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On the Town: La Providencia Guild members walk the catwalk to raise funds

There may be 30 miles separating the closest coastline of surf and sand and the Los Angeles National Golf Club nestled at the base of the Angeles National Forest, but you wouldn’t have known that as members of the La Providencia Guild of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles gathered for their summer fashion show luncheon last week.

Presented under the theme “La Prov Beach Babes Summer Bash,” this year’s annual event showcased fashions, jewelry, and accessories from the guild’s thrift shop, which were modeled by guild members and special guests.

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Welcomed by Glenda Jones, guild president, and the event’s chairwoman, Jill Kessler, members, along with family and friends, were updated on the organization’s news and upcoming events.

Kessler also asked the assemblage to remember Judy Gragg, the guild’s 2011 president who passed away the previous week.

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While the day’s theme was “summery” and “beachy,” the fashions presented bridged the seasons with an eclectic mix ranging from springtime sundresses and winter wonderland elegance, to a sexy black-lace mini-dress that could heat up the frostiest of fall evenings.

Working the catwalk under the direction of Sue Ann Gordon were guild members Cynde Bost, Theresa Garcia, Ramona Higgins, Jackie Latronica, Jeanne Margolin, Carrie McCoy, Irene Metzger, Cari Pelayo, Janice Shafer and Linda Viebahan.

The show also included appearances by two special guest models, Lauren Rowlands, daughter of guild member DeeDee Rowlands, and Emily Silah, granddaughter of former guild President Veronica Chavoor.

Other guild members who made the day a success included committee members Rosemarie Witten, Donna Salant and Malena Tappan.

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The genesis of the guild’s annual fashion show can be traced back to the late 1940s, when members would stage yard sales to show off and sell used clothing and other items.

In 1958, the guild transitioned from yard sales to operating a brick-and-mortar thrift shop that was located on San Fernando Boulevard.

After rapidly outgrowing the first facility, the guild moved to Tujunga Avenue, and, after 22 years, moved again to what became known as the “Little Blue Cottage” on Magnolia Avenue.

In November 2007, the guild relocated to its current location at 3301 W. Burbank Blvd., where, staffed by volunteer guild members, the organization offers a wide array of clothing, jewelry, accessories, furniture, books, household items, art work, and gifts.

Funds raised at last week’s event, and throughout the year at the thrift shop, support the guild’s mission to assist Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

The current projects members are supporting are the Associates Endowed Chair for the Chief of the Children’s Orthopedic Center, and the Associates Endowment for Liver and Intestinal Research.

The guild’s next major event will be the Casino Royale poker night, which will be held at the Castaway restaurant on Nov. 4.

For more information about that event, the La Providencia Guild of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, guild membership, the thrift store or other upcoming events, visit laprov.org, call (818) 845-6606, or contact Sue Meckley via email at membership@laprovidenciaguild.org.

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