Woman's club hosts authors luncheon

A star in its Centennial year programming was the annual Authors Luncheon of the La Crescenta Woman’s Club. Held at the La Cañada Flintridge Country Club, the Tuesday, Nov. 8 event attracted some 200 women who like to read. Authors on hand, pushing their books through short talks and book-signings, were Brett Battles, Lynn Sheene and Silver Lake resident Denise Hamilton. Hamilton, former Los Angeles Times reporter turned crime novelist, described her recent book “Damage Control,” which deals with California politics and murder.

After a brief reception of readers thumbing through books and bidding on silent auction items, Club President Carol Huntwork welcomed members and guests and introduced event co-chairwomen Carol Stein and Mary Dea McCrory.

Once the authors spoke, lunch was served and winners of the silent auction announced. The lucky winner of a $200-valued, handmade quilt was Elsie Amaya. She bought it for $75. The purple and lavender-toned quilt was made and donated by Glendale resident Arline Elizagaray who also donates her handmade quilts to senior citizens who live in senior homes in Glendale and La Crescenta.

Upcoming is an event at the La Crescenta Woman’s Club sister club, the Woman’s Club of South Pasadena. Their Christmas Store will feature handcrafted holiday décor, custom jewelry, woven scarves and baked goods on December 3.

The Americana at Brand was host to “Bella Winter,” Grace Center’s 15th Anniversary Celebration. On Sunday, Nov. 13 more than 200 supporters packed the fourth-floor ballroom of the concierge building.

Pasadena residents were plenty, since the Grace Center is part of Pasadena-based Five Acres, supporting victims of domestic violence. But there was also a healthy Glendale contingent present, as well. Glendale resident Miryam Finkelberg well-represented Glendale’s Cabrini Literary Guild. Also spotted was Cecelia Walker, woman-about-town from Glendale, who never misses the chance to donate to a good cause.

Before a program of dance and fashions, supporters chowed down. The Americana’s Frida provided all the Mexican cuisine one could wish for. The Pacific Cheesecake Company came through with dozens of cupcakes to satisfy the sweetest of sweet tooths.

In Glendale, Grace Center serves women and children affected by domestic violence. The Center also reaches out to teenagers who take group-based, 10-week programs to learn how to keep away from abusive relationships.

Five Acres’ Executive Director Bob Ketch estimated the evening’s net proceeds may reach $70,000. The funds will benefit Grace Center, a program of Five Acres.

Also at the Americana was the test of its artificial snow. With the holiday season fast approaching, the Americana plans to begin its annual snowfall, so Southern Californian shoppers can forget they live in mild Southern California. On Wednesday, Nov. 9 Americana snow flurries lasted only a few minutes, but it sure looked like the real thing.

Not dressed for snow, Glendale parents Anna and Joon Park quickly ushered their children inside the nearest retail establishment — Vera Bradley on Caruso. Ryan Park, 4, and sister Katie Park, 2, looked as if they appreciated the warm shelter, never having experienced a snowfall.

At the same time, Vera Bradley was having its “Our Favorite Things” 20%-off-everything event. Execs at the chain retailer known for its colorful purses, luggage and accessories plan to donate a percentage of the sale of any item in the patterns “Tea Garden” and “Twirly Birds Pink.” Both patterns have been featured, respectively, in Vera Bradley’s Breast Cancer Awareness drives of 2010 and 2011.

A portion of event proceeds will be donated to the Vera Bradley Cancer Research Foundation at the University of Indiana.

Don’t miss the Americana’s first reveal of its artificial snow during its annual Tree Lighting at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow. Word is get there early — it will be a standing-room only event.

Ruth Sowby may be reached at ruthasowby@gmail.com.

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