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Life and Arts

On the Town: Wine & Roses Gala raises glasses, funds for local hospital

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Popular with the paparazzi were Glendale Memorial’s Heartbeat Cardiovascular Medical Group made up of, from left, Dr. Tigram Khachatryan, Dr. Onkar Marwa, medical group director Dr. Harry Balian, registered nurse and nurse practitioner Anna Bakalian and Dr. Sanjay Sharwa.
(Ruth Sowby Rands)

The 32nd annual Evening of Wine & Roses Gala is the premier fundraiser of the Glendale Memorial Health Foundation. And “premier” it was.

Held this past Sunday, close to 400 guests filled the ballroom of the Universal Hilton Hotel. Vases of white roses graced each table. The lights were dimmed appropriately to show off each guest at their best — not a wrinkle in sight.

Large monitors dominated the front corners of the room to screen the honorees’ testimonials.

Honored for “incomparable contributions” to the hospital were the McClure and Mysza families.

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Glendale Memorial’s “Wine & Roses” Gala
Having just walked the red carpet were Glendale Memorial’s “Wine & Roses” Gala honorees Andi McClure-Mysza and husband Dave Mysza.
(Ruth Sowby Rands)

Andi McClure-Mysza and her husband, Dave, walked the red-carpeted entrance to the ballroom lobby. There, the couple was met with photographers, well wishers and champagne.

Also popular with the paparazzi were members of the hospital’s Heartbeat Cardiovascular Medical Group, headed by Dr. Onkar Marwah. His team includes Drs. Tigram Khachatryan, Harry Balian and Sanjay Sharwa. Also on staff is Anna Bakalian, a registered nurse and nurse practitioner.

Silent-auction tables greeted guests who were happy to come in from the chilly evening.

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Trays of crab-cake appetizers were plenty as were beverages from two busy bars. Soon, the guests entered the ballroom greeted by snappy selections from the Blue Breeze Band, appropriately fitting the gala’s theme “Hitsville USA — A Musical Journey.”

Dan Murphy, the foundation’s vice president of philanthropy, welcomed his audience and recognized city dignitaries present. Among those were Glendale Councilman and former Mayor Frank Quintero with his wife, Jani.

Quintero received the foundation’s Human Kindness Award at last year’s gala. The Quinteros have just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

Also present were council members Paula Devine and Vrej Agajanian.

Rev. Cassie McCarty gave the invocation and blessing on a dinner of New York strip steak topped with crumbled blue cheese and Rock Shrimp. A vegan option was available by request.

As dinner continued, Jill Welton, president and chief executive of Dignity Health Glendale Memorial Hospital, welcomed her audience.

“Your kindness makes Glendale Memorial better,” she said.

Welton also introduced foundation VIPs attending including Dr. Santo Polito, foundation board director, and Judy Polito Armstrong, gala chair.

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The highlight of the evening was the recognition of the McClure and Mysza families with the Human Kindness Award.

Andi McClure-Mysza’s father, Joe McClure, died last November. He had spent time at the hospital’s cardiac fitness center after having a heart attack 10 years ago.

“Our family is incredibly honored. By the time my father died, he knew every floor of the hospital,” McClure-Mysza said.

The second highlight of the evening was watching hospital leadership staff dance a hot version of the “Mashed Potato” to Motown’s “Do You Love Me.”

The energy continued as auctioneer Zan Aufderheide began the event’s live auction with the “L.A. Lakers Suite Life,” made up of four VIP Suite tickets to the Lakers vs. the Detroit Pistons at the Staples Center in January. It was valued at $2,500. The highest bidder took home the prize for $2,400.

Right before the gala ended with dancing, bid paddles were held high to offer more donations to the hospital.

Gala proceeds will benefit the hospital’s new structural heart program and its cardiac-related services.

“Technology is expensive. But the more we can get, the more lives we can save,” Marwah said.

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