On the Town: Cancer survivors and their doctors celebrated

Cancer Survivor Day was celebrated as "Life is a Dance" at Glendale Adventist Medical Center on Friday with a healthy roasted-chicken lunch and a decadent fruit tart for dessert. Keynote speaker Chris Erskine regaled his audience with the home-spun humor found in his "Man in the House" Los Angeles Times column. More than 200 cancer survivors, their families, hospital oncologists and administrators present also got a dose of sobriety when Erskine described his father's battle with cancer.

Referring to the 9.8 million cancer survivors in the U.S., Glendale Adventist President/Chief Executive Morre Dean said, "We want to add to that number."

Dean introduced two doctors from the hospital who are, indeed, adding to the number of survivors — Radiation oncologist Sara Kim and Cancer Committee Chairman Boris Bagdasarian. They spoke of the strides Glendale Adventist has made in cancer prevention and treatment.

But it was the can-do spirit of the canDancers, all cancer survivors, that brought down the house. Dance instructor Arlene Vidor put her dancers through their paces to the delight of the crowd. Among those adding some twinkle to their Terpsichore were Glendale residents Julietta Narinian, Arsinee Geurdjelian, Sandy Saaed and Carmen Banawa from Los Angeles.

Honored during the Flame of Hope Award Ceremony were "Bras for a Cause" creator Kathy Lefkovits for philanthropy and Filor Izanian for community service. Glendale City Councilwoman Laura Friedman, who survived breast cancer, was also recognized.

To close the program, Cancer Services Director Melina Thorpe, herself a cancer survivor, introduced all the survivors in the audience as Pamlyn King sang "On the Wings of Eagles." There wasn't a dry eye in the house.

What better way to celebrate a balmy summer night at twilight than to imbibe responsibly at the Wine Cave in Montrose. The Verdugo Mental Health Foundation invited about 75 guests to do just that on June 23. The party recognized the foundation's major donor organizations — Las Candelas, Oakmont League and National Charity League Juniors of Glendale.

Wine, cheese, fruit and sandwiches were the order of the evening. Owner Scott Starkey, playing bartender for the night, poured generously. VIPs enjoying his generosity included Foundation Chairwoman Joyce Ruygrok, Verdugo Mental Health Care Chief Executive Officer Jeff Smith and Chairman Carl Povilaitis. More VIP's included Las Candelas President Debbi Gangi, First Vice President Jeannie Flint and board members Ellyn Semler and Dianne Endsley. Sue Wilder was spotted at the opportunity drawing table full of gift certificates donated by Glendale and Foothills restaurants.

Expected proceeds of about $4,000 will benefit Verdugo Mental Health programs.

At prices too tempting to pass up, Brand Library Art Gallery art lovers walked off with prints and ceramics of Glendale artist Robert Brown. Brown died in 2009 and was considered a master printmaker, glass artist and muralist. Copies of his limited edition prints sold for as little as $5 and $10 at the reception for the artist's "A Retrospective Exhibition of a Life's Work" on Sunday.

Glendale art appreciators included Arlene Vidor, Julietta Narinian, Mary Margaret Smith, Anna Rundle, Diane Kightlinger and City Councilwoman Laura Friedman.

The works presented at the library were all taken from the artist's studio. None of them have been reframed in order to avoid additional costs. The exhibit's proceeds will go to the Associates of Brand Library & Art Center. The exhibit will run through July 9. Don't miss it.

More than 100 shoppers had a field day in the vintage jewelry and specialty fashion boutiques at the Glendale Emblem Club fundraiser on Sunday. The Glendale Elks Lodge's masculine decor of stuffed elks' heads stood in stark contrast to the delicate finery being sold and modeled.

Glendale residents who were generous with their pocketbooks included Assistance League President Jean Peacock, La Crescenta Woman's Club members Carol Jones and Tamara Hughes, Christina Kazazian and her sister, Natalie Kazazian, who modeled styles from Annie Scandal in the fashion show.

The Elks Lodge was generous, as usual, with their lunch of savories and sweets. Doggie bags provided without the asking.

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