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On the Town: 2 local women are known for their work with women, children

On the Town: 2 local women are known for their work with women, children
Liza Boubari, president and founder of HealWithin International, will begin a new round of after school classes to holistically help motherless children. (Ruth Sowby Rands / Glendale News-Press)

This is a story of two amazing Glendale women. Not that Glendale women aren’t amazing, but Liza Boubari and Marianne Jennings are standouts because they serve women and children in the community.

A cold morning in front of a flickering fire at Foxy’s restaurant earlier this month brought out the mellow side of Boubari, president and founder of HealWithin International, her new nonprofit organization.

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Being a busy clinical hypnotherapist for adults wasn’t enough for Boubari — she wanted to heal children, especially those without mothers due to unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances.

Boubari’s inspiration was her grandmother, Rosaline, whose mother died during “The Walk” of the Armenian Genocide.

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At 5 years old, Rosaline was motherless. Boubari wants to use her training in alternative healing therapies to help children like her grandmother. A mother may be missing due to death, incarceration, institutionalization or having walked away from her family.

Boubari has already begun working with motherless children 8 to 16 years old in an after-school program.

She uses art healing, sound healing, creative writing and mindfulness techniques to draw out the child.

When the child is in the middle of an art project, for instance, she may ask, “What are you drawing and realizing … We’re doing therapy without the child realizing they’re in therapy,” she said.

As a 13-year-old Armenian teenager, Boubari wasn’t allowed by her parents to attend her grandfather’s funeral.

“Armenians are very protective of their children,” said Boubari, who feels that she “never got to say ‘goodbye’” to her grandfather.

As an adult, she has accepted the circumstances, and she wants other children to do the same, perhaps a little faster than she did.

In order that her services are offered on a sliding scale, according to financial need, Boubari is applying for grants and puts on her annual 3E Event (“Evoke, Embrace, Evolve”) to raise funds.

Boubari described a 14-year-old patient who asked her mother to pick her up at school.

On the way to school, her mother was killed in a traffic accident. After that, the teen was destructive, out of control and overeating.

After three sessions of integrative and holistic techniques with Boubari, the young patient realized she felt guilty, thinking she was responsible for her mother’s death. The fast-paced therapy helped the girl realize that losing her mother was not her fault.

Boubari’s next class for children without mothers will begin in February.

Jennings is a double threat. She has been president of the La Crescenta Woman’s Club for two years and was recently installed as president of the La Cañada Flintridge Orthopaedic Guild.

Between the two organizations, some $36,000 has been donated to worthy causes in the past year via close to 20 events, large and small.

The Woman’s Club donates student scholarships, supports La Crescenta’s Prom Plus and a Girl Scout troop. The club also donates to organizations that are part of the club’s monthly events, such as an upcoming meeting in which members and guests will learn about the Grossman Burn Center in West Hills.

A $150 donation by the club will go to the center.

The guild’s major fundraiser is its Book and Author Luncheon. Last fall, $22,000 was raised for the Orthopaedic Institute for Children.

Jennings was reservations chair for the event, which takes 10 months to prepare. The expected audience is 200 supporters.

“A good board makes a good president,” Jennings said. “I knew I could juggle each presidency.”

Jennings is a mother of four children and grandmother of nine.

“I try to stay active in the community. It’s not about me,” she added.

Ruth Sowby Rands may be reached at ruthasowby@gmail.com.

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