This year, the sold-out “Breakfast With Santa” at the La Crescenta Woman’s Club on Dec. 9 was upstaged by a 2-year-old chinchilla named Tiger.
Tiger, along with more than 500 more animals, were displaced by the Creek Fire during which the Reptacular Animal Ranch in Sylmar went up in flames.
Also destroyed was the on-site home of owners Jennifer and Cory Lagusker, their personal belongings, vehicles and the animals’ food and supplies.
“Jungle Jane” Slater from the ranch and Tiger wended their way through some 160 Santa fans to collect donations to rebuild the ranch. Children could pet Tiger, so Santa’s lap was left empty for a few minutes while Tiger enjoyed all of the attention.
A very patient Joe “Santa” Mandoky, a resident of the North Pole, still had takers who put in their Christmas toy orders.
A club photographer was on hand to take photos of family groupings surrounding Santa. One of those was Amanda and Nicholas Bosco from Tujunga, who posed with son Ethan, 5.
For 26 years, club members have prepared and served breakfast and welcomed Santa. Performing at this year’s event were the Crescenta Valley High School Charismatics.
Also, opportunity drawing prizes and silent-auction goodies were awarded to lucky winners.
Busy at work were Marianne Jennings, club president, Julia Robles, event chairwoman, and Carol Huntwork, philanthropy chairwoman. A surprise visitor from her Pasadena nursing home was the club’s oldest member, 94-year-old Ellie Pipes. She didn’t look a day over 70.
A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit the club’s local philanthropies.
To donate to the Creek Fire Recovery Effort, go to GoFundMe.com/Reptacular.
A dramatic tree-lighting ceremony, in memory of community volunteer the late Jack Kabateck, was held in the West Tower Lobby of Adventist Health Glendale on Dec. 7.
The annual “Light Up a Life” is an annual tradition celebrated throughout the United States to increase awareness about and support for hospice care.
Hospice services provide end-of-life care in the patient’s home.
Kabateck passed away in 2014. Along with wife, Glady, Jack Kabateck was involved in several community organizations including the Glendale Symphony Orchestra Assn., the Glendale-La Crescenta chapter of the American Red Cross and the Glendale Rotary Noon Club.
Topping Jack Kabateck’s resume is his long-running role as a can-can dancer in the Verdugo Woodlands’ Dad’s Club Father’s Follies.
His sons Brian and John said a few words to honor their father. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, however, when Glady Kabateck spoke.
“Jack was the light of my life for 56 years”, she said. “He would have been so humbled, yet so touched and honored by everyone who graciously made a tribute gift in honor of him.”
More financial tributes were made to sponsor a tree light or ornament in honor of loved ones. The names of sponsors and honorees were listed in a special tribute program and were also projected onto a screen.
To audience applause, Glady Kabatech and her sons lit the large Christmas tree festooned with huge red ribbons in the lobby. Photos were snapped to memorialize the event. Each guest was given an electronic candle to turn on at the same time.
The evening came to an end with a closing prayer offered by Rev. Chuck Osborn from the La Cañada Presbyterian Church, where the Kabatecks worshipped and Glady Kabateck continues to attend services.
Proceeds from the tributes will benefit Adventist Health Glendale’s hospice services and Beyond Loss bereavement support programs.
RUTH SOWBY RANDS may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.