On the Town: Las Candelas dresses up for 'Promise' benefit

It seems as if the 40 dedicated women members of Las Candelas become several hundred as each puts in triple duty to produce their every-other-year fashion show benefit.

This year's benefit held on Monday (Feb. 25) at the L.A. Marriott-Burbank Airport Hotel celebrated Las Candelas' 60 years of service. The fundraiser's theme, Springtime's Promise, was carried out through the pastel colors of ensembles modeled from the Lourdes Chavez Collection.

But before the fashion show, plenty more went on. A packed reception allowed guests to indulge in their favorite pre-luncheon drink and peruse the boutique fashions, purses and jewelry. Generous vendors planned on giving 25% of their proceeds to Las Candelas. Burbank resident Jane Thornton was eyeing a blouse or two. Window-shopping were Glendale BFFs Linda Robertson, Anne Peplow and Marianna Nelson. If fashion wasn't your thing, there were plenty of opportunities to buy opportunity prize tickets and stuff them into the box of your choice. A favorite prize was a $2,500 shopping spree at South Coast Plaza. Even a luxury limo was tossed in for convenience. More goodies such as restaurant certificates and Disneyland visits could be won for $20 for five chances. Soon visitors were ushered into the Academy Ballroom where more than Academy Awards were offered up.

Las Candelas President Monica Sierra welcomed more than 700 men and women. Just like at Mrs. Gollatz's cotillions, boys sat on one side (of the runway), girls on the other. Following Sierra's remarks, benefit co-chairwomen Diane Russell and Bobbi Gangi recognized longtime active members Diane Johnson (46 years), Fran Buchanan (45 years) and the late Merle Hollywood (48 years).

Lunch began with coconut shrimp served in martini glasses. After guests took a bite or two of the main course, Tuscan chicken salad, the lights dimmed and the fashion show began. Even the men appeared to be into the fashion — or was it the models? Some snapped photos of their favorites.

After lunch Ms. Chavez's collection was available for sale. Ensembles could be ordered in custom sizes and at discounted prices. Chavez seems to be the reigning designer at Glendale fashion shows. Her collection can be found locally at Robert Ellis in Studio City and Gloria S in Brentwood.

Very Important People present at the luncheon were first gentleman Jose Sierra, Glendale City Councilwoman Laura Friedman, Glendale Healthy Kids' Executive Director Sharon Townsend Roth and former Glendale Mayor Eileen Givens, just back from an out-of-own visit with family.

Las Candelas member and table hostess Margaret Steenken from Glendale welcomed eight guests. Glendale residents were Mary Plazony and Patti Wassell. Mary Knudson hailed from La Crescenta.

Just as triple chocolate mousse rounds and raspberry mousse cups were served, opportunity prize winners were announced. Lucky basket No. 19 was full of gift certificates from local merchants in Glendale, Pasadena and San Marino. A Sunday brunch for six at Oakmont Country Club was included and valued at $225. Another mouth-watering certificate was for dinner at Pasadena's Ruth's Chris Steak House accompanied by a take-home bottle of pinot noir. The total value of gifts in the basket hovered around $1,000. Rumor has it that the lucky winner only spent $80 for 20 chances. Credit must be given to the hard work of Opportunity Prize Chairwoman Valery Moorhead.

Expected benefit proceeds are $80,000 to $82,000. Las Candelas provides mental health, life skill and cultural programs for emotionally challenged children through local facilities including Hathaway-Sycamores, Glendale Healthy Kids and the Glendale YWCA's Domestic Violence Program.


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


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

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