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Life and Arts

On the Town: L’Aureole blossoms with Rose luncheon, fashion show

Salvation Army Lts. Jennifer and Justin Schiflett “stir the pot” for 50/50 contest hopefuls. (Phot
Salvation Army Lts. Jennifer and Justin Schiflett stir the pot for 50/50 contest hopefuls.
(Ruth Sowby Rands / Glendale News-Press)

L’Aureole, a women’s philanthropic and social organization, presented its Perennial Rose luncheon and fashion show to celebrate 52 years “of caring and sharing.”

Two hundred supporters packed the ballroom at the Oakmont Country Club in Glendale this past Saturday. Guests had lots to enjoy. An hour before lunch, there were opportunities to win raffle prizes, table centerpieces, a 50/50 drawing and silent-auction goodies.

Just when guests were too pooped to pop, a salmon and veggie lunch was served. Emcee Tom Smith kept the action going by introducing Kathy Dupree, L’aureole president. She, in turn, introduced her benefit co-chairs, Marlin Galvez and Sheri Gfeller.

Students from the Salvation Army’s Zone After School Program made a welcome appearance at L’aureole’
Students from the Salvation Army's Zone After School Program made a welcome appearance at L'aureole's Perennial Rose Luncheon & Fashion Show.
(Ruth Sowby Rands / Glendale News-Press)

The featured speaker was Katelin McPhee, coordinator of the Glendale Salvation Army’s after-school program called the Zone.

This popular program at the organization’s headquarters has 80 elementary school students enrolled. Forty students come daily and are provided generous snacks and classes in subjects such as art, robotics and even knitting.

Luncheon profits are earmarked solely for the Salvation Army and its outreach to community children.

L’aureole member Grace Sheldon-Williams models an ensemble from Magnolia Boutique. (Photo by Rut
L'aureole member Grace Sheldon-Williams models an ensemble from Magnolia Boutique.
(Ruth Sowby Rands / Glendale News-Press)


Along with Salvation Army lieutenants Justin and Jennifer Shiflett, McPhee introduced seven of the children enrolled in the Zone program. Glendale resident Maria Melendez is mother of one of the seven in attendance, Cielo Martinez, 7. Maria Melendez said she appreciated the “safe environment” the program provides.

The afternoon ended with a fashion show, featuring organization members wearing fashions from Magnolia Boutique in Arcadia. Boutique owner, Karen Crisci, was the fashion-show commentator.

The 29 founding members of the Cabrini Literary Guild gathered in 1943 to share their interest in good books and current Catholic activities.

Those members may never have dreamed that their good efforts would survive for over 75 years. One of the organization’s efforts is an annual writing contest open to students attending all Catholic high schools in the Los Angeles Archdiocese.

This year’s writing awards were handed out this past Thursday. Some 60 members and guests were at the Oakmont Country Club to honor three young female writers.

Abigail Merkel, 18, from Bishop Alemany High School won first place; Kira Toal, 17, from Immaculate High School took home second place; and Grace Fontes, 16, of Mayfield Senior School received third place.

All contestants were asked to submit original essays about an assigned topic. This year’s topic was “What Challenge Do You See Your Generation Facing.”


Merkel wrote about the negative impact of social media. She titled her essay “Generation Z: Plugged In,” and she read it during the event.

Toal’s “E Pluribus Unum” essay (“Out of Many, One”) discussed political extremism.

Fontes wrote about climate change in her essay titled “Climate Change in Our World.”

In total, the young writers received $2,250 in cash awards.

Cabrini Literary Guild Writing Award winners are, from top, Grace Fontes,16; Kira Toal,17; and Abiga
Cabrini Literary Guild Writing Award winners are, from top, Grace Fontes, 16, Kira Toal, 17, and Abigail Merkel, 18.
(Ruth Sowby Rands / Glendale News-Press)

Rev. John Terence O’Brien, associate pastor at Glendale’s Church of the Incarnation, distributed the awards. He performed double duty as guest speaker.

Cabrini’s annual fundraiser in March helps generate money to support the writing awards and other philanthropic efforts. More than 100 essays were submitted from students at 40 Catholic high schools.

Essay judges were Dennis Doyle, a Glendale Community College instructor; his wife, writer and editor, Paula Doyle, and Robert Lincoln, a retiree from Raytheon Co.


Congratulations for a program well done must be given to Cabrini VIPs, Brenda Lantieri, president; and Mary Pallares and Marie Urrutia, event co-chairs.

O’Brien’s parting advice to his audience and, especially, to the winning, young authors — “Be open to God’s surprises.”

Ruth Sowby Rands may be reached at