Organization celebrates sponsored families

The party invitation came from an organization that doesn’t usually toot its own horn — the Los Angeles County Medical Association Alliance. The local connection to the organization is longtime Glendale volunteer and activist Marilyn Gunnell. As President of the Alliance’s District 4, she helped oversee the group’s “Spirit of Giving” Annual Holiday Luncheon. This year’s hostess was Margaret Kaufman who opened her Valle Vista Drive home to 25 Alliance members on Monday, Dec. 19.

Alliance members party at the same time as they do good works. The purpose of the luncheon was to celebrate three families in need sponsored by the Alliance. The families live at the Glendale YWCA domestic violence shelter. Luncheon guests came toting children’s toys, stuffed animals, clothing, blankets and gift cards from Vons, Target and Toys R Us. There was even a mini-fridge in a donor’s Santa sack of goodies. This year the gifts will be going to three women and their collective five children.

The Alliance began in 1929 made up of the wives of medical doctors. It has since evolved, continues to today and was just awarded the Tom Miller Award from the Glendale Community Coalition. Alliance projects include “Not Even for a Minute,” reminding adults not to leave children in or around vehicles, and “Safe Place,” a national program for helping youth in acute or chronic distress. The Alliance’s newest project is “Bully Me Not!” The project’s collaborators are the Glendale Sunset Rotary and the Glendale Unified School District. Trained volunteers go into schools and teach children why kids bully. The school children are also encouraged to be kind toward the victims of bullying — a necessary message in light of the increase in media attention toward childhood bullying.

Two organizations came together at a Christmas party to have fun and spread the world about La Crescenta’s history — the La Crescenta Woman’s Club and the Historical Society of the Crescenta Valley. On Monday, Dec. 19, the two groups celebrated at the Woman’s Club clubhouse.

More than 150 members and their guests brought savory finger foods and drinks. The Woman’s Club provided a gourmet cake fashioned as a frosted torso in 1911 dress. Local owner of In 2 Cakes, Becky Homan made the cake and was present at the party.

Event Chairperson Dawna Berger and Woman’s Club President Carol Huntwork introduced the evening’s entertainment, featuring Grammy-award-winning artist Ian Whitcomb and his Bungalow Boys. Old favorites were “Apple Blossom Time” and a “Shine on Harvest Moon sing-along. “Everything I play is old,” said Whitcomb, a man of many instruments. He played the banjo, ukulele and a 1920s accordion. Whitcomb is also a local, having lived in Altadena since 1979.

After a turn on the dance floor by members of both organizations, it was time for dinner with savories and sweets. A fashion show followed with Woman’s Club models wearing ensembles from each decade of the Club’s history. The 1911 founding of the Club was represented by member Lynn Roberto in a brightly plumed hat and long gown.

One hundred years later, this evening’s party marked the last of the year’s festive occasions celebrated during the Woman’s Club centennial year. Here’s to another 100 years of community service.

The Los Angeles Times Media Group held its own holiday party to celebrate a year of hard work by its community newspapers staffs, including those at the Glendale News-Press. On Tuesday, Dec. 20, at the Wine Cave in Montrose, several dozen of the hard-working press gathered to relax and unwind from the business of news gathering.

Playing host and hostess were editor of the Media Group’s community newspapers Dan Evans and wife Donna Evans, sporting a jaunty Santa cap. Also present was News-Press City Editor Jason Wells, Photo Editor Roger Wilson, staffer Kelly Corrigan, history columnist Katherine Yamada and education reporter Megan O’Neil.

The new Pasadena Sun was represented by City Editor Bill Kisliuk.

The evening ended early, it was back to their beats the next morning for these “ink-stained wretches.”

Ruth Sowby may be reached at

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