On the Town: Adventist Health Glendale Foundation bestows honors

It was a "beautiful dream"-inspired evening as the Adventist Health Glendale Foundation sponsored its Gala 2018 on April 29.

Some 650 supporters were present at the new InterContinental in downtown Los Angeles. The paint wasn't even quite dry.


The night was notable in that the first-ever Lifetime Legacy Award was given.

Honorees were longtime hospital supporters and Glendale residents Sam and Grace Carvajal.


After 42 years of service, Columbian-born Sam Carvajal retired in 2003 as director of medical technology at the hospital.

His wife, Grace, volunteered at the hospital for 30 years and is currently a guild board member.

The Carvajal name will be placed on the hospital's "Wall of Honor."

"As newlyweds almost 60 years ago, we were introduced to the medical center and it was love at first sight," Sam Carvajal said.

Nominated by his patients, neurologist Dr. Lance Lee was honored with the 2018 Physician Hero Award.

The honoree's wife, Young, was at his side.

Lance Lee has a passion for advancing stroke care in the community. According to him, Adventist Health Glendale has the first stroke center at a community hospital in L.A. County.

The evening continued with a fast-paced live auction. Backstage passes with Taylor Swift, including her Rose Bowl concert, went for a whopping $10,000.

A Viking European Cruise couldn't top Swift. It went for a mere $9,500.

With the addition of financial pledges, the gala's goal of $300,000 was met.

Entertainment for the evening included singers, dancers and violinists.

A highlight was a performance by singer Cynthia Ermshar, sister of Annette Ermshar, chair of the foundation's board of directors. Cynthia Ermshar is also the daughter of another "Wall of Honor" honoree, Dr. Carl Ermshar, who also attended.

More VIPs present were state Assemblywoman Laura Friedman and Glendale City Councilwoman Paula Devine with her husband, Art. Working hard behind the scenes were Irene Bourdon, foundation president, and gala co-chairs Dr. Anthony Cardillo and Amanda Dundee.

The gala's proceeds will help purchase a state-of-the-art, 3-D mammography system.

The Campbell Center in Glendale has grown up. Departing from its previous year's afternoon "Derby Days," the center went all out for "A Gala Evening" this past Saturday.

The center's longtime venue, Pickwick Gardens in Burbank, didn't have its usual Kentucky Derby trappings with big screens to watch the race. This time, it was an evening event, strictly high class as black ties replaced jodhpurs.

More than 150 guests showed up to support the center's mission — "To partner with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, empowering them to successfully gain independence and attain their desired outcomes through opportunity and choice."

The reception had a new twist. Its silent auction included about 30 acrylic paintings up for auction. They were painted by some of the 42 center clients who take weekly art classes taught by Cristina Cariati.

The new Campbell Arts Academy has been in operation for about three months.

Sandy Moreno, chief executive of the Campbell Center, talked about the facility's access to business relationships that provide employment opportunities for the center's developmentally disabled clients.

Client Andrew De Salvo described his sense of accomplishment working as a bagger at Ralphs in Burbank.

The Glendale Police Department's patrol cars have never been so clean, thanks to center client John Paul Desamito.

Glendale City Clerk Ardy Kassakhian took over as master of ceremonies and auctioneer. First he introduced Glendale politicos present including state Sen. Anthony Portantino, Councilwoman Paula Devine and her husband, Art, a Glendale Civil Service Commissioner.

Portantino presented a certificate representing the state Senate's recognition of the Campbell Center. Bruce Fox, chairman of the board of directors, gladly accepted it.

Also present was Jerry Campbell, husband of the late Phyllis Campbell, whose experience with their daughter with Down syndrome inspired the Campbell Center 64 years ago.

The evening ended with a live auction, adding to the evening's proceeds.

Kudos to event co-chairs Jamie Gonzalez and Muhannad Malki.

RUTH SOWBY RANDS may be reached at