Glendale Latino Assn. mixes it up

The monthly mixers hosted by the Glendale Latino Assn. are not to be missed. Members and guests mixed it up at the Embassy Suites lobby on Wednesday (Dec. 28). This group knows how to have fun at the same time they raise scholarship dollars for Glendale students. This evening’s event unveiled the community awardees who will be honored more formally in February.

Recognized as “Man of the Year” is Gary Montecuollo, the new chief of police at Glendale Community College. “Woman of the Year” is Denise Miller, director of the Live Well Senior Program at Glendale Adventist Medical Center. The “Organization of the Year” was accepted by Michael Velazquez, a financial advisor at Sadd, Velazquez, Higashi and Shammaa accountancy. Wife Mercy Velazquez, who works with her husband, is a past president of the Glendale Latino Assn.

Montecuollo discussed his plans for the college, one of which is a “Chief’s Scholarship” to financially assist young men and women majoring in public safety. Montecuollo is also a member of the Glendale Latino Assn.

Attending the mixer were Glendale education VIPs Anita Quinonez Gabrielian, president of the Glendale Community College Board of Trustees; Ann Ransford, board member; and Susan Hunt of the Glendale Unified School District.

Four former “Woman of the Year” awardees were also present. They couldn’t resist a group photo. The past honorees were Gabrielian, Elissa Glickman of Glendale Arts, Hunt and Betty Porto, vice president of Glendale Porto’s Bakery & Cafe.

The association was established to promote the betterment of their businesses and professions and to improve access to education by awarding yearly scholarships to local Latin students. In 2012, the association expects to award $20,000 in scholarships.

The association will hold its Awards Luncheon at which the honorees will be introduced to the public on Feb. 23. Also announced will be the current association board headed by incoming President Nancy Guillen and Immediate Past President Amy Navarrete.

The Glendale Latino Assn. welcomes new members. For information visit

A weekend wedding reception was one of the last social events of the holiday season in Glendale. On Friday (Dec. 30), newlyweds Alicia Lewis and Christian Draper were feted at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on North Central Avenue. Word has it, the couple met in biology lab at Brigham Young University.

Proud parents of the bride are Julia and Robert Lewis who attended the reception all the way from Beijing, China. Parents of the groom, Florence and Scott Draper of Glendale, interrupted their church mission in Chula Vista to attend the reception.

Among those attending from Glendale were Marilyn and Gil Torgeson, Linda and Alan Taylor, Linda and Matt Sheffield, Victoria and Lee Knight, Letha and Paul Christiansen, Carolyn and Gary Crane and Cary Corrigan.

Another reception for the couple had been held earlier at the White Willow Reception Center in Provo following their wedding at the Draper Utah Temple.

The couple will resume their studies at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

Ruth Sowby may be reached at

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