Soroptimists celebrate another year of service

Members of Soroptimist International of Glendale outdid themselves this year by presenting checks totaling $20,000 to 13 organizations serving women and girls. Their annual luncheon was held on Thursday, Dec. 15, at the Glendale Hilton Hotel.

Soroptimist President Liz Mirzaian welcomed more than 70 members and guests.

Interim City Manager and Soroptimist member Yasmin Beers offered greetings from the City. Soroptimist Service Club Chairperson Susan Hunt introduced the service grant awardees.

The heart of the program was the money giveaway dubbed “Snowflakes and Service.” Among the 13 grant recipients was Elsie Benton, Co-Founder and Director of the Walter Hoving Home in Pasadena. The Home houses 50 women who have been substance abusers. Soroptimist member and La Cañada Flintridge resident Janet Hamilton personally donated $3,000 toward the Home’s program services such as vocation rehabilitation. But the story is where Hamilton got the money. She was the winner of the Glendale Kiwanis Duck Splash. Hamilton earmarked a portion of her winnings to admission fees for the women’s residential program at the Home.

Also a recipient of a Soroptimist grant was the Glendale Commission on the Status of Women. Present to accept $750 was Commission Chairperson and Soroptimist member Paula Devine, as well as Commissioner Lynda Burns. The money will help support the Commission’s Camp Rosie, a summer workshop for teenage girls. “The girls learn life skills, financial literacy and safe dating,” said Devine.

The Soroptimist Committee members, all present, were Chairperson Hunt, Joan Allan, Beers, Margo Bottcher, Bobbi Brundige, Devine, Sandy Doughty, Val Douglas, Michele Flynn, Hamilton, Jill Lewis, Lisa McMurray, Lynne Raggio, Lou Rhodes and Sandy Schultz.

Soroptimist International of Glendale raises funds throughout the year. The largest proceeds come from the organization’s annual Bras for a Cause. Next spring’s event is themed “Bras for a Cause Celebrates Holidays.” Mark your calendars for April 28 and decorate a bra. It will support many good causes.

The Oakmont League of Glendale has been donating food, preparing it and serving Christmas dinner for the blind for 60 years.

This year’s meal was held on Wednesday, Dec. 14, at Glendale’s Foothill Service Club for the Blind on Los Feliz. After musical selections by the Van Bloem Singers, 20 League volunteers served dinner at 12:00 sharp.

Fifty members of the club chowed down on their turkey feast. But this crowd likes their sweets first. First served was a cranberry salad topped with mounds of whipped cream. Following the turkey entrée were generous squares of cake with plenty of frosting — not the day to pay attention to calories.

Event Chairperson Ann Wacker has held that volunteer position for eight years. She kept her committee members running, so the food and coffee could be served warm. League President Judy Mendicina supervised the whole shebang.

The oldest club member present had to be Helen Vrana. At 99-years-old, Vrana has been a member for about 12 years. She was hoping to win a giant, plush Winnie the Poo bear centerpiece. Vrana has macular degeneration and is considered legally blind. She and the rest of the diners left well-sated and toting more sweets—goodie bags of homemade cookies.

The 52 active League members and their guests are looking forward to their Spring Time in Paris luncheon and fashion show on March 6.

Every holiday season Zovig Injejikian, owner of Curves on Kenneth Road, makes sure her clients do more than exercise. Many bring gifts for the children supported by the Glendale Salvation Army. The gifts are put under the Christmas tree Injejikian and her staff have decorated to the hilt.

On Monday evening, Dec. 12, the annual Christmas party encouraged Curves clients to sip, sup and socialize. Featured were vendors displaying sparkling, good-for-the-holidays jewelry. All vendors donated 10% of their sales to the Salvation Army. The Crazy Crafts booth was manned by vendors from Glendale, Marlene Miles and Christine McGrail. They sold homemade items such as blankets, scarves, kitchen towels and holders. Business was good.

Glendale residents deciding to shop, eat and take care of those extra pounds after the holidays included Aida Kanchian, Shirley Corbett, Nicole Pierce and Curves trainer Nikki Amiri. Even the Curves dog, Dolce, got into the act. Dolce, a 4-year-old, female ball of fluff in her own holiday sweater, liked being carried by her owner Injejikian.

Ruth Sowby may be reached at

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