Shining a Light on Our Shared History Rancho Los Cerritos 175th Anniversary Gala

Rancho Los Cerritos weaves history, social sciences, arts, and technology together to bring our shared history to life in new and imaginative ways. Join us to celebrate 175 years of our historic adobe house and support RLC’s restoration, exhibitions, and educational programs on October 20th at 5:00 pm.

The 175th Anniversary Gala will honor Margie & Frank Newell, Junior League of Long Beach, and Port of Long Beach for their deep commitment to Rancho Los Cerritos, their leadership, and their spirited generosity. Junior League of Long Beach, along with Long Beach Unified School District, and Rancho Los Cerritos staff developed the immersive “Adobe Days Revisited” field trip program for fourth graders over 30 years ago. The Junior League handled the School Docent Program for over 10 years and then turned administration over to Rancho Los Cerritos. “Not only did Junior League volunteerism through the School Docent Program enrich the lives of children, it enriched our lives as well,” Susie Laubacher, former chair of the program.

Margie Newell first got involved with Rancho Los Cerritos as a part of the School Docent program in the 80s. After ten years of helping educate children, she and her husband Frank chose to get even more involved and they have been an integral part of the RLC network ever since. The Newell’s led the capital campaign efforts that built our new Visitor Center in 2012. Margie Newell is a longtime board member of the Rancho Los Cerritos Foundation. Today, they serve as honorary co-chairs to the Opening Doors Campaign.

The Port of Long Beach has been a longtime supporter of Rancho Los Cerritos and has supported its public programming efforts fostering our community partnership.   Thanks to a substantial grant from Port of Long Beach, RLC is implementing is a state-of-the-art stormwater recapture system. The entire system will use innovative technology, enabling the capture of up to 140,000 cubic feet of runoff that will increase our first flush stormwater capture from 40% to 95% annually. The majority of the water will be absorbed and collected through new permeable paving that will lead to a 10,000 gallon cistern. This system will serve as a nationwide model for water reclamation, treatment, and use in the face of climate change. “We recognize our place as stewards of history, and want to make the Rancho sustainable and relevant for another 175 years,” Rancho Los Cerritos Executive Director, Alison Bruesehoff said.

The 175th Anniversary Gala is sponsored by Farmers & Merchants Trust Company, Port of Long Beach, P2S Engineering, Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, for the 4th district, and Long Beach Water Department. 8th district Councilmember Al Austin is the honorary chair of 175th Anniversary events. The gala committee is chaired by Sandi Kayse, with members Rick Alsagoff, Barbara Bixby Blackwell, Kathy Lingle, Jerry Love, Margie Newell, Sherry Nieto, Vicki Pard, David Schnur, and Diana Trombley.

Starting at 5:00 pm, there will be a cocktail reception and silent auction. Emmy winner Kim Estes will be emceeing the evening. Later, family-style dinner will be held in the historic backyard catered by Virginia Country Club. There will be special video presentations for each honoree (Margie & Frank Newell, Junior League of Long Beach, and Port of Long Beach) directed and produced by Lost Traveler Productions. To finish out the evening, there will be a tree lighting celebration highlighting the history of the adobe house and the surrounding trees written by horticulturist Marie Barnidge McIntyre. This gala is not only a celebration of the past, but a look at the present, and a fundraiser for our future.

The proceeds from this gala will support the Opening Doors restoration campaign that is already underway. Three new rooms will be open by 2020 with the ultimate goal being an adobe that is 100% open to the public. The first door to open in this campaign is the door to Llewellyn Jr.’s Bedroom, which visitors can see a sneak peek of during public tours.

Funds raised will also help Rancho Los Cerritos create new STEM-focused curriculum around water and sustainability for school children and learners of all ages. RLC will demonstrate that we can live and thrive within the constraints of our environment by employing the best available technology. This curriculum will highlight RLC’s history and its role in water resiliency. Water conservation and education is a key part of RLC’s master plan.

About Rancho Los Cerritos

Rancho Los Cerritos is a historic home in Long Beach, California. Built in 1844, the adobe home and grounds of Rancho Los Cerritos echo with the rich history of Indigenous, Spanish, Mexican, and American California and with the families who helped transform Southern California from its ranching beginnings to a modern, urban society. The two-story Monterey-style adobe is primarily furnished to reflect occupants and lifestyles from the 1860s-1880s. The site, a National, State and Long Beach Historic Landmark, also includes historic gardens and a research library and archives. It is operated by the Rancho Los Cerritos Foundation in a public/private partnership with the City of Long Beach. The rancho Los Cerritos Foundation is the historic voice for the diverse people who shaped Southern California. For more information, call (562) 206-2040, visit, and follow RLC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About Rancho Los Cerritos’s Opening Doors Campaign

Rancho Los Cerritos recently embarked on a 3-year campaign to restore previously unseen rooms of the historic adobe and open doors to a dynamic learning experience for generations to come. Through the Opening Doors campaign, Rancho Los Cerritos will complete Phase Two of its Master Plan, which will nearly double access to the Rancho and transform the experience for visitors into true “living history.” For more information about the campaign and to see restoration plans, visit

Calendar Information

175th Anniversary Gala

Sunday, October 20th

5:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Rancho Los Cerritos

4600 Virginia Road

Long Beach, CA 90807

For more info and to RSVP: