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San Clemente Journal

San Clemente Pier End-Zone, PierPride says: Game On!

Sep 06, 2019 02:01PM ● By Lori Donchak
by Lori Donchak

The most popular activities at the end of San Clemente Pier are fishing, sunset-watching and dolphin spotting. New education signs installed by PierPride Foundation that feature Catalina Island and San Clemente Island also top the list. No doubt, the End-Zone of San Clemente Pier is fabulous.

To enhance the Pier End-Zone experience, San Clemente City council recently approved a significant improvement project for the Pier restrooms. The project is a priority, as two million visitors visit the Pier each year and the restrooms are feeling their age. 
Construction begins in early 2020. The restrooms are such a convenient amenity that they frequently appear in Yelp, comments about San Clemente Pier. People definitely appreciate that the 1,200 foot walk to the Pier End-Zone includes a restroom stop.

This is where the PierPride Foundation again enters the picture. PierPride Foundation was formed by San Clemente residents in 2016 to raise money for projects that otherwise might not be possible through the city budget. At that time, California Redevelopment funding had been discontinued which left the city with a steep budget challenge. It’s a big job for a small town like San Clemente to maintain a Pier that’s such a popular destination. Simply put, the city focuses on safety and maintenance, and PierPride focuses on the Pier experience.

In that spirit, PierPride has announced they’ll contribute $50,000 to the recently approved city restroom project. The city will cover the restroom basic needs. PierPride will go the extra distance. The goal is to raise the funds during October which is PierPride month.
Did you know the restrooms on the Pier used to have a drinking fountain? PierPride funds will be used to restore the drinking fountain, and it will include a water bottle refill feature. In addition, PierPride funds will be used to replace restroom skylights, which will be pigeon-proofed for maximum natural lighting. New exterior light fixtures are also part of the package.
Let’s face it. Fund-raising for restrooms is not exactly a jazzy proposition. But in this case, PierPride Foundation president Eileen Kawas say, “Game On!” She says, “There’s no question our foundation is geared up to make a big difference for the Pier End -Zone. We hope the community shares our passion for this project. It’s an exceptionally good one. This is PierPride’s fourth year of enhancing the Pier and we’re proud of the results.” 

Consistent with prior projects, painting the Pier, the educational signs, and fishing line recycling canisters, Eileen wants people to know that 100% of funds raised go toward restrooms. With a fond smile, she adds, “After all, who can resist donating to a loo with a view?”

The restroom renovation was unanimously approved by City Council as part of the annual budget process. Mayor Pro-Tem Dan Bane is particularly enthusiastic about it. “As a new parent, I can appreciate having an upgraded restroom on the Pier. It’s asking a lot to have a kid hike back to the beach to find a restroom. Improving the restrooms makes sure our Pier is family-friendly. We’re grateful PierPride is involved. Their $50,000 pledge is substantial. They’ve been great partners.”

If you’re still not convinced this is an exciting project, it’s important to know there will be Public Art on the Pier restroom thanks to PierPride funds. The storage room door has been approved as a place for a painted mural, and PierPride will be shortly sharing how the art will be selected. The basic approved city project includes a fresh coat of exterior paint and other façade improvements, so the public art will truly shine.

If you’d like to get involved, check out the many PierPride fundraising events shown on this page. And visit for more information or to reach out to the Foundation. Sponsorship opportunities exist for the drinking fountain, the skylights, light fixtures and public art. Contact the Foundation if you or your business would like to step up and show your PierPride.

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