On the Town: Stars shine out in damp night at GCC

Under cloudy skies, “Stars Among Us” was the theme of the 85th anniversary gala of Glendale Community College. But the only stars to be seen were the stars in the campus Planetarium, open during the first part of the party.

The rain held off Saturday for the reception, silent auction and cocktails in front of the John Davitt Administration Building, named for the college’s superintendent/president of 21 years. Fortuitously, Dr. Davitt and Gael Davitt were the evening’s co-chairmen as part of the Honorary Committee.

But the majority of the celebration’s many tasks fell on the delicate shoulders of Event Chairman Pat Crouch. Crouch is also V.P. of the Glendale College Foundation, the presenting organization of the gala. More heavy lifting came from Foundation President Mike Haney, Immediate Past President Ellyn Semler, steering committee member Dianne Endsley and Executive Director Lisa Brooks.

Honored were Bhupesh and Kumud Parikh as Philanthropists of Distinction. Ruth Charles garnered the Lifetime Achievement Award and Sevada Chamras was recognized for Outstanding Alumnus. Master of Ceremonies Ned Specktor of Specktor Media was also honored.

VIPs present also included Board of Trustees President Dr. Armine Hacopian with husband, Vahe Hacopian. More Board of Trustees members attending were Ann Ransford and Past Presidents Anita Quinonez Gabrielian, Tony Tartaglia and Dr. Vahe Peroomian. Peroomian also generously donated to the silent auction three of his black and white infrared archival prints. Popular was “Cape Otway Lightstation,” which he photographed in Melbourne, Australia. The lucky bidder spent $95 for it, though it was valued at $150. The framing alone cost that much.

Local politicos present included Glendale Mayor Frank Quintero, Burbank Mayor Jess Talamantes, Glendale Councilmember Laura Friedman and Glendale schools’ Board Members Greg Krikorian and Joylene Wagner. Also on hand were U.S. Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), State Senator Carol Liu (D-La Cañada), and Assembly members Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada) and Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake). All were on the gala’s Honorary Committee.

Also putting in welcome appearances were Honorary Committee members and long-time college supporters Jack and Glady Kabateck. Now retired, Glady began her Glendale Community College career of many years by encouraging more mature women to attend the college. Today, women outnumber men, with more than 40,000 students attending day and evening classes.

The evening ended in the San Gabriel Plaza with fine dining created by the college Director of Culinary Arts Chef Andrew Feldman. Following was a brief program, live auction and entertainment produced by Dr. Peter Green of the college Visual & Performing Arts Department.

Proceeds of $250,000 have been targeted. According to Crouch, that amount will be exceeded by money from sponsors, auctions and the $250 gala ticket per person. The funds will assist the college by providing computer labs, instructional equipment and textbooks.


Few pancake breakfast fundraisers are as delicious as those served at St. Mark’s Church. Regular and pumpkin pancakes and plenty of bacon were the order of business. Coffee, the high-octane kind, was overflowing. At a mere $6 donation per person, the funds raised will benefit Ascencia, formerly Path Achieve Glendale.

On Saturday, “rain or shine,” Glendale residents chowing down in the church’s large hall included Marina Arabian, daughter Pateel Arabian, 7; and son Serop Arabian, 5. Another Glendale family at breakfast included Uta Briesewitz, husband Chris Roe, son Aidan Roe-Briesewitz, 5; and daughter Effi Roe-Briesewitz, 3. Rector’s Warden Chey Widdop bought 10 tickets for herself and nine guests. Widdop helped boost total attendance to some 175 people who came between 8:00 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Selling 50/50 tickets for $1 each was Pre-School Director Julia Peacock. One half of the monies raised from the 50/50 will go to the winner and the other half will go to Ascencia.

Expected profits from breakfast tickets and the 50/50 sale are expected to reach $1,500.

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

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