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On the Town: Spring is sprung with Garden Party Tea

On the Town: Spring is sprung with Garden Party Tea
Celebrating at the Assistance League of Glendale Tea are, from left, outgoing and incoming President Marcie Haug and members Tamara Hughes and Judy Rezvani. Both members won "Beautiful Hat" prizes. (Ruth Sowby Rands / Glendale News-Press)

Many think spring doesn't officially start until the Assistance League of Glendale holds its annual Spring Garden Party Tea.

On March 27, some 80 members, auxiliaries and guests gathered at the league's clubhouse to sip and sup as the 75th anniversary of the organization's founding in Glendale was celebrated. Fancy hats were the order of the day as prizes were awarded at the end of the tea.

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But all attendees were buzzing around the biggest prize of the day created by league member Donna Franklin — an Easter butterfly money tree with crisp $10 bills as "butterflies" on every branch for a grand total of $100.

Tickets were going for $2 for one or $5 for three. Rosemarie Lossone, a member of the assistance league's auxiliary, Las Caritas, was the lucky winner.

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A silent auction of Easter goodies attracted bidders wanting to add a plush bunny or two to their holiday.

Incoming as well as outgoing league President Marcie Haug opened a short program.

A highlight was the introduction of Shadow Hills resident Karen Bynum. She is the daughter of the recently passed league member Sally Benson. Before her death, Benson had created the table centerpieces bursting with flowers.

Shadow Hills resident Karen Bynum, daughter of the recently passed league member Sally Benson, was an honored guest at the tea. Her mother had made the centerpieces and tablecloths before her death.
Shadow Hills resident Karen Bynum, daughter of the recently passed league member Sally Benson, was an honored guest at the tea. Her mother had made the centerpieces and tablecloths before her death. (Ruth Sowby Rands / Glendale News-Press)

Benson had also made tablecloths by hand for every table. One of her last wishes was for party organizers to use her spring linens at the event. All agreed her creative talents, and especially her friendship, will be greatly missed.

Lunch was a delicious combination of savories and sweets. Favorites were tea sandwiches made up of one's choice of cucumber, chicken curry or egg salad. Sweets covered the gamut from coconut macaroons to persimmon bread with cream cheese. There was plenty for seconds for everybody.

Tea hostesses were Lana Andrews, Maureen Whittaker and Lesha Zakari.

The garden was also full of activity. Libations were generously poured by Michael Martin and Tom Kempson, husbands of league members Rosario Martin and Clay Kempson.

After lunch, best hat winners were announced. The hats, each more festive than the next, were worn by Florence Virgallito, Glyniss Anthony, past President Jean Peacock, new member Judy Rezvani and Tamara Hughes, always a willing model in many a league fashion show.

During 2016-2017, league members have dedicated 18,878 volunteer hours and spent $152,129 for community programs.

Those include "Operation School Bell" for the donation of clothing, books and other basic necessities for school children. League members also awarded $1,000 scholarships to high school and community college students.

Las Caritas member Rosemarie Lossone is $100 richer after winning the Money Tree at the Glendale Assistance League's Spring Garden Party Tea.
Las Caritas member Rosemarie Lossone is $100 richer after winning the Money Tree at the Glendale Assistance League's Spring Garden Party Tea. (Ruth Sowby Rands / Glendale News-Press)

Last summer, 50 high school students attended seminars for the SAT put on by the league to better prepare for the exam, a college-entrance requirement.

The league's Senior Neighborhood Fellowship luncheons are held seven to eight times a year, where seniors can enjoy informative speakers and entertainment as well as to develop new friendships. About 75 seniors are expected to attend one of the luncheons on Wednesday.

The league is able to pay for its generous service through fundraisers, primarily its annual Festival of Trees.

RUTH SOWBY RANDS may be reached at ruthasowby@gmail.com.

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