Some 100 supporters dodged the drizzles on the way to the Alex Theatre on Thursday night to attend the kickoff event for the first Glendale Downtown Dash 5K Run/Walk scheduled for March 9.

Guests dined on Damon’s Steakhouse-donated Sloppy Joe’s, chicken wings and meatballs and a heaping relish tray of raw vegetables.

The Downtown Dash aims to call attention to the fight against stroke, No. 1 cause of serious, long-term adult disability in the United States today. To that end, representatives from the Glendale Adventist Medical Center spoke about the importance of stroke education.

Senior Vice President of Clinical Services Gwen Matthews and Neuroscience Institute Director Cynthia Cabatan-Awang led the evening’s short presentation. Event committee chairman and one of Damon’s owners, Patrick Campbell, was an enthusiastic cheerleader for the Downtown Dash. Alex Executive Director Barry McComb and Marketing and Development Director Elyssa Glickman played hosts for the kickoff, held on the second-floor terrace.

Glendale residents attending were Mayor Ara Najarian, Mayor Pro-Tem Dave Weaver, Glendale Unified School District board member Nayiri Nahabedian, city of Glendale Senior Assistant Atty. Lucy Varpetian, city of Glendale administrative analyst Lana Haddad and her children Jordan Haddad-Lott and Jana Haddad-Lott, Glendale Healthy Kids President Kathleen Powers, Glendale Healthy Kids Executive Director Camille Levee, Glendale FastFrame owner Vickie McConnell, Balita Media’s Gary Escarilla and Jo Cameron and Glendale business owners Joe Ayvazi, Harry Hall, Rosemary Montana and Elaine Miller.

Proceeds from the Glendale Downtown Dash will benefit Glendale Adventist Medical Center’s stroke services.

The rain didn’t stop the Norwegian Torsk and Meatball Dinner either. Presented by the Edvard Grieg Lodge of the Sons of Norway, the annual event at the American Legion Hall in La Crescenta on Saturday attracted more than 100 hungry Norwegian food lovers. The menu also included poached cod, pickled beets and Lefse, a traditional Norwegian flat bread made from potatoes.

Glendale resident and lodge member Jo Ness was accompanied by her mother, Gertrude Ness, who will be 102 in April. Jo Ness described how to make Lefse for a large group. She starts with 30 pounds of potatoes, adds flour and butter, rolls out the mixture like a pie crust and grills it dry.

The flat bread is cut into squares and served with butter and brown sugar. There was plenty on hand for every guest. Since Lefse is a favorite of mother Gertrude, it may be the secret to a long and happy life.

A Special Recognition Golden Membership Award was presented to Jean Parks for her 50 years of “long and faithful service.” She was characteristically modest and took the time to promote another charity near and dear to her heart, Church Women United.

More Glendale residents attending were Cara Clove, who sang for her dinner; Dorothy Bakken; Connie and Kristin Guritz; Bill Parks, husband of honoree Jean Parks; Ken Putnam; Fran Quick and Chester Weiche.

The Southern California Mormon Choir sung a free concert for more than 200 on Saturday at the Church of Latter-day Saints ward house on North Central Avenue in Glendale.

Before the performance, more than 200 guests dined on a catered Italian dinner of lasagna, salad and sparkling apple juice.

The 100-voice choral ensemble performed a combination of classical, spiritual, folk, patriotic and popular music. Frank Turner is musical director, and Glendale resident Jan Bills is associate director of the choir. Jan Bills’ husband, Stephen Bills, narrated the program that began with a spirited “It’s a Grand Night for Singing.”

Glendale residents present for dinner and song included Suzanne and John Christiansen, Linda and Alan Taylor, Pauline Krokstrom, Scott Draper, Kathy and Kent Lee, Judith and Jon Ritchie, Carolyn and Gary Crane, Zelma and Jacob Zalit, and missionaries Elder Ricardo Fontoura from Dayton, Fla., and Elder Justin Clayton from Hurricane, Utah. Tujunga residents included Katty Barillas and Susie Corrigan.

The Southern California Mormon Choir will perform on March 18 at the Alex Theatre and for the Easter Sunrise Service at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills on March 23.

Neither rain nor the now-settled writers guild strike stopped the Oscars on Sunday. Taking advantage of the telecast to raise some charity dollars were members and guests of the Glendale Assn. for the Retarded.

Rosalie and Ron Youra opened their La Cañada-Flintridge home to host “A Night at the Oscars.”

More than 70 people cheered on their favorite Hollywood celebrity, behind-the-scenes talent and feature films on flat-screen TVs scattered throughout the house. Winners of a drawing got to sit in the Youras’ state-of-the-art screening room.

Paolo Sacca, of the former La Cucina, catered dinner including a host of hors d’oeuvres and finger-size desserts.

Oscar fans from Glendale included Monica and Jose Sierra, Suzi and John Sadd, Laurel and Jim Patric, Mercy and Mike Velazquez, Karen and Jim Pagliuso, Harriet and Joe Mandoky, Georgette and Ed Malouf, Sharon and Joseph Roth and Shirley and Jim Owens.

Founded in 1954, the Glendale Assn. for the Retarded is dedicated to serving people with developmental disabilities primarily related to mental retardation, but also including cerebral palsy and epilepsy.

There are 64 developmentally disabled adults in the program. Proceeds from the evening will add $6,000 to association coffers.

 RUTH SOWBY may be reached at ruthsowby@msn.com.

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