ON THE TOWN:

The commissioners on Glendale’s Commission on the Status of Women sure know how to throw a party.

The group’s fifth annual Jewels of Glendale Awards Luncheon on Thursday at Anoush Banquet Hall on West Glenoaks Boulevard. And everything matched. The spring-like green-and-aqua color scheme was reflected in the hall decorations, the programs and the 20 soaring table centerpieces of calla lilies. Even some of the silent auction items were green and aqua, such as the delicate, handmade, glass serving platter donated by Commissioner Angele Ketefian.

More than 200 supporters honored Dr. Juanita Watts and Louise Garside, two local women who have overcome hardships to achieve professional or personal triumphs.

Watts, a physician at Kaiser Permanente’s Glendale office, was chosen for her advocacy of women’s health issues. Garside, a Glendale resident, was chosen for her leadership in starting LKG-CMC Inc., a Glendale-based transportation engineering firm with offices across the United States.

Remarks from Honorary Jewel and Speaker of the Assembly Karen Bass were projected on two giant screens on each side of the hall. As the first African American woman speaker of the California State Assembly, Bass described how she reached her position.

“When I was sworn in as speaker of the Assembly, I knew I got there because I stood on the shoulders of others,” Bass said.

Also recognized as an Honorary Jewel was Molly Barker, founder of Girls on the Run, a nonprofit dedicated to building self-esteem in young women through training for a 5K event. Barker gave an emotional acceptance speech describing one young woman’s experiences.

Commissioners and event co-chairwomen Grace Walker and Marie Lemelle welcomed guests and gave a brief history of the commission. Commission Chairwoman Paula Devine was introduced and she introduced her fellow commissioners, Vice-Chairwoman Elizabeth Manassarian, Linda Pillsbury, Ketefian, yours truly and student ex-officio commissioners Talar Malakian and Jill Maracut.

City VIPs attending were Councilman Frank Quintero and wife, Jani; City Manager Jim Starbird, Assistant City Manager Bob McFall, Deputy City Manager Yasmin Beers, Administrative Analyst Lana Haddad, Senior Assist. Atty. Lucy Varpetian, Glendale Community College Supt./President Audre Levy, Vice President of Instruction Dawn Lindsay and Human Resources Associate Vice President Vicki Nicholson.

Honorees were also recognized with commendations from a dozen local and state officials, including Mayor John Drayman, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich and State Assemblyman Paul Krekorian, represented by Suzy Jacobs.

Some 100 members and guests of the La Crescenta Woman’s Club “[Hopped] into Spring Fashions” on Saturday at their clubhouse.

Glendale resident and President Rita Even presided over the event. Fashion Commentator Carolyn Robinson noted this was her 11th year commentating for the club.

Member-models were Barbara Edwards, Marilyn Wright, Dawna Berger, Tamara Hughes, Marianne Jennings, Silva Varbedian, Trudy Arellano and Sandra Virag, who substituted for an ailing Carol Jones. Carol Huntwork’s husband, Dick Huntwork, ably assisted each model off the runway. Dea McCrory was an effective auctioneer for the live auction throughout the fashion show.

La Crescenta residents enjoying the activities were Sally Benson, Carol Benedetti, Pat Wichert, Donna Dieny and Jackie Palmer, whose husband, Jeff Palmer, did drink steward duty along with Rick Berger. Ellie Pipes was front and center, despite her recent knee replacement surgery. Danette Erickson, who just missed winning Disneyland tickets, was there with daughter Deana Madsen from Redondo Beach and guest Eleanor Spaziano, who has just established the 15th chapter of the national Project Renewment for busy, gal retirees.

The busy afternoon closed with a reminder that the club is offering two $500 scholarships to graduating Crescenta Valley High School seniors.

Applications, available in the school’s Counseling Office, are due today.

The 30th anniversary spring show of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles was not to be missed this weekend at the Alex Theatre. The standing-room-only Sunday matinee was preceded by a red carpet show straight out of the Oscars. Chorus members, all first tenors, went drag to personify their favorite actress. Hayes Burton was a Britney Spears look-alike interviewed by Ryan De Korte, a ringer for Joan Rivers. Jason Ralocki looked like a toy soldier from “The Nutcracker.” Aaron Miller, in a blond fright wig and slinky dress, said he was a “random, ditzy blond.”

The show, “And the Award Goes To . . .” spoofed Hollywood award shows and featured Oscar-winning songs. Some politics were thrown in for good measure. A stand out was De Korte, this time in drag as Sarah Palin.

Burbank resident Phyllis Holtzman was usher for a day in order to see the show for free.

“I’d never miss a show by the chorus.”


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

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