What started as a current events assignment ended as a lesson in Good Samaritans for third-graders at Carlthorp School in Santa Monica.
Nine-year-old Ryan Skinner, remembering his teacher's admonition not to choose stories of crime or disaster, picked for his report a Times Westside story on Sue Gordon, a disabled West Los Angeles woman whose Cinco de Mayo party for other handicapped people was in dire need of special, lift-equipped vans.
Ryan's father, Michael, said he saw the article on the kitchen table and thought immediately of his client and friend Vince Schaub, part-owner of Medi-Ride Inc., a Glendale company that specializes in transportation for the disabled.
The next day, he called Schaub, who agreed to provide the vans at cost.
But Skinner, an insurance broker, didn't stop there. He pledged $2,000 to pay for the transportation not only to the Cinco de Mayo event, but to the next four or five parties Gordon organizes this year.
"You see people in need, and circumstances prevent them from doing something that probably means a great deal to them," he said, explaining his decision to help. "It seemed like the right thing to do."
Gordon said she can't begin to express her gratitude. "I knew people were nice, but I didn't know people were that nice. It's really fantastic," she said.
Culver City Human Services Director Syd Kronenthal, a friend of Gordon who frequently helps with the parties, showed his gratitude to the Skinners by visiting Carlthorp with a commendation for Ryan, teacher Madeleine Walker and the entire student body.
"This is just more positive reinforcement that people have to get involved," Skinner said. "Maybe some kids will look at articles a little bit differently from now on."
The Jewish Community Foundation of the Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles has appointed Toni Stone as its director of foundations.
Before joining the foundation, Stone, a UCLA graduate, was vice president of new business development for Citicorp Trust in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Business Council elected public relations executive Carl R. Terzian as its chairman of the board at an installation luncheon in Beverly Hills.
Terzian, a Brentwood resident who founded Carl Terzian Associates in 1969, was recently elected a governor of the Arthritis Foundation's Southern California Chapter.
Film producer Sherry Lansing received the "Raquela Woman of Valor" award from the American Associates of Ben-Gurion University Women's Guild at a scholarship luncheon in Beverly Hills.
Lansing, a partner of Jaffe/Lansing Production, in 1980 was the first woman president of 20th Century-Fox Productions.
Wiraya Rampaphorn, 15, a ninth-grader at LeConte Junior High School in Hollywood, is the grand prize winner of the 1990 Los Angeles Unified School District Youth Suicide Prevention poster contest.
Her winning design, illustrating the theme "Be a Winner--Reach Out and Show You Care," will be printed on T-shirts and distributed to all 80 students who took part in the contest.
The Assn. of Mexican American Educators gave scholarships to 12 high school students at a ceremony at Santa Monica High School.
Juan Carlos Cortez and Yesenia Gallegos of Venice High School, Blanca Lemus of Hamilton High School, Vincent Cortes of Culver City High School and Teresita Martinez of Santa Monica High School were awarded $250 scholarships.
Emma Hernandez of Culver City High School was awarded the $175 Gary Garcia Book Scholarship. Ayde Gonzalez, Carrie Leyba, Julio Moreno and Ana Alvarez of Venice High School, Rodolfo Lacayo of Hamilton High School, and Oscar de la Torre received $100 scholarships.