On the Town: Cooking up 'A Polynesian Paradise'

Firefighters from Glendale’s Station #26 didn’t put out a fire — they started one. The blaze went up to cook a Polynesian feast at the Glendale home of Paula and Art Devine. For the last four years, the firefighters have bought the groceries, prepared the food, cooked it and served it for Glendale Healthy Kid’s largest, annual fundraiser of the year. This year’s theme was “A Polynesian Paradise.” On Saturday (July 14) a cool, balmy early evening brought out 75 supporters dressed in various forms of Polynesian attire and ready to party in the name of charity.

Joining the firefighters were 11 cadets from the Glendale Community College Verdugo Fire Academy. They assisted their “grown-up” counterparts in serving a banquet of ribs, chicken and rice, smothered in mangos. Among the cadets were Erin Chavez, Elena Lozano and Movces Akopian.

Chief cook and bottle washer was firefighter Mike Coley. The cost of the food and mai tais, light on the rum, came out of the firefighters’ own pockets through their Glendale Firefighters Club. Supervising the troops was Glendale Fire Chief Harold Scoggins. Wife Abigail was home with the kids. But Scoggins took time off to act as sommelier. He was chief pourer of fine wines donated by community volunteer extraordinaire John Simpson. Simpson also lent his crystal wine glasses to fancy-up the party. Table, chairs and Tiki torches were also generously donated by Sir Michael Party Rentals.

Introductions of city dignitaries were handled with aplomb by new Glendale Healthy Kids Chief Executive Sharon Roth and hostess Paula. (Paula is also a Glendale Healthy Kids member at large.) Present was Scoggins’ counterpart, Glendale Police Chief Ron De Pompa and his lovely Carol De Pompa. Also attending were Glendale City Manager Scott Ochoa and Assistant City Manager Yasmin Beers.

Among others attending were Glendale Healthy Kids Member at large and Past President Elizabeth Manasserian, Past President Susan Hunt, Sue and Steve Wilder, Pam and LeRoy Smith, Mike Haney, Marilyn Gunnell and Margaret Kaufman.

Also attending were four members of the Glendale Historical Society. Assistant director of the Doctor’s House and former board member Peter Rusch was there. He was accompanied by one of the lead docents Jolene Taylor, member Carol Merry and Elaine Wilkerson. Wilkerson is a former board member and current coordinator of the Speakers’ Bureau.

Following introductions was the eagerly anticipated entertainment by the 75-year-old Theatre Americana of Polynesian dancers and singers.

The evening’s gross proceeds of $7,500 will allow Glendale Healthy Kids to continue to offer to community children no cost medical care, dental care, vision services, prescriptions, X-rays and physical therapy. Also available are free health education classes for parents in English, Spanish, Armenian and Korean.


Glendale’s family-owned Pacific Cheesecake Company celebrated its one-year anniversary by giving away cheesecake to more than 100 sweet lovers. The freebie was dreamed up by owner Karen Freeman.

On Saturday (July 14) those with a sweet tooth had their choice of mini chocolate raspberry, cookies and cream, blueberry and red velvet cheesecakes. By far, the crowd favorite was the red velvet. Some lined up for seconds. Hostess Tina Arieta handled the giveaway. She kindly consented to posing for a cheesecake photo.

Those who wanted to bring home cheesecake ventured into the store to purchase a larger version of one of 30 flavors of cheesecake. Fifty percent of sales will be donated to the Born This Way Foundation.

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

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