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The Valley Line: Donors to La Cañada float enjoy thank-you party before it charms parade watchers

It was another win for La Cañada Flintridge and its adorable float on New Year's Day in the Rose Parade. Once again our community's entry — this year called "Panda-Monium" — took the Bob Hope Humor award.

Congratulations to all those amazing float workers who worked as an effective team to bring this award home once again.

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There's no getting around it: The adorable pandas on our float captured the hearts of float viewers not only on the parade route but also the millions of TV watchers across the world.

I just don’t think there is any baby animal cuter than a panda. I also got a giggle from our float’s upside-down turtle who was having trouble getting itself upright.

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On the Friday night before the parade, while workers were furiously putting the final touches on our float, the La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Assn. honored its major donors, sponsors and in-kind donors at its traditional, energized "Under the Bridge" event, staged in a warm tent next to where the float is decorated.

As guests arrived, they had the opportunity to preview "Panda-Monium," the association's 40th Rose Parade float, then still in the process of becoming the whimsical float that charmed the public on Monday.

"The tent was vibrant with conversation as guests enjoyed champagne and wine and the bountiful hors d'oeuvres," Alison Davitt, who handles public relations for the float group, told me.

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Guests included Ryan Babroff, Randy Bartos and Arlene Buchmann, Sue Beatty, Molly and Neal Brockmeyer, Martha and Tom Burns, Mary and Stan Charles, Bob and Liz Craven, Caroline Craven and Tom Flynn, Barbara and Jack Dawson, Dee and Fraser Draper, Vince Feehan and Sally McIver, Sharlyn French, Mary Gant, Becky and Chuck Gelhaar, Elizabeth Georgeon, Harriet Hammons, Ron Hughes, Jeffrey Helgager, Bobbie and Clyde Hemphill, Chrissy and James Herrington, Peggy Hotaling, and Pat and Otis Hutchins.

Others enjoying the festivities were Betty Jones, Diane and John Landrum, Gloria and Stewart Lee, Mike Leininger, Sarah Marshall, Adene and Jim Misamore, David Moffett, Ann and Bob Neilson, Janice and Duane Paul, Brenda and Len Pieroni, Charlie Plowman, Sr., state Sen. Anthony Portantino, Brett Pounders, William Pounders, Adam Rahtz, Tim Rahtz, Cindy and Bill Slaughter, Claire Slaughter, Lynne and Joe Thompson, Alan Thurston, Julie Thurston, Nancy Thurston, Charles Thuss, Bob Wallace, Jeanne and Jim Wallace, Sara Wickersham, Samantha Wickersham, Pam Wiedenbeck, and Nancy and John Wolhaupter.

"We are truly grateful for the support of our major donors as well all the other donors and volunteers who helped make 'Panda-Monium' a reality," said Chuck Terhune, president of the association this year.

JANE NAPIER NEELY covers the La Cañada Flintridge social scene. Email her at jnvalleysun@aol.com with news of your special event.

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