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Meet your Presidency! Introducing Brad Cooper

This is part of a three part series introducing our stake to the new stake presidency. We contine with our new first counselor. 

What is your favorite thing about living in this stake?

The people! The Santa Margarita Stake is amazing in so many ways because of the individuals! Elder Kim B. Clark at stake conference captured our stake wonderfully when he said we are "this close to Zion as a a people.” I am so blessed and grateful to raise my children in this stake of Zion. 


How did you feel when you were called into the presidency?

Shocked, humbled and completely surprised!

What are you most looking forward to in this new calling?

Getting to know more members of the stake. I am also so excited to learn form President Hess and President Warnick. They are men whom I love and deeply admire and I know the Lord has called them to lead our stake at this time. I sustain them fully.  

What is your favorite scripture?

D&C 84:88. "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up."

I know that when I am on the Lord's errand, I am never alone.


What do you like to do for fun?

Skiing - water and snow.  I love to ski with my kids!

Did you serve a mission? Where?

I served in the Italy Milan mission - a long time ago! The first stake in Italy was organized about a year after I returned from the mission field, to give you an idea of just how long ago. I loved my mission. It was a defining period in my life that taught and shaped me significantly.   

What is the one thing you'd like the members of this stake to know about you?

I love the Lord and my greatest desire is to serve Him by serving the members of this stake for whom I have great love, admiration and respect.


What is your favorite food?

UH - ITALIAN - could there be any other answer from someone who lived in Italy?  


In scouting Silver Foxes abound but Silver Beavers are a rare breed. Silver Beaver recipients like Clea Lee are downright unheard of.

The Silver Beaver Award was introduced in 1931 and is a council‐level distinguished service award of the Boy Scouts of America.  Recipients of this award are registered Scouters who have made an impact on the lives of youth through service given to the council.

The Silver Beaver Award was introduced in 1931 and is a council‐level distinguished service award of the Boy Scouts of America.  Recipients of this award are registered Scouters who have made an impact on the lives of youth through service given to the council.

It is quite an honor for a man to receive the Silver Beaver Award, the highest honor a Boy Scout Council can bestow.  When a woman is given the award, it is truly noteworthy.  At the recent Orange County Council Annual Recognition Dinner, Clea Lee, of the Santa Margarita Ward, got a well-deserved Silver Beaver.

Clea's involvement in Scouting began when she was called as the den leader for her son Jake, then 9.  Since then, she has given untold hours  as a volunteer to Scouting in many capacities, from Cubmaster, Roundtable Staff, to the Saddleback District Committee, where she is the immediate past District Commissioner. 

Clea completed the challenging Wood Badge Training in 2007, her first camping experience.  Clea’s tiny two person tent barely allowed a place to sleep, let alone change her clothes.  Her colleagues christened it the “Barbie Dream Tent” and presented her with a homemade “first time camping” patch, her favorite award. She says the Wood Badge experience was her most rewarding in Scouting, as she "learned how to problem-solve, communicate better, how to handle change, and to set goals and achieve them step-by-step." Subsequently she was on staff for three courses, including being Senior Patrol Leader.  

Clea served as the Stake Cub Scout Specialist for six years.  She has been a Nursery Leader, Primary Leader, and currently serves as the Ward Young Women's Secretary. Her volunteerism has also taken her into the community, where she has volunteered at St. Vincent's Hospital, Laura's House, Melinda Heights Elementary School, Trabuco Hills High School, and Little Dresses for Africa.

Clea presently serves as Assistant District Commissioner in Saddleback District and Committee Member of Troop 736.  Previously she served as Bear Den Leader and Cubmaster of Pack 736.  

When asked what she would like to tell people about the Boy Scouting program, Clea said,

"The values are the same as the ones we promote in the church, and the young men are given the chance to do a lot of fun things that they might not ordinarily have the chance to do."

Clea lives in Rancho Santa Margarita with her husband, Marc, and children Jake (18) and Zoe (15).  The Lee family likes to take trips together, and have visited Costa Rica, and Paris.  They enjoy watching old "Twilight Zone" movies, going on trail hikes with their dog, Winger, and trying really "adventurous" food.

Congratulations, Clea Lee, on your Silver Beaver Award!

Written by Jean Simpson

How Can You Change the World in 2015?


The Young Women from the Santa Margarita Ward celebrated their ability to change their world. In activities leading up to their New Beginnings they each painted globes and wrote inspirational quote to inspire them. April McCuscker, the Young Women President, challenged the teenage girls and women to open the Personal Progress book. Every goal or value they work on helps them change their world now and forever. She emphasized the fact that this isnt just personal progress, it's Eternal Progress.   


According to April McCuscker,

"This year for New Beginnings, I wanted to really focus on how the girls could change their life through focusing more on the values presented in Personal Progress.  I decided to do a video with the girls answering the question, "How will you change your world in 2015"  During the middle of filming, by our very own laurel Jessica Coleman, I realized that one of the girls wasn't even a member of our ward, let alone a member of the church!  She happened to be a friend of Taryn Dunkley and she loved every minute of it.  I didn't allow anyone to see the video until the evening of New Beginnings, so Taryn invited her friend to come that evening.  After enjoying the video and all that that evening entails, Taryn's dad approached me later and let me know that she loved it so much she wants to come to church.  I would say that these girls are already changing their world...and others."