Doug Miller painting of 2001 Bink-A-ThonBinky Patrol started in Laguna Beach, CA. Laguna Beach is filled with talented artists with caring hearts.

This tiny painting is by Doug Miller (Interview here) . You can get to know him in that interview. Read the rest of this article to hear about this day, this painting and how it came to be.


You know those moments that just stick with you? Back in 2001, we had one of those at our annual Bink-A-Thon in Laguna Beach. Picture this: a bunch of us, about 80 in total, hanging out in a senior living community’s dining room. Best part? We had the ocean as our backdrop. And man, those waves added a nice touch.

Laura McCoy had prepped these blanket kits for us (a total lifesaver), and the whole gang was there, from Laurie Smith, Carolyn Berndt, Tom Finch, Susie Staebell, and Miriam Siegel to the youngest attendee, Savannah Finch, who was just 17 days old. Cute, right? And of course, Susan had her family and some old pals around, including Craig Earley, who she’s known forever. Add in a sprinkle of dedicated volunteers, and you had a perfect blend of work and fun.

Lunch was a treat! Wahoo’s Fish Taco took care of our hungry selves on the patio. And can I just shout out to Hoffman California Fabrics? They’ve always got our back with those fabric donations.

Oh, and guess who dropped by? Doug Miller from Coastline News. He was snapping away with his camera, making sure this day wouldn’t be forgotten.

Fast forward to 2023. 

The Sawdust Festival in Laguna Beach is THE spot. If you’re looking for local art and cool finds, that’s your place. Susan was there with Carolyn, on a mission to find some hidden art gems. She even picked up a Doug Miller painting, a throwback to a beach memory from ’97.

But the best part? Laurie found another painting at Doug’s booth, a mini masterpiece of our 2001 Bink-A-Thon. What a find! She had to share it with Susan, and let’s just say, it got a little emotional. Those small paintings? They hold some big memories.

This painting was made possible by everyone mentioned in this article. Thank you all for the memories and your hearts.

Laurie texted Susan the photo of her find. This painting captured the moment of community. So many people went into making this painting happen. It brought tears to Susan’s eyes knowing Laurie was sending it to Oregon.

More about Doug Miller. | PBS | Instagram