Casino night benefits Armenian orphans

Yerevan Casino Night & Tournament was a lot closer to home than Armenia. In fact, it was right in the middle of Brand Boulevard on Sunday. Club NYX hosted the event on behalf of the Society for Orphaned Armenian Relief (SOAR). Dozens of supporters filled the club to give their all to charity. Gaming tables were packed, heavy appetizers were plentiful and silent auction tables were filled.

SOAR-L.A. President Kohar Pelter said the national, nonprofit organization's aim is to provide humanitarian relief to more than 1,200 children living in 15 orphanages in Armenia. To that end, $15,000 was raised from donors before the Sunday event, with about $25,000 more in proceeds expected from the evening. Guests purchased gaming "play money" in increments—$10 bought $50 in play money all the way to $100 for $800 in play money. Many spent their "money" at the Black Jack tables.

One of the Platinum sponsors who donated $5,000 included Arthur and Lily Seredian. Committee volunteers who donated their time were Tony Gafafyan, Ester Hodikian, Christine Karakozian, Arpineh Khodagholian and Lily Bagumyan.

Rapper-emcee Super Sako kept the action moving by urging the crowd to buy raffle tickets. SOAR-L.A. Secretary Ani Shabazian was greeter extraordinaire. Along with Pelter, Shabazian was one of the founding members of SOAR's Los Angeles Chapter, established in 2007. Members of this local chapter, in charge of the evening, have sent more than $84,000 in humanitarian assistance and capital repairs to Armenian orphans and orphanages.

Event proceeds will renovate the on-site treatment clinic at Kharpert, the largest orphanage in Armenia serving children with disabilities.

National Charity League Sellabrates used stuff

For the largest rummage sale in town, National Charity League wins hands down with its annual Sellabration. Crowds lined up at Pacific Edison Community Center before the 9 a.m. opening on Saturday. Once inside, those in the know headed to the used books and new merchandise sections. New merchandise included dresses, some sporting the Kandy Kiss label, perfect for teens.

Members of the league's Glendale chapter spent months collecting the thousands of items in more than 125 mother-daughter teams. Each team was charged with donating 30 items or more to the event. On the floor were 140 moms and 60 Ticktocker daughters—all at the ready to help customers and encourage sales.

League President Shelly Weitzel welcomed more than 650 adults and a scattering of children during the five-hour Sellabration. According to League Vice President Cindy Budzyn, more than 40% of the merchandise was sold by 1 p.m. At about that time, the used books were being pushed by Ticktocker daughter volunteers, who handed out grocery sacks. Book worms were encouraged to fill their sacks to the brim with hardcover and paperback books. Each stuffed sack sold for $5. This columnist bought more than her share.

Local companies also donated merchandise. The most popular came from Vons, and Nestle USA in Glendale and Tender Treasures and Andersen's Pet Shop in Montrose.

Sellabration Co-Chairmen Hilary Gregg and Jodi Cassutt estimated that between Friday's set up and Saturday's sale, more than 840 woman-hours had been donated. They also estimated that proceeds may total between $10,000 and $15,000.

At the 2 p.m. closing, Salvation Army trucks had already pulled up to gather up what was left of the merchandise. It would go to the six Salvation Army stores in Glendale and Pasadena. Left over board games and children's books were headed to Edison Elementary School on-site.

Charity Leaguers are already planning next year's Sellabration. Don't miss it.

Daley leads tribute to the memory of Bob Hope

A small contingent of Glendale residents headed out to Vitello's Jazz & Supper Club in Studio City on Wednesday. The headliner was singer-actress Jan Daley, whose "Where There's Hope" theme was a tribute to the love songs from the late comedian Bob Hope's movies and entertainment tours for U.S. soldiers in Vietnam with a young Daley.

The show was a one-night-only occasion. Those who wouldn't miss it from Glendale—all Daley and Hope fans—included Cecelia Walker, Greg Simms, Rich LaMont and recent Glendale resident Joseph Dammann.

The audience of friends, music critics and local DJ's, including Wink Martindale and Johnny Magnus, agreed this was the night to say, "Thanks for the memories."

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