.
This year’s event brought more than 70 people to the Dana Point Community House for dinner and the awards.
Carlos and Georgelean Olvera were awarded the Dana Point Historical Society 2017 Founders Honorees.
“Georgelean and Carlos Olvera have made significant contributions to the community over their decades in Dana Point,” said Barbara Johannes, president of the Dana Point Historical Society.
Carlos has served on the Dana Point City Council, the Planning Commission and was the mayor. He’s served as the Dana Point Historical Society’s president for nine years and has contributed to historical research, society finances and historic outreach activities. He previously wrote “it’s History” for the Dana Point Times and has served as an Orange County Historical Commissioner.
Georgelean has worked with the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce as the executive director, through boards, commissions and nonprofit organizations. She’s volunteered for the home tour committee, scholarship fundraisers and hosted the community reading of Two Years Before the Mast.
“If it were not for people like Carlos and Georgelean Olvera who have kept our history alive and worked to preserve it, we would not have a history to share,” Johannes said.
The Historical Society also honored Helen Pierce, the matriarch of Dana Point, for her 70 years as a “participant in Dana Point history.”
Helen moved to Dana Point after she married Mel Pierce. She was on the opening staff of R.H. Dana Elementary where she designed the kindergarten area consisting of two classrooms and an activity area.
Today, she continues to attend Historical Society events and volunteers.
She and Mel raised their family here, and he was a founding member of the Doheny Volunteer Fire Department. They were named Founders Day honorees in 2007.
“If it were not for people like Helen and Mel Pierce we wouldn’t have a community of first person witness to Dana Point’s history, since 1930—Mel—and 1947—Helen—respectively,” Johannes said. “The Pierces lived, worked, volunteered and raised their family here in Dana Point. Helen and Mel’s lives are a Dana Point ‘Hallmark story.’”
Bruce Beal and Elizabeth Bamattre served as master and mistress of ceremonies.