University Women honor past presidents

In a matter of three hours, a hardy band of American Assn. of University Women members raised more than $800 during its 88th Founder's Day Celebration on Saturday at a luncheon at the Oakmont Country Club.

Sixty-six generous women bought opportunity tickets for some 25 baskets overflowing with goodies and gift certificates. One of the favorite baskets was "Movies and Mojitos." That was won by former Glendale Mayor Eileen Givens, honored in a "Salute to the Past Presidents." Givens was president of the Glendale Branch during 1975-77.

Other past presidents honored included Joyce Covey, who also was recognized for her 50 years of branch membership. She was branch president for 1967-68. Covey, given a "Life Certificate" for her service, is exempt from membership dues for the rest of her life.

Glendale residents on hand included longtime branch members Leni Richardson, Sunny Wheeler, Mary Margaret Smith, Susan Hunt, Florence Chase and Anna Rundle. Vice President of funds, Barbara Merkle, also present, said the $800 raised will be used for the national organization's Education Foundation.

President JC Chauvin-Byer welcomed members and guests. After the luncheon, Norma Cunanan introduced speaker Susan Straight. Straight teaches creative writing at UC Riverside and is an award-winning novelist. Her novels include real-life stories from her large, extended family. Straight generously signed her recently published "Take One Candle Light a Room."

Members of the Glendale Branch are looking forward to their dinner meeting on March 22.


A Glendale boy made good in Burbank. Pop artist Nelson De La Nuez, 1977 Hoover High grad, was the center of attention at a reception/book signing on Thursday. The Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank played host. Besides other claims to fame, De La Nuez was the last artist to sell art to Michael Jackson, three weeks before Jackson's death.

Of the three works sold for a total of $15,000, "Michael strongly resonated with my 'Wicked Witch,'" said De La Nuez.

That work, reminiscent of the Wicked Witch in the "Wizard of Oz" film, was a favorite of Jackson since he played the Scarecrow in the "The Wiz" on Broadway, according to the artist.

During the reception, De La Nuez signed copies of his new "Pop Americana," a collection of the artist's pop images. The book was recently published by Pop Land Publishing. Longtime emcee, voice-over artist and collector of De La Nuez's pop art, Gary Owens, wrote the foreward to the book.

Reception attendees included De La Nuez's nephew, Matthew Timmons. Timmons stars as the comic foil "Woody" in "The Suite Life on Deck" for the Disney Channel. More guests included film producer Gaby Mallia, who considers herself De La Nuez's "number one fan." Stacy Bell of Pop Land Studios helped arrange the reception, assisted by Anastasia Trusslyn, who alerted the media.

The artist's exhibition will remain up for the rest of January in the lobby of the Cartoon Network Studios. Both hand-painted art and prints will be for sale.


More than 160,000 U.S. schoolchildren don't go to school on any given day because they are afraid they will be bullied. That's according to SuEllen Fried, founder of Bully Safe USA. On Sunday, about 20 concerned Glendale residents kicked off a week of community meetings and anti-bullying training sessions as part of their Glendale-based Bully Me Not organization. At dinner at Dish Restaurant in La Cañada Flintridge, Fried was hosted and introduced to the organization that will specifically deal with bullying in Glendale.

The Glendale Unified School District will be involved with the program by hosting forums and school training. Other Glendale organizations associated with Bully Me Not! include the police and fire departments and the YMCA and the YWCA.

"Cyber bullying [on the Internet] has taken cruelty to a new level," said Fried. In support of Fried's national efforts, the local organization has chosen NBC Channel 4 Weathercaster Fritz Coleman as Honorary Chairperson. Co-chairmen are community activist Marilyn Gunnell and Zaven Kazazian, president of the Glendale Sunrise Rotary Club and immediate past president of the Armenian American Chamber of Commerce.

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