On the Town: Latino Assn. presents awards, installation luncheon; Cabrini Literary Guild fundraiser; "In the Mood" at the Alex

"She could be the unholy love child of Ricky Ricardo and Charo." That's how Glendale City Manager Scott Ochoa described the Glendale Latino Assn.'s 2014 Woman of the Year Mercy Velazquez, past president of the organization.

Dubious birthright aside, this dynamo has recently been seen about town in her capacity as chief executive of the Arturo Sandoval Institute.

More awards were given as dozens of Glendale VIPs including a smattering of Glendale's finest turned out for the association's Community Awards and Installation Luncheon. The Oakmont Country Club was the opulent setting for the festivities last Thursday.

Before the installation and awards ceremony, greetings were given by President-Elect Nancy Guillen and Ochoa, followed by Glendale Deputy Police Chief Carl Povilaitis, who introduced the colors and flag salute by members of Crescenta Valley High School's Junior ROTC.

Amy Navarrete, past president of the association, recognized Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Gus Gomez, who installed the officers.

Once formalities were out of the way, the party started in earnest with the awards presentations. First up was the irrepressible Velazquez. Her award was presented by last year's Woman of the Year Robin Goldsworthy. Following remarks by the vivacious Velazquez, wordsmith Ochoa was announced as the 2014 Man of the Year. Presenting Ochoa's award was last year's Man of the Year — recently retired Glendale Police Chief Ron De Pompa.

Glendale Adventist Medical Center was given 2014 Business of the Year honors.

Before the end of the program, lively dancing was performed by members of Ballet Folklorico Mexico Azteca.

Few organizations know how to throw a shindig as does the Cabrini Literary Guild. This hearty band of women knows how to pray hard and party hard. This past Saturday marked their annual fundraiser with its theme "South of the Border."

Every table was filled at the Oakmont Country Club's ballroom. The program was preceded by a social hour, silent auction and the opportunity to purchase tickets to a generous drawing of goodies. Regina Palamara, Brenda Lantieri and Ann Herrmann had their drawing baskets handy for ticket buys.

President Marie Urrutia welcomed her audience of some 200 women and one honorable male member Paul Wight, accompanied by proud wife, Mary. Urrutia introduced event co-chairs Miryam Finkelberg and Laurie Leask. They turned the program over to Paul Hruby, who gave the blessing on the food.

Next up — the fun. Entertainment was provided by the ever-popular and ubiquitous Ballet Folklorico Mexico Azteca. Dan Urrutia tickled the ivories with a south-of-the-border flare. Following was a luncheon of "Chicken a la Fajita," Spanish rice and black beans. Those who were not yet satiated dipped into flan with fresh berries.

Luncheon proceeds will support the guild's philanthropies including Ascencia Homeless Shelter, the YWCA's Shelter for Women and Catholic Charities including Loaves and Fishes.

All 1,413 seats of the Alex Theatre were filled for a 1940s big band review "In the Mood," featuring the String of Pearls Orchestra and the In the Mood singers and dancers.

According to the program, this swinging musical overflowed with tunes that "moved the nation's spirit." On a recent afternoon, audience members were treated to the era's musical favorites including "It Don't Mean a Thing," "Moonlight Serenade," "Accentuate the Positive" and "Taking a Chance on Love."

Glendale residents Anna Rundle, Mary Margaret Smith, Loys Bonner, Alma Tycer and Kathy Dupree formed their own theater party. All are members of the Glendale Assistance League.

The show ended on a high note with "On the Sunny Side of the Street."

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RUTH SOWBY may be reached at ruthasowby@gmail.com.

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