Silent Auction a Success

The honorary mayor of La Crescenta and the governor of California have something in common.

"From the leader of California to the leader of the community," said Rick Dinger, who takes his position as honorary mayor of La Crescenta seriously. "Now me and Arnold have the same ring."

Dinger purchased an exact replica of a size 13-1/2 ring worn by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on the Aug. 18, 2003, cover of Newsweek magazine. Silversmith Harout Kioudjian, a member of the Crescenta Valley Town Council Outreach Committee, donated the ring for the July 4 silent auction held during Sunday's festivities at Crescenta Valley High School.

Dinger said once he tried on the heavy, silver ring, he had to have it.

"It's a little snug, but that's OK. That way it won't fall off," Dinger said, adding he is fan of Schwarzenegger not only for his role in "Terminator II" but also for his political views.

"I appreciate what he's done for businesses and individuals in the state," said the owner of Crescenta Valley Insurance.

While Dinger now is owner of an exact replica of the silver eagle ring, Crescenta Valley Town Council member and CVTC Outreach Committee co-chairman Richard Gilden purchased a smaller copy.

The rings, both made and donated by Kioudjian, were two big-ticket items up for silent auction on the CVTC Web site,, and included with many other items auctioned off at the Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce's Fourth of July event, which was held Sunday at Crescenta Valley High School.

"We did very well. We definitely exceeded last year's take," said Janice Gilden, a CVTC Outreach Committee member who helped organize this year's CVTC booth. "It was quite frenzied there at the end."

CVTC Treasurer Danette Erickson said almost every item sold at the booth, which is the organization's biggest fund-raiser.

"I think that was a surprise," she said.

One of the biggest surprise sales was a package of two tickets to see a Dodgers game.

"People kept coming back and forth, fighting for that. There was a lot of interest in the Dodgers this year, so we must have a good team going," Erickson said.

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