Great afternoon of fashion and fun

It was the event Glendale socialites had been awaiting for two years—the Las Candelas Fashion Show, Boutique and Luncheon, held every other year.

This year’s theme was “Reach for the Stars,” representing the group’s 58th benefit, its only fund-raiser. Approximately 650 supporters filled the ballroom of the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport for the four-hour event on Monday. Early birds shopped at a boutique filled with fashions, furs, jewelry and other ladies’ finery. (Boutique vendors will give 25% of purchases to Las Candelas programs.) Others dropped $5 raffle tickets in boxes representing their favorite prizes. A crowd-pleaser was a Kate Spade travel tote, Italian silk scarf and a dining certificate to Palate Food + Wine. All the while, Glady Kabateck tickled the ivories for a musical backdrop. Hubby Jack Kabateck was in genial support.

Once the crowd could be persuaded to leave the goodies behind and sit down for lunch, Las Candelas President Bobbi Gangi welcomed her audience and gave special thanks to event co-chairwomen Ellyn Semler and Dianne Endsley. These two powerhouses made sure each detail was timed to perfection. Those included the invocation given by Glendale Fire Department Chief Harold Scoggins, a luncheon first course of Bibb lettuce wedges, a fashion show featuring the Lourdes Chavez Collection, followed by the main course of roast chicken roulade. Opportunity prize drawings were sprinkled throughout the events, so no one had to be in suspense for too long.

Expected gross proceeds of $130,000 will, among other charities, provide services such as life skills classes at Hillsides Education Center and Hathaway-Sycamores.


“We party for our students,” said Mercy Velazquez, immediate past president of the Glendale Latino Assn. And, indeed, GLA’s Community Awards and Installation Luncheon was one big party. On Feb. 24 more than 200 supporters kicked-up their heels at the Embassy Suites Hotel—all in the name of scholarships for Glendale students.

President Amy Navarrete welcomed her enthusiastic audience. Glendale Mayor Pro Temp Frank Quintero, a GLA past president, gave a warm welcome from the city. After a raucous installation of new officers, past president Martha Rivera recognized two scholarship winners. Glendale Community College students Stephanie Estrada and Timothy Vallejos each received a $500 scholarship. Estrada is a nursing student who plans to transfer to a four-year university. Vallejos is in the college’s Verdugo Fire Academy.

But the stars of the luncheon were the 2011 honorees. Each was presented an award by last year’s recipient of that award. Susan Hunt, representing the Glendale Educational Foundation, was presented as Woman of the Year by 2010 winner Elissa Glickman. Al Garcilazo, senior chaplain at Glendale Adventist Medical Center, was presented as Man of the Year by last year’s winner Rich Roche. Glendale’s Massage Envy Spa was named 2011 Business of the Year. Husband and wife owners Helen McDonagh and Andrew Garsten accepted the award from representatives from the 2010 winner, Community Foundation of the Verdugos. Son Niall Garsten, 8, elbowed paparazzi out of the way to snap his own photos of his parents.

Alas, in a couple of hours, the party was over—luncheon-goers had to return to work. But not before they were reminded that last year, GLA awarded $18,000 in scholarships to Glendale students.


And the Oscar goes to—Altrusa of Glendale. On Feb. 27, several dozen film fans packed the Carlson Fellowship Center of Glendale’s First Methodist Church. They were there to watch the Academy Awards, sip, sup and chat at the same time.

After alighting from fourth-floor elevators, the fans walked a red carpet to photos snapped by a paparazzo (who was really Sandra Moore, Altrusa vice president.) Even church lay leader Howard Fallman got into the act. He was decked out in a tuxedo and held a prop mic to interview the stars as they arrived — and everyone was treated like a star this evening. Fresh shrimp platters whetted appetites. Oscar statuettes dotted the room. Fallman also moonlighted as technical wiz to master the broadcast, presented on large screens.

Altrusa President Barbara Winsor welcomed supporters, many of whom belong to the group’s Faith and Film Club. Donnalee Monniger is a film-club member and also Altrusa’s chairwoman of the Service Community. In that role, she made sure no detail was overlooked.

Expected proceeds of $500 will go to Baby Gift Packs for the Women’s Center at Glendale Memorial Hospital.

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