On the Town: Glendale Adventist Medical Center's luncheon guests share the love

Love was in the air at the luncheon for the Founders Guild of Glendale Adventist Medical Center.

The hospital’s auditorium was standing room only on Valentine's Day.

Upon checking in, every guest received a Swarovski crystal necklace, heart-shaped of course. A silent auction allowed visitors more opportunities to part with their money for charity.

Harp music performed by Duquessa McGuffin accompanied a buffet lunch of heart-healthy chicken, rice and kale. Dessert was strictly decadent — red velvet cupcakes.

Luncheon speaker Cuban-born Michael Velazquez was introduced by Co-President of the Founders Guild Liz Mirzaian. (Mirzaiain is also the director of volunteer resources for the hospital.) Velazquez is a partner in the Glendale accountancy firm Sadd, Velazquez, Higashi, Shammaa. But numbers weren’t on his mind today. He devoted his remarks to “The Beatles Were Right — All We Need is Love.” An avowed Beatles fan, Velazquez even sang snippets of the Fab Four’s tunes when his iPhone went on the fritz.

On this day of love, his audience was also interested in Velazquez’s courtship of his wife Mercy Velazquez beginning in 1969. It was love at first sight. Besides raising their three children, Michael, Gabriel and Tatiana, Mercy is active in a number community organizations including the Glendale Latino Assn. She also started the accountancy business with her husband and has been heard to say, “I’m not the accountant, I’m the one that counts.”

Michael also mentioned his strong connections to Glendale Adventist after 30 years of living in Glendale. “Our daughter was born here, my mom died here, and we have had members of the family [hospitalized] here.”

Founders Guild and Glendale Adventist VIPs present included Guild Co-President (with Mirzaian) Debbie Bright and Guild Manager Hilda Bogossian. Representing Soroptimists at the luncheon was the brains behind “Bras for a Cause” Kathy Lefkovits, current Soroptimist President Gayle Craig and past presidents Margo Bottcher and Sandy Schultz. Schultz is also a member of the hospital Governing Board and Foundation Board.

Glendale Adventist Director of Physician Development Ramella Markarian was also on hand after just organizing one of the hospital’s many Physician Appreciation Luncheons.

Another frequent guest at hospital fundraisers with today no exception was psychologist Dr. Marguerite Marsh. Her husband Staff Emeritus Robert Marsh has been a surgeon at Glendale Adventist for 42 years.

Before the afternoon came to an end, the romantic Michael Velazquez ended with words from a Beatles’ song from their Abbey Road album, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

One of Glendale’s best-kept secrets and best bargains in town are the Sunday breakfasts at the Glendale Elks Lodge. Open to the public, anyone can mosey up to a white linen-clad table and order Eggs Benedict for $8 or a huge steak, eggs and hash browns for $10. Then there are the adult beverages for only $1.50 the Elks are known for. This Sunday’s breakfast (Feb. 17) was served by the delightful and efficient Emblem Club ladies. The Club had their 67th anniversary dinner dance last fall.

Emblem Club President Julie Swaggerty has been a 35-year member of the Club. Born in an [Elks] trunk, Swaggerty is the daughter of a Glendale Elk and a Supreme President mother. (That means mom was the Emblem Club national president. Her term was in 1964-65.)

Each week a subgroup of the Elks serves the breakfast. Besides the Emblem Club, the other groups are the Purple Gang, Elks’ officers and the Gallivanters. On a fifth Sunday, the Emblem Club gets a second turn at bat.

Hungry Glendale residents chowing down for breakfast included Lynda Burns and her ever-lovin’ Henry Schoessler. Emblem Club volunteers included Burns, Public Relations Chair Mimi McDonald, Second Assistant Marshall Chris Rollins and member Birgith Johannessen.

Breakfast proceeds go toward Elks’ philanthropies.


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

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