Seventy-two years ago, a group of 25 Burbank women transitioned their desire to support the work of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, or CHLA, into a chartered fundraising arm of the pediatric medical facility.
Working with the CHLA’s affiliates, an all-volunteer force was formed in 1914 to raise funds for projects designed to enhance vital services. The La Providencia Guild of CHLA was granted its charter in 1947.
Selecting the name “La Providencia,” which means “the provider” or “the beneficent one,” the charter members of the guild felt that moniker also worked for them because Burbank was a part of the Spanish land grant of the same name.
The guild began staging fundraising events throughout the year, some of which have gone on to become annual traditions, such as its spring social which, for 2019, was presented as a brunch instead of a traditional dinner.
Almost 200 guild members, their guests and supporters convened in the Cypress Ballroom at the Chevy Chase Country Club for a day that included a performance by the Burbank-based Mexico Azteca Dance Academy under the direction of Victor and Amy Navarette.
Following a welcome by Sue Meckley, guild president, and Carrie McCoy, who chaired the event, which was dubbed “Cheers, It’s Spring,” the crowd enjoyed a late-morning brunch, entertainment and the view from the venue’s terrace balcony.
Among the special guests in attendance were the guild’s 2019-20 officers, Nancy Wiggins, Rosemarie Witten, Ann O’Donnell-Gardner, Jill Kessler, Teresa Garcia and Glenda Jones.
The day also proved to, sadly, be the last public event attended by Chris Gargaro, whose longtime love, Joan Chandler, served as the guild’s president in 2015-16.
Gargaro, a Burbank native who attended John Burroughs Highs School, succumbed to cancer just a few days following the gathering.
This year’s social was made possible by McCoy, Cari Pelayo, who served as the mistress of ceremonies, the guild’s officers and the event committee that, along with the aforementioned, included Jill Kessler and Veronica Chavoor.
Funds raised at the guild’s events and its thrift shop on Burbank Boulevard, support the current projects the organization supports, which includes the Associates Endowed Chair for the Chief of the Children’s Orthopedic Center, and the Associates Endowment for Liver and Intestinal Research.
For more information about guild membership, the thrift store, providing financial support, or upcoming fundraising events, visit their website at laprov.org or call (818) 845-6606.
David Laurell may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or (818) 563-1007.