Oscars serve area cause

About 70 people gathered at the La Cañada Flintridge home of Ron and Rosalie Youra on Sunday for a catered meal while watching the Oscars on flat screens at the couple’s home.

The attendees were not only there to be a part of Hollywood’s biggest night, but they were also geared up for a good cause.

The Youras hosted an Oscar party to benefit Glendale Assn. for the Retarded. Guests came to support and help raise funds for the organization.

“It just gives you a good feeling when you help other people who can’t help themselves,” Ron Youra said.

The couple have been hosting the party at their home for the last three years. Ron Youra serves on the organization’s foundation board, the fundraising arm.

On Sunday, dozens attended the Youras’ party. They ate a catered meal and watched the Academy Awards ceremony unfold on television screens throughout the home.

Andrea Jacobs and Richard Slavett, both of Thousands Oaks, came to show their support. They lounged in the Youras’ home theater, which was decorated with movie memorabilia including posters, markers and film reels.

“It’s one of the few organizations that I support,” Slavett said. “This is my favorite. It’s a very worthy cause.”

Slavett serves on the board of directors for Glendale Assn. for the Retarded.

The event was expected to raise about $6,000, Ron Youra, said.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will go toward services for the organization’s clients, said Sandy Doughty, executive director of Glendale Assn. for the Retarded.

One of the goals is to replace the facility’s air-conditioning unit, Doughty said, adding that if enough funds are raised from the event, the organization will likely get a new one.

On Sunday, a number of supporters from local service clubs came to take part in the annual fundraising event.

Glendale resident John Sadd, who is a Kiwanis Club member, did his part to help the cause.

“The clients are such wonderful, warm people,” Sadd said. “We feel it’s a good cause.”

“The Night at the Oscars” is the second-largest fundraiser for Glendale Assn. for the Retarded, Doughty said. Derby Day in May is the biggest fundraiser, which raises as much as $90,000.

Sunday’s event was important for longtime association supporter Mike Velazquez.

Velazquez and his wife, Mercy, watched the Oscars on one of the big screens with their friends.

“We are friends of the Youras, and we support Glendale Assn. for the Retarded,” said Velazquez, a Montrose resident. “And we love movies, so we are here. It’s one of the prominent nonprofits in Glendale. The cause is pure, and they need all the support they can get.”


 ANI AMIRKHANIAN is a news assistant. She may be reached at (818) 637-3230 or by e-mail at ani.amirkhanian@latimes.com.

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