League benefit brings an early Christmas

"Christmas in August" is the annual sale all of Glendale awaits with baited breath — at least those who love the holidays and want an early supply of bargain trinkets, clothes, wrapping paper, buttons and bows. Members of the Glendale Assistance League threw open their doors to waiting customers on Thursday. Those lucky enough to be given a low-numbered ticket were the first in. Bea Wojtyla was their charming greeter.

Honors go to Assistance League volunteers who put in hundreds of hours to collect the items, display them and sell them for three days. President Jean Peacock and Ann Chadney supervised their hard-working staff — all decked out in signature Assistance League aprons. Number-one cashier was Margo Burkhart. Wrappers and baggers were Clay Kempson, Rita Turkmany and Rose Ann Case. The creative force behind the sale was Sylvia Kowal, assisted by her co-chairwoman Claire Collins.

Customers were there from Glendale and beyond. Cecelia Walker came from the West Adams area of Los Angeles. Martha Feutz came from her Central Avenue home. Both were caught up in the fine china department. Feutz purchased a well-preserved set of holiday-themed plates. Walker decided to window shop.

Proceeds are earmarked for the league's charities and will help support its biggest fundraiser of the year—the Festival of Trees for which members decorate artificial trees and collect fine merchandise to be auctioned off. This year's Festival of Trees, headed by Karen Millman, will be Dec. 5 at the Hilton Glendale. Don't miss it.


The free Summer Concert Series at the Americana at Brand kicked off on Aug. 4. Jazz musician Steve Tyrell starred, and Jennifer Leigh Warren was the featured performer.

Most of the audience sat on picnic blankets on the green and grooved to the sounds of cool jazz. Glendale residents Karen and Jim Sartoris were front and center.

"We're big Steve Tyrell fans and years ago have paid a lot to see him," Jim Sartoris said.

Glendale mom Evet Barseghian brought her children, Erica Barseghian, 11, and Emil Barseghian, 4, to see the dancing waters. The concert was an unexpected pleasure.

Diners at the Americana's Amici Trattoria Ristorante had the best seats in town.

Tonight's concert features Natasha Bedingfield.


For those in a 1950s kind of mood, Altrusa International of Glendale hosted its'50s Themed" 55th birthday party in Donnalee Monninger's Glendale home. About 50 members and guests were willing to plunk down a mere $30 for an all-you-can-eat barbecued rib dinner and a bingo card.

A highlight of the evening was "The Way We Were" guessing game. Entrants brought a picture of themselves taken in the 1950s to keep secret from other guests until the revealing moment. Event Co-Chairwoman Rose Tharp posed with her wedding photo from 1955. By her side, Bill Tharp has been Rose's present husband for 21 years.

Generations of Monninger's family have lived in the home for more than 50 years. Her mother Leila Hopper was president of Altrusa in the 1960s. She helped establish the annual summer socials in 1969.

According to Altrusa President Barbara Winsor, proceeds will go to those organizations supported, in part, by Altrusa including Glendale Community College, Glendale Unified School District, Glendale Assn. for the Retarded and the Glendale YWCA.


There's a new gal in town. Margaret Burk celebrated her 92nd birthday on Sunday at her Kingsley Manor apartment at Glendale's western border. In 1977, at the Ambassador Hotel, Burk established the monthly literary luncheon, Round Table West, with her recently deceased business partner Marylin Hudson.

Over the years, Round Table West staffers collected and donated about 180,000 new books to prisons and halfway houses.

With Hudson, Burk also ran a public relations firm with offices in the Ambassador Hotel. They moved Round Table West to the Beverly Wilshire Hotel after the Ambassador closed in 1988.

Glendale charities should harness the business savvy of the chic, young-at-heart Burk.

RUTH SOWBY may be reached at ruthasowby@gmail.com.

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