On the Town: Church women's salad days raise green

For 33 years, members of the Church Women United of Glendale have been presenting its Meals on Wheels benefit salad bar luncheon. This year's was July 20 at the United Methodist Church. All 144 seats were filled for a mere $7 a lunch — seconds allowed.

Event co-coordinators Evelyn Horigan and Karil Drake supervised about 20 volunteers from local and Glendale and Burbank churches. Among the volunteers was Judy Gorham, president of the Patrons Club of Glendale Community College. She manned the registration desk.

In fact, a contingent of Patrons Club members was there for salad and support. They included Jan Craig, Betty Musacco and Shirley Wright. A foursome of young girls also helped out. Emily Theiring, 8, Samantha Drake, 12, and Christina Majdan, 12, were in charge of pouring ice tea, water and coffee. Karil Drake's daughter Celeste Drake, 13, was also there to assist mom.

Calling themselves "old timers," Caroljean Felkel from Holy Family and Helen Lucas from First Methodist have been attending the salad bar benefit for all 33 years.

Volunteers donated salads, deviled eggs and breads. Glendale restaurants including Shakers, Don Cuco and the Toasted Bun kicked in the heavier fare.

Proceeds of about $2,000 will go toward the Salvation Army's "Meals on Wheels" program for homebound seniors.

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More than 150 breast cancer survivors and their guests turned out for a "Mardi Gras Masquerade" on July 20. The upbeat, free, celebratory dinner in their honor was held in Glendale Memorial Hospital's Auditorium. But it was Janet Nelson's night. At 35 years and counting, she was the longest breast cancer survivor in the room. She had discovered a small lump just after her second child was born. Turns out, she had an early stage of breast cancer. A humble Nelson was reticent to accept flowers and have her photo taken.

Also honored was Amy DeBlaise-Kasai. Recipient of the Donald L. Bogdon Cancer Survivor Award, DeBlaise-Kasai leads the Cancer Research program at Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center.

The hospital's Marcia Ray Breast Center has presented the dinner for 14 years, and its patients, staff and volunteers were out in force. Center Supervisor Maryann Robertson was event coordinator and introduced her staff members present such as Brigitte Williams, Marita David and Bernetta Wilson. Both David and Wilson, mammographers at the center, are breast cancer survivors themselves.

"Open Canvas," a traveling art exhibit displaying both international and local artwork from cancer patients and survivors, was especially popular at the dinner. It was sponsored by Pacific Shores Hematology Oncology Foundation.

Upcoming on Oct. 10 is the Glendale Memorial Health Foundation's 23rd annual Evening of Wine & Roses. For information call (818) 502-2375.

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Glendale painter Vincent Takas has displayed his watercolors each of the six years the Open Studio Tour has been underway. On Saturday, Takas set up shop in front of Brand Boulevard's Porto's Bakery & Café — one of the prized locations on the tour. In fact, one of Takas' most recent works is a rendering of Porto's. He showed it to potential customer and Glendale resident Katrin Krasty. Krasty is also an artist, specializing in oils.

Takas, once a New York State Supreme Court senior officer, is now a safety specialist at Disney Studios. For six years, he took an art class as part of the studio's employment development program.

"Disney taught me how to paint," Takas said.

His watercolors, many of which display Glendale landmarks, range in cost from $10 to $200. Takas also shows his art at the Farmer's Market in Montrose on Sunday mornings.

Another Glendale artist, Angelika Mehrens, displayed only one work — a 50-by-50-inch acrylic portrait of pop singer Beyonce. Mehrens priced it at $3,000, not expecting to sell it on the tour. But she took an informal survey of what art fans thought of it. Their favorable impression encouraged her to hand out her business cards, offering to paint on commission.

Mehrens' work is in the pop style of the Glendale artist who was her inspiration — David Willardson. Among those Glendale residents strolling by "Beyonce" were Cecelia Walker and Richard LaMont. Former Glendale residents included Gregory Simms and Joseph Dammann.

The Open Studio is sponsored by the Community Services and Parks Department and the Arts & Culture Commission. This year 200 artists from 27 cities participated.

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