Foundation dinner in honor of city's gems

The Glendale Educational Foundation’s “Dancing with Diamonds” 2011 hit every goal it set out for itself in the face of declining state revenues for education. With a glittering Hilton Glendale Hotel as its setting, 350 supporters attended the gala dinner and dance on Feb. 11. Each paid $100 to support Glendale schools. Of those, another generous 100 paid $50 for an empty champagne flute for two chances to win a one-half--karot diamond. (Rumor has it Kim Sheehan won one of the diamonds.)

Glendale School’s Deputy Superintendent and emcee John Garcia started the evening with a welcome and VIP introductions, including Superintendent Richard Sheehan.

Diamond Award Presentations were made by Foundation Board Member Lynn Miyamoto. A crowd favorite was Deb Rinder who was recognized for “Distinguished Achievement in Health & Fitness.” Rinder, Glendale High School Principal, started the Glendale area Challenger Baseball League for physically and developmentally challenged children 17 years ago. In Rinder’s world, “There are no umpires, no one is out and everyone hits home runs.” Accompanying Rinder were proud parents from Glendale, Kay and Jim Rinder.

Spotted at dinner were Board of Education President Greg Krikorian, Vice President Joylene Wagner, Clerk Christine Walters and members Nayiri Nahabedian and Mary Boger. Foundation board members included President Mia Lee, Susan Hunt, Laurel Patric, Stephen Ropfogel with wife Pam Ropfogel.

The event’s expected proceeds of $30,000 goes entirely to Glendale schoolchildren.

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Members of the city’s Committee for a Clean & Beautiful Glendale went all out for its Volunteer Appreciation Dinner on Feb. 10. Glendale Adventist Medical Center was sponsor and host to volunteers and their guests who filled the hospital’s main auditorium.

A hearty welcome was given by Committee Chairman Jim Reichgelt only to be eclipsed by State Assemblyman Mike Gatto, who said he got his start picking up litter in Glendale.

Glendale City Councilman Dave Weaver offered greetings from the city and introduced President/CEO Morre Dean who reminded his audience that Glendale Adventist is 106 years old with the old Glendale Hotel on Broadway as its original location.

But it was the volunteers that took front and center in the evening’s program. Spotlighted was “Volunteer of the Year” and Glendale resident Joe Scopacasa. He adopted Brand and Palmer for his “Adopt-A-Block” litter clean-up and can be seen sprucing up his block “almost every day for two hours.” Accompanying Scopacasa was daughter Tina Kerrigan and grandson Kevin Kerrigan, 17. Both came down from Santa Barbara for the ceremonies.

A healthy dinner of chicken, salad and asparagus was served, during which the winner of the 50-50 drawing was announced. It was Glendale resident and Committee member Joe Ayvazi who generously donated the $40 he won back to City Services.

In 2010, 2,000 volunteers donated 15,000 hours to beautify Glendale.

The star of Glendale’s Philanthropic Educational Organization Reciprocity Bureau Founders’ Day had to be 100-year-old Contine McNamara. She’s been a P.E.O. member for 66 years. Daughter Elza Gross kept a close eye on mom during the luncheon, a Flamenco entertainment and program. Other long-standing members were recognized on Feb. 12 at Pickwick Gardens in Burbank. Glendale resident Doris McKently was honored for her more than 50-year membership.

Glendale resident Judy Ritchie is this year’s CJ Reciprocity president, a post she’s held before. Ritchie welcomed more than 250 members and guests. A humorous Louise Hanable from Chapter DJ offered a practical blessing, “[May we have] a fat wallet and slim body.” Lunch would belie the “slim” part—overflowing tostados in crisp shells with plenty of guacamole to go around.

More ladies who lunch from Glendale included Ritchie’s daughter Amy Ritchie, Anna Jump, Mary Margaret Smith and Glendale School Board Vice President Joylene Wagner.

P.E.O VIPs on hand included two California State officers: Historian Pamela Brett and President Peggy Bottorf, who gave the keynote speech.

The afternoon’s theme was well-fulfilled: “Ole for our Sisterhood.”

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