On the Town: Charity care is the goal of hospital 'fundraiser'

It was a balmy “Evening of Wine and Roses.” Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center celebrated the 25th anniversary of their annual fundraiser. On Oct. 7, more than 600 supporters walked the red carpet toward the hospital’s patio under giant, illuminated prop stars for fun and funds for Glendale Memorial’s Emergency Department. Last year more than $8.5 million in charity care was provided to those with no insurance. So big money from the guests was the order of the evening.

There were plenty of opportunities for supporters to part with their money starting with a $350 per person meal ticket. Then there was the ever-present but looked-forward-to silent auction (the classy term is “cocktail auction”). A busy bar made for generous bidders. A favorite item was a seven-night stay at the St. James Club in Antigua. But for those who wanted to stay at home, Waterford crystal bowls were offered for several hundred dollars going for a steal at about half the valued amount. Sky diving in Santa Barbara was available for the intrepid. Auction tables closed right before dinner.

Dinner was the best “buffet” in town. Guests brought plates of their restaurant picks to beautifully set tables adorned with white roses and crystal wine glasses that stayed filled thanks to generous wineries offering California and European wines. Those spotted at dinner included dapper Glendale Fire Chief Harold Scoggins and his Abigail Scoggins, Glendale Council members Ara Najarian and Dave Weaver, Dr. Boris Bagdasarian and Karine Bagdasarian, Dr. Samantha Han wearing a colorful kimono and husband Dr. James Hyun. Han is a popular ob-gyn at the hospital. Glendale residents included Debbie and Bruce Hinckley, Paula and Art Devine, Lance Keene with guest Liza Boubari, Frieda Jordan and Diana Artunian. Jordan is the president of the Armenian Bone Marrow Donor Registry Charitable Trust and is looking forward to “Walk for Life” on Oct. 20 to raise bone marrow contributions by Armenians.

The longest line of hungry supporters could be found at the Ruth’s Chris Steak House booth. Rolls packed full of Ruth’s finest filet were in the offing. Also popular booths were Bashan Restaurant and the Americana’s Trattoria Amichi, Katsuya and the Granville Café. An added bonus was the coupons for two-for-one meals offered by the café known for casual gourmet fare. Ice cream sundaes from Dandy Don’s topped-off dinner.

A live auction emceed by Master of Ceremonies KOST’s Mark Wallengren and dancing to the Heartbreak Hotel Band ended the evening.

Congratulations must be paid to the hospital VIPs responsible for this “funraiser.” They included Event Co-Chairmen Lawrence Cimmarusti and Haig Youredjian, hospital Interim President Jerry Clute and Chief Operating Officer Matt Gerlach with wife Linda Gerlach. But it was Foundation Vice President Keene who did the heavy lifting. “This is my party,” said Keene doing double duty by donating “Surfing Lessons with Lance Keene.”

Keene estimated the night’s proceeds to exceed $250,000 earmarked for the hospital’s Emergency Department.

Finally, a mention must be paid to the memory of Marcia Ray who the Glendale Memorial Hospital Breast Cancer Center is now named after. A former friend of Ray’s is Susan Stanton who owned the Gift Shop in Glendale for 28 years. Now retired, Stanton was diagnosed with pre-stage breast cancer in 1989. As a breast cancer survivor, she is carrying on Ray’s work and the services of the Marcia Ray Breast Cancer Center. Stanton volunteers at the breast center and hospital gift shop. The hospital and breast center will hold tomorrow’s Oct. 11 dinner, “25 Years of Sharing and Caring,” for women with breast cancer. Stanton will be present.

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

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