Jr. Lifeguard Headquarters celebrates grand opening, draws community support

The grand opening of the long-anticipated Junior Lifeguard Headquarters building was celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony and much fanfare on Wednesday, June 12 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

The event included speeches from Newport Beach Mayor Will O’Neill, Newport Beach Fire Chief Jeff Boyles, Newport Beach Junior Lifeguard (NBJG) Foundation Chair Graham Harvey and NBJG Founder/Past Director Reenie Boyer.

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Courtesy of City of Newport Beach

Newport Beach Mayor Will O’Neill addressing the crowd prior to the ribbon cutting

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Courtesy of NBFD

(L-R) Newport Beach Mayor Pro Tem Joe Stapleton, Fire Chief Jeff Boyles and Newport Beach City Manager enjoying the festivities

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Courtesy of City of Newport Beach

Ribbon cutting celebration – (L-R): State Assemblywoman Diane Dixon, City Councilmember Robyn Grant, Mayor Pro Tem Joe Stapleton, Mayor Will O’Neill cutting the ribbon and City Councilmembers Noah Blom, Lauren Kleiman and Erik Weigand, as Fire Chief Jeff Boyles looks on

Mayor O’Neill shared his sentiments: “Thank you to my colleagues on the City Council, both past and present, for the vision to make this project happen; to our city staff for implementing the vision and ensuring that the building met our city’s high standards; to Graham Harvey and the team at the Newport Beach Junior Lifeguard Foundation and the Ben Carlson Foundation for their extraordinary work pushing the vision and stepping up in amazing ways, and most importantly, thank you to our NBJG families and friends whose financial commitments ensured that we are standing here today.

“This building represents far more than concrete and decoration on the outside, it’s the house for one of the greatest programs in the history of our state. The NBJG has taught tens of thousands of youth the value of water safety and, just as importantly, the values of discipline and effort. We are a better community because Reenie Boyer and the NBLGs started the Junior Lifeguards 40 years ago.”

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Courtesy of City of Newport Beach

Giving the crowd a Hawaiian shaka (“hang loose”) – (L-R): Fire Chief Jeff Boyles, Assemblywoman Diane Dixon, City Councilmember Robyn Grant, Mayor Pro Tem Joe Stapleton, Mayor Will O’Neill, City Councilmembers Noah Blom, Lauren Kleiman and Erik Weigand, and Chief Lifeguard Brian O’Rourke

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Courtesy of City of Newport Beach

Reenie Boyer, NB Jr. Lifeguard Program founder and past director, shares her warm sentiments with attendees

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Courtesy of City of Newport Beach

Graham Harvey, chairman, NB Jr. Lifeguard Foundation speaks to the crowd

Newport Beach Fire Chief expressed his thoughts on the Grand Opening: “Today’s grand opening is representative of so many people in our community from the JG Foundation and its generous donors led by Graham Harvey, council support, city staff, and most importantly community support both financially and socially. Next week 1,450 kids will take to the sand and surf with this building as their home base. I truly believe that 20 years from now, the kids in our current program will be the next leaders in this community as so many former Junior Lifeguards are now.”

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Courtesy of City of Newport Beach

David A. Pyle Family (Founders on the wall) in front of the dedication wall

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Courtesy of NBFD

(L-R) Chief Lifeguard Brian O’Rourke, Lifeguard Captain Gary Conwell, Lifeguard Officer Carly Christian, Department Assistant Cynthia Haritatos and Fire Chief Jeff Boyles

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Courtesy of Carol Crane

Reenie Boyer with NMUSD Board of Trustees President Carol Crane

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Courtesy of City of Newport Beach

Crowd gathered around the new NB Jr. Guard Headquarters building

The completion of the building marked a new era for the Newport Beach Junior Lifeguard Program, which was previously operated out of a trailer, and now averages 1,400 participants annually.

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Courtesy of City of Newport Beach

The new NB Jr. Lifeguard Headquarters building

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Courtesy of City of Newport Beach

NBFD Fire Truck 62 at the new NB Jr. Lifeguard Headquarters

According to Lifeguard Chief Brian O’Rourke, “This building will provide a stable home with amenities for our incredible staff and junior lifeguards for generations to come! We are excited to celebrate our 40-year anniversary with this new home and look forward to another super epic summer.”


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