Seniors share an early Thanksgiving luncheon

For the best seniors' lunch in town, run, don't walk, to the Assistance League of Glendale on Harvard Street. On the second Wednesday of each month, these intrepid volunteers lay out a gourmet lunch for a tiny $2 donation per person. Lunch on Nov. 10 was a Thanksgiving menu with all the trimmings. Word spread after senior after senior packed the room, big enough for more than 70 hungry guests.

Assistance League members were front and center, busy in their various roles. Reservations hostess Ruth Moore manned the check-in table. Mary Margaret Smith was on the go behind the scenes as chairwoman of the event (known as the Senior Neighborhood Fellowship). So was Pat DiGennaro as chairwoman of the day.

The beneficiaries of the league largess were the luncheon guests. Glendale resident Bob Hughart has never missed a lunch for 11 years. He was accompanied by wife Yolanda Hughart. Margie Uruski, who lives just across the street, walks right over. More Glendale regulars included Karna Meese, Irene Guthrie and Ruth Lyons.

Recognized during the lunch was Buddy Antunes who contributes small gifts for every Christmas luncheon guest. He also contributes gifts to members of the seniors' program at Incarnation Church. Antunes was a prisoner of war in Korea for eight months. His former diet of rice and cabbage was a far cry from this afternoon's turkey dinner supplied by Ruth's Catering.

As if their meal wasn't enough, guests enjoyed Glendale resident Elsie Anderson and her accordion.

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Vera Bradley at the Americana made gift-buying easy on Nov. 10. Various activities and bargains were scheduled in blocks during the day. The best deal was in the evening, during which customers could buy one item and get the second item at 50% off, as well as enter to win a Holiday Travel Set with a retail value of $150.

But this wasn't your usual holiday sale. A portion of all proceeds will go to the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer to support research goals. To date, members of the foundation have pledged $20 million to the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center. There, researchers are creating new diagnostic tools and treatments that might one day lead to a cure.

This evening, customers didn't have research on their minds, they just wanted a bargain. Glendale resident Sarah Sumner with son Kadem, 2 months old, was looking for one of Vera Bradley's signature colorful backpacks to use as a diaper bag for baby. Sales associate Pam Mosher, also from Glendale, was more than ready to cheerfully assist.

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In support of Veterans Day, Jobyna's Off the Rack bridal gown store in Glendale went above and beyond. The store teamed with Brides Across America to help military brides get their dream wedding gowns. From Nov. 9 to 11, the store gave away 50 gowns to military brides. All they had to do was provide identification and a copy of their fiance's deployment papers.

On Saturday, Jobyna's Bridal by Ines Di Santo, also in Glendale, presented the designer's 2011 collection of classic haute couture bridal gowns. With any luck, a military bride-to-be might have snagged one of those. The fashion show took place at the Sheraton Universal Hotel Grand Ballroom in Universal City.

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"Angels" financially support plays on Broadway all the time. But it's not every day that a theater full of potential angels are invited to a small theater in Burbank. A backers' audition was held Sunday at the Victory Theatre. Ready to support the play "Sex and Education," Glendale residents Paula and Art Devine, halos shining, joined the audience at a wine-and-cheese reception before the actors' read their parts from scripts.

Producer April Dammann, from Hollywood, helped arrange the evening in hopes that residents from the surrounding communities would financially contribute to the popular Burbank theater. Artistic director Tom Ormeny welcomed his enthusiastic audience before the curtain rose. Ormeny's wife Maria Gobetti stars in the role of high school English teacher "Miss Edwards," who spars with her basketball star student.

"Sex and Education" will have its Los Angeles premiere in the spring, with a little help from the angels.

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