Oakmont fundraiser has French flair

More than 300 members and guests of the Oakmont League were transported to Paris with its accompanying food, fashions and fortune. The Sheraton Universal Hotel was sumptuously decorated for “Springtime in Paris” at the League’s annual fundraiser on March 6.

A reception, raffle and boutique — all with a distinctly Parisian flair — began the day at 10 a.m. A favorite raffle prize was “Couture!” made up of a Carlisle silver tip fox collar, straight from the showrooms of Paris, along with a roomy handbag in pewter — the current “in” color.

Boutique vendors were very generous with 25% of their proceeds donated to the Oakmont League Philanthropy Fund. Dicker and Dicker Furs of Beverly Hills made its usual dramatic presence known. Model Canden Bliss modeled a gray cashmere cape trimmed with fox and Swarovsky crystals. It was a steal at $3,250.

League President Judy Mendicina welcomed her enthusiastic audience. Event Co-Chairmen Carolyn Beaton and Lynn Dittrick kept the enthusiasm going by announcing the winner of the first special drawing: “New Orleans—French Quarter.” The prize package included five days and four nights at the Royal Sonesta Hotel. A $400 travel voucher was an added bonus.

Lunch followed with crème de tomate au basilic soup en croute. The main course was poulet à la Dijonnaise à la Estragon (that’s chicken with a creamy white sauce). Dessert was a mouth-watering gateau (cake) à la sauce framboise.

Between the soup and main course, the audience was treated to a fast-paced fashion show starring designer Lourdes Chavez’s 2012 spring/summer collection. A couple of male models baring their chests had the women swooning. The gentlemen guests seated on the opposite side of the runway weren’t as interested.

Longtime League member and Glendale resident Barbara McCullough brought some family members to the festivities. They were McCullough’s daughter Gina Hueston, daughter-in-law Cherie McCullough and Cherie’s daughter Sara McCullough.

The afternoon ended at the stroke of 2 p.m. with the announcement of more raffle and special drawing winners. Alas, it was tough leaving Paris behind.

Expected proceeds of between $15,000 and $20,000 (not counting boutique donations) are earmarked for League charities such as the Glendale YWCA’s Battered Women’s Shelter, Glendale Healthy Kids and the Salvation Army.

With last December’s wind storms, Glendale lost 75 trees. Almost double that number will be replaced with the generosity of members of the community who donated trees in memory of or in honor of friends and loved ones. Glendale Beautiful’s tree donors and recipients were announced at the 62nd Annual Arbor Day on March 6. A cool, breezy morning saw several dozen guests gathered at Casa Adobe de San Rafael for the celebration.

Glendale Beautiful President Gladys Wymore welcomed members and guests and introduced the VIPs present. Greetings from the city were given by Glendale City Councilman Dave Weaver. He also presented an Arbor Day Proclamation to Wymore.

Much attention was given to the late, great, former Glendale Mayor Larry Zarian. Zarian had been a member of Glendale Beautiful for 29 years. Family members made their presence known. Son Vincent Zarian gave the flag salute. Twin sons Gregory Zarian and Lawrence Zarian were recognized in the audience. A veritable forest of tress was donated in honor of Larry Zarian. Donors were Wymore, Donald Biggs, Glendale Kiwanis and Glendale Beautiful.

A Western Redbud was donated by Wymore and Doyle Kutch in memory of Richard Sowby, the late husband of yours truly.

Director of Public Works Stephen Zurn was an informative guest speaker. According to Zurn, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.”

The Tree City U.S.A. Award from the National Arbor Foundation was presented to new Glendale City Manager Scott Ochoa. Glendale Beautiful’s Past President William McKinley did the honors. McKinley is also Parks Services Manager with City of Glendale Community Services and Parks. Glendale has been honored with the Tree City Award for 28 consecutive years.

A total of 126 trees valued at $7,064 were donated. Jess Duran accepted. Duran is the director of City of Glendale Community Services and Parks.

Arbor Day was sponsored by Glendale Beautiful in cooperation with the City of Glendale Community Services and Parks Department.

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

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