On the Town: Soroptimists grant 'Gifts of the Heart'; Armenian Relief Society gives gifts

"Gifts of the Heart" was the theme of Glendale Soroptimists' Grant Presentation Luncheon. The Glendale Hilton in its holiday splendor was the setting for over 100 members and guests welcomed by President Gayle Craig on Thursday (Dec. 20). At each table setting was a small rounded plastic heart tied with a red bow. Service Grants Committee member Janet Hamilton said the hearts represent "how much we appreciate your [charity] organization and how much we want you to succeed."

Fourteen organizations succeeded in snagging cash awards to the tune of $16,775 in total grants given by the generous Soroptimist ladies. Each grant was in the vicinity of $1,000. The first grant went to the Glendale Commission on the Status of Women. Commission Chairwoman Denise Miller accepted the award from Soroptimist member Lilit Aladadyan. More commissioners present at the luncheon were Vice Chairwoman Lynda Burns and Commissioner Paula Devine. The grant will fund the Commission’s Camp Rosie, focusing on the self-development and enrichment of girls in middle schools and high schools in Glendale.

Another grant was given to a program of the Glendale American Assn. of University Women (AAUW). Physicist and AAUW member Laura Guillory accepted the award from Soroptimist member Devine that will fund the Tech Trek science summer camp for girls. The program is close to the heart of Glendale Water & Power analyst Lana Haddad. Her daughter Janet Haddad-Lott, 13, was a participant this summer. She received a scholarship to Tech Trek that offers a one-week immersion into science and technology for girls from Wilson and Toll middle schools. Haddad-Lott is a Wilson student. She plans on becoming a marine biologist, largely due to her experiences at Tech Trek. The program is funded by the AAUW and the Glendale Soroptimists.

Glendale Healthy Kids’ Executive Director Sharon Townsend Roth accepted a grant on behalf of the organization. Soroptimist member Susan Hunt presented the award and announced that the funds would go toward expensive asthma medication for girls. Glendale Healthy Kids serves 2,200 hundred children in Glendale. The organization’s clients have little to no medical or dental insurance. Fifty percent of the participants are girls and young women. Roth remarked that Glendale Healthy Kids will begin a program to help women veterans.

The remaining grantees were Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, the Ark Family Center, Girls on the Run of L.A. County, Door of Hope, the Girls Scouts of Greater L.A., the Glendale Salvation Army, the Walter Hoving Home, the Glendale Unified School District, the Glendale Assn. for the Retarded, the SIA Club Giving and the Glendale YWCA which currently serves 51 families in its emergency shelter.

Today’s service grants were raised by the Soroptimists’ “Bras for a Cause.” Next year that popular fundraiser will be combined with a gala celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Glendale Soroptimists. Mark April 20 on your calendar.


Generous members of the Glendale Chapter of the Armenian Relief Society hosted their annual Christmas luncheon at the Salvation Army in Glendale. On Friday (Dec. 21) steaming plates of turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, yams and green beans were the order of the day for some 250 low-income persons and families, seniors and the homeless.

Among Relief Society leaders dishing up the vittles were Lena Bozoyan. Bozoyan is the Western Region Chairwoman for the Armenian Relief Society’s Social Services. By her side was Relief Society member Victoria Stambulian, Santa hat and all.

“We know the need of our community has been increasing,” said Bozoyan. Among the donors donating to Relief Society services are Forest Lawn and Wells Fargo Bank.

Glendale residents taking advantage of the turkey feast were Joshua Kerr, 12. He gobbled down a slice of apple pie in no time. Mom Bonnie Kerr was watching her figure and skipped dessert. Dad Michael Kerr had a little of everything. He is the maintenance man for Glendale’s Salvation Army. Said Michael, “After I clock in at noon, I’ll be cleaning all this up!”

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

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