Life and Arts

On the Town: Emblem Club hosts holiday-themed fundraiser party

Spirit of Christmas
Joining Santa at the Elks Lodge Emblem Club party were, from left, Patricia Gay, president, and Rosario James, event chair.
(Ruth Sowby Rands)

If the intention was to raise the rafters at the Glendale Elks Lodge, that intention was more than met. This past Saturday, the lodge’s Glendale Emblem Club pulled out all of the stops for its sold-out “Spirit of Christmas” fundraiser party.

More than 200 supporters showed up to part with their money, all in the name of charity, of course. Against a background of sparkling silver streamers, miniature Christmas trees were decorated in categories — gift certificates, toys and liquor.

Below each tree were holiday goodies such as ornaments, wreaths, plush reindeer and more liquor. Raffle tickets ran from $20 for a sheet of 27 cards to use for the tree of your choice or $50 for three sheets totaling 81 chances to win.

Elks members emcee John Jolly and singer Harrison Clewley got the party going. A visit from Santa Claus was the icing on the cake.


Patricia Gay, president of the Emblem Club, and Rosario James, event chair and immediate past president, posed with Santa — a well-costumed, Elks member Paul Coulter.

Spirit of Christmas
Elks and Emblem Club member Sue “Purple” Jekarl shows off gifts for raffle at the Club’s “Spirit of Christmas.”
(Ruth Sowby Rands)

“We’ve never had such a good turnout. It’s overwhelming,” Gay said.

Tables and chairs had been added to accommodate all who wanted to attend.


Spaghetti dinners with all the trimmings were served. Lodge servers were on their toes to make sure each guest was fed a piping-hot meal.

Among the Glendale residents in the mood to party were Lynda Burns, Camille Levee, Shirley Ann Hill, Joyce Briscoe, Monica and Jose Sierra and Miryam and Lou Finkelberg. The Finkelbergs had news of their son’s recent USC law school graduation. Matt Finkelberg is now the proud holder of a juris doctor degree.

Proceeds from the sale of raffle tickets and the $12-per-head admission fee will go to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

Glendale Educational Foundation
Ready to raise a glass — and a tortilla chip — for education are, from left, Brigette Young, Frida’s Restaurant marketer, Elsa Chagolla, Glendale Educational Foundation executive director, and Pam Sorem, Foundation vice president.
(Ruth Sowby Rands)

“Raise a Glass for Education” — Glendale Educational Foundation supporters did just that at Frida’s Mexican restaurant recently at the Americana at Brand. At a recent business partnership mixer, about 50 members and guests turned out to sip, sup and support public education in Glendale.

Holding down the registration desk was Susan Hunt, interim foundation director, who liberally handed out free drink tickets. Administrative assistant Nancy MacNair collected the $15 charge for nonmembers and $10 from honor-roll members.

Elsa Chagolla, the foundation’s executive director, encouraged networking with business community members. Frida’s marketing maven Bridgett Young made sure each table had plenty of tortilla chips and salsa. Pam Sorem, the foundation’s vice president, planned the goals for the evening and outlined them.


“We want the business community to support us,” she said. “Individual schools [in the district] are already supported by parents.”

Sorem said business donations are crucial to secure the funds for the foundation’s teacher grant program. Business donations also provided funds for the foundation’s “Get Everybody Fit” initiative and the “Music Matters” campaign for 2018-2020.

With the help of the business community, for instance, the foundation was able to provide $363,136 to pay for musical instruments for local elementary schools, allowing all interested students the opportunity to learn to play.

One of those students who benefited from the schools’ early music training was Julian Ramirez, 17, who is a junior at Glendale High School. He provided the evening’s background entertainment with his soft guitar music.

Watch for the foundation’s “Diamond & Pearls” gala in March.

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