Life and Arts

On the Town: Luncheon encourages Adventist guild members, guests to count their blessings

Guild honors went to Dr. Marguerite Marsh, center, for her service to Adventist Health Glendale. She is flanked by Gayle Craig, annual giving officer, left; and Anita Aghajanian, guild president.
(Ruth Sowby Rands)

December kicked off in style with an annual holiday party held at the Valley Hunt Club in Pasadena, which was all aglow and glittery, setting the stage for the “Counting Our Blessings” luncheon, sponsored by the Guild at Adventist Health Glendale.

The event held on Dec. 2 drew dozens of guild members and supporters. Irene Bourdon, president of the hospital’s foundation, welcomed her audience by announcing that foundation members have “seen an increase in joy and contributions to people.”

Gayle Craig, the guild’s annual giving officer, underscored Bourdon’s remarks by adding that the guild’s volunteers raise funds through a variety of activities and events.

One of those events is the annual “Be Our Valentine” luncheon, where $31,000 was raised earlier in the year.


In May, a “non-event” fundraiser brought in $15,000, and no one had to dress up and go anywhere.

Last spring, the guild’s annual membership drive dinner added 10 new members. Glendale resident Mercy Velazquez joined the “life membership” roster.

The Cancer Courage Awards raised $70,000. The physician honored was Dr. Boris Bagdasarian, an oncologist on staff at the hospital. Glendale City Councilwoman Paula Devine was honored for community leadership.

The recent “Counting Our Blessings” honorees, Jenik Akopian and Dr. Marguerite Marsh, were recognized for their many contributions to the hospital.


Akopian was not present. She was with her daughter and her daughter’s new baby. Both Akopian and Marsh are guild “life members.”

Marsh was presented a bouquet of red roses by Anita Aghajanian, guild president. Marsh has a doctorate degree in marriage, family and child counseling and has had a successful practice in Glendale for many years.

She has served in leadership roles with the Los Angeles Master Chorale and the Alliance of the Los Angeles County Medical Assn. Marsh’s late husband, Dr. Robert Marsh, was a surgeon at the hospital for 42 years.

Members of the Guild at Adventist Health Glendale were first to arrive for their annual holiday lunch at Pasadena’s Valley Hunt Club. Making a festive entrance were, from left, Kathy Lefkovits; Nick Martinez, director of philanthropy; and Sandy Moreno.
(Ruth Sowby Rands)

A large contingent of Glendale Soroptimist members applauded Marsh. They included Kathy Lefkovits, Margo Bottcher, Sandy Moreno, Miryam Finkelberg and Heather Ghermezian.

Others attending included Velazquez, Camille Levee, Margaret Kaufman, Alice Petrossian, Catherine Yesayan, Debbie Bright, Isabel Alanes, Marina Raines and Rosario Ibanez.

The afternoon ended all too quickly.

Marsh’s remarks were memorable.


“You are all a blessing to me. I’ve been a member of the guild since I was a young bride. I’ll let you figure out the math,” she said.

For the second year in a row, members of the Hoover High PTA have replaced their labor-intensive home tour with the all-in-one-place, free holiday tea and boutique.

On Saturday, the school’s lower quad was abuzz with craft tables as well as vendor booths bulging with handcrafted jewelry and wall art.

There were tables for candles, ribbons and even “eco-friendly” holiday wrapping paper.

All the while, guests were serenaded by the Hoover chamber choir, conducted by Hoover music teacher Amy Estep.

For $10, an English tea service was offered at tables and chairs set up in the quad, where community members could watch the goings-on in style.

Longtime L.A. Unified School District teacher Ingrid Gunnell enjoyed people watching.


A silent auction featuring bountiful baskets provided a chance for local businesses such as Starbucks and IHOP to contribute to the cause, with encouragement from Kirsten Hersh, PTA executive vice president.

“We want to make this day festive and memorable as well as providing much needed funds for our students,” said Hoover PTA president Ibet Acevedo.

Proceeds will help support student scholarships, art programs and cold water-filling stations on campus.

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