Community & Clubs: Think Christmas is over? Not in Serbia

The Tee Room at the Newport Beach Golf Course was packed with 140 family members and friends of the Salata brothers as they celebrated the Serbian Christmas on Jan. 7. Serbian Orthodox Christians, like the Salata brothers, celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7 because all of their religious holidays are by the old Julian calendar.

According to Tom Salata, many of the guests were "our neighbors, friends and church members." Yet a large number of the guests I recognized there were from the Commodores Club of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce and the Six O'Clockers of the Balboa Bay Club.

Among the guests were Sammy Lee, Olympic diver; Tom DeLong, namesake of the swimming pool at Foothill High School; Homer Bludau, retired Newport Beach city manager; Parker Kennedy, philanthropist and chairman of First American; Dan Rogers, former chief executive of Goodwill of Orange County, and his wife, Sheila; Bob Robins, president of Theodore Robins Ford, and his wife, Ginny; John Hall, former Los Angeles Times sports writer; Peter Schabarum, former supervisor for Los Angeles County; and Peter Buffa, former mayor of Costa Mesa.

Traditional Serbian music was provided by the Samarzich Tamuritza group as well as the Don Peterson band, and magician John George entertained.

Hamid Taherian, general manager of the Tee Room, provided an excellent buffet that included tossed salad, pasta with meat sauce, pasta with seafood, prime rib, coffee and cake. In addition, we had Serbian dishes: sarma (cabbage rolls), podvarak (cooked sauerkraut), prebanacs (baked lima beans) and roasted suckling pig. It was an invitation not to be turned down.


Lions honor members

Two members of the Harbor Mesa Lions Club were honored with Melvin Jones Fellowships at a recent event that coincided with the birthday of the founder of Lions Clubs International. Debbie Karlson received her first fellowship, and Ann McIlroy received her second.

This honor is given to Lions who go above and beyond in serving the community and "make the world a better place," which is the theme of the current District 4L4 governor, Sheila Casteel.

Melvin Jones established the first Lions club in 1917. The organization grew to become Lions Clubs International, the world's largest service organization. His motto was, "You can't get very far until you start doing something for somebody else."

The fellowship was established in 1973 and is the highest honor a member can receive.

Harbor Mesa Lions consists of more than 50 members, all women, who are active in serving and giving to those in need. For further information about the club, visit


Lives well lived

Two service clubs have lost longtime members in recent months. Former Costa Mesa Kiwanian Giles Brown, a founding faculty member at Orange Coast College and "Behind the Headlines" presenter for decades, passed away at the age of 97. The lecture hall adjacent to the campus bookstore was named in his honor about a decade ago. Giles was a great supporter of Kiwanis and is listed on the club's honor banner as a founding contributor to the foundation.

The Newport-Irvine Rotary Club lost Earl Fusselman, who was its oldest member at the age of 96. Earl, a Rotarian for 68 years, was at the club meeting the week before he passed away. In his retirement, Fusselman was a longtime member of the Newport Beach Police Department's Citizens' Academy.

I wonder if their longevity owes to their service to the community? Both will be missed. My condolences to their families and friends.


Service club meetings this week


Noon: The 15-member Exchange Club of Corona del Mar meets at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club, 1601 Bayside Drive, Corona del Mar.


7 a.m.: The 20-member Costa Mesa Orange Coast Lions Club meets at Mimi's Café, Newport and Harbor boulevards, Costa Mesa.

Noon: The 45-member Kiwanis Club of Newport Beach/Corona del Mar meets at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. For more information, visit

Noon: The 75-member Exchange Club of Newport Harbor meets at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club for a program by Scott Trotter of the Orange County Child Abuse Prevention Center; on Jan. 23, Rick Gordon will provide a program on Exchange Club membership. For more information, visit

Noon: The 40-member Kiwanis Club of Costa Mesa meets at the Costa Mesa Country Club, 1701 Golf Course Drive, Costa Mesa, for a program by the Orange Coast College Circle K on its Anti-Bullying Project. For more information, visit

Noon: The 55-member Newport-Irvine Rotary Club meets at the University Club, 801 E. Peltason Drive, Irvine, for a program by Bill Whitford, executive director of the Newport Aquatic Center.

6 p.m.: The 57-member Rotary Club of Newport-Balboa meets at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. For more information, visit


6:30 p.m.: The Harbor Mesa Lions Club meets at the Costa Mesa Country Club on the first and third Monday of each month. The club meets at various restaurants in the area. For more information, email


7:15 a.m.: The 58-member Newport Beach Sunrise Rotary Club will meet at the Five Crowns Restaurant, 3801 Pacific Coast Hwy., Corona del Mar, for a program by Debbie Wells and Paul Riordan, Achievement Institute of Scientific Studies; on Jan. 28, the speaker will be Robert Braithwaite, president and chief executive of Hoag Hospital. For more information, visit

COMMUNITY & CLUBS is published Wednesdays. Send your service club's meeting information to

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