Before the Newport Mesa Halfway house became ‘The
Harold & Justine Richards Foundation’.
Two years ago, I had an idea, which I personally thought in my opinion
was a good thing to do. The idea I had was to have a plaque made-up
honoring Harold Richards for his contribution and devotion of creating
a non-profit recovery home for men who suffered under alcohol abuse. My
thinking was to honor the man while he was alive not after he passed on.
I also had told Mr. Richards he deserves some kind of recognition in the form of having a plaque dedicated in his honor for all he has done in making what the halfway house had become. However, Harold was never one to seek glory or accolades for his labors he put into his 32 years of constantly refurbishing the house to its present condition. If but anything he was against any fanfare. He was there to help men get sober.
Over the 32 years perhaps thousands of men have gone through this house and out of those thousands hundreds have turned their lives around to sober living. Certainly the man Harold Richards did deserve credit for starting a non-profit recovery home for men who did recover. The house has always been a big stepping stone for the sake of helping men to recover from alcohol abusive. So why not a special tribute to a man who has always been a giver and not a taker.
I shared my idea with my close friend Mr. Frank Ivanovich, who was the former Treasurer of the Newport Mesa Halfway House and still continues in the same capacity title as treasurer with the new "Harold & Justine Richards Foundation." The credit goes 100 percent to Frank Ivanovich, because it was Frank who took the idea of the plaque one step further. A BUST!!
Setting The Record Straight
How it came about was while Frank and I were having coffee at my home, Frank happened to notice a bust of the late Tenor singer; Mario Lanza setting upon my stereo. Frank then pointed out to me a bust of of Mario Lanza would be much better, only bigger and made out of metal, whereas the Lanza bust was not made from metal and was much smaller. He was right. Frank had asked if he could borrow the Lanza bust to take it to the up coming monthly committee meeting to display the Lanza bust with his fellow committee members. This monthly meeting is held in the garage on the first Monday of every month. According to Frank the committee members voted overwhelming for a bust to be created. From that point on one of the committee members named Chad, took it another step. Chad introduced the idea to the present creator of the bust, Sculptor; Karen Schmidt, who did a marvelous job of creating the look alike bust of Harold Richards. Today that Bust is in the house and now sits upon a beautiful pedestal created by the talents of Joe Banning of the Costa Mesa, California area.
On Saturday June 9, 2007 a special Unveiling of the bust took place with approximately 40 to 50 people attending to pay homage to the founder Mr. Harold W. Richards of the former "Newport Mesa Halfway House", which now is the new "Harold & Justine Richards Foundation."
The sad part of this unveiling was, the man who originally came up with the idea of the bust who received the Committee approval ... Frank Ivanovich, was not even reckonized as the man who came up with the idea of having the bust made. His name was not even mentioned. And that is sad!!! Instead Chad's name was credited. And we write this with no offense to Chad who is a wonderful gentleman and Chad does deserve much credit for contacting the Sculptor; Karen Schmidt.
the late President Ronald Reagan would have said: "Oh Well There We Go