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Opinion

On the Town: Altrusa International delights guests with an evening in ‘Paris’

An Evening in Paris
Altrusa guests Arlene Boychuk, left, and Suzette Van Sleeuwen are in a Parisian mood at “An Evening in Paris.”
(Ruth Sowby Rands)

A highlight of the summer social season was “An Evening in Paris” presented by Altrusa International of Glendale. The venue was the classy Le Chateau Royale, home of member Donnalee Monniger.

This past Saturday, some 50 members and their guests were “transported” to a multi-“Eiffeled” Paris, France. Miniature Eiffel towers on mirrors graced every table. A lighted Eiffel Tower and French tri-colored flag of blue, white and red further carried out the theme.

An intricate tapestry of a typical French street was hung by Barbara Crawford, president of the organization and event chair, who wove the tapestry as a gift to her mother some years ago.

The dinner menu featured French food, natch. Diners had their choice of filet of sole Amerindian or boeuf bourguignon from chef Josette LeBlond’s Creamy Spoon French Bistro in Glendale.

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Altrusa’s own Eiffel Tower is graced by member Pat Zayas, left, and Barbara Crawford, Altrusa president.
(Ruth Sowby Rands)

In charge in the kitchen was chef Anne Michelle de Bonrepos, Monninger’s cousin and former sous chef of the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Ga.

Dessert was crème brulee and cookies provided by chef Andre Guerrero, owner of the Maximiliano restaurant in Highland Park and the Oinkster in Eagle Rock.

While dinner was underway, guests had the opportunity to bid on an array of silent-auction items. A favorite was a one-week stay at the Schull Harbor Cottage in Ireland. The trip was valued at $1,200 and donated by Mary Brady.

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Second on the list of favorites was a seven-night stay at a studio condo at a mountain resort in Sun Valley, Idaho. This vacation was valued at $900 and donated by member Anna Donlin.

On the more modest side was a Kate Spade necklace and earring set valued at $126. The baubles were from Park Lane Jewelry and donated by Rose Tharp.

The attentive wait staff was made up of four teenagers and a couple of preteens from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All were grandchildren of La Crescenta resident Marilyn Bayles. Especially outstanding at juggling the crème brulee were Glendale residents Troy Clark, 11, Andrew Petersen, 12, and Ashlin Clark, 13.

An Evening in Paris
Young servers at Altrusa’s “An Evening in Paris” are, from left, Glendale residents Troy Clark, 11; Andrew Petersen, 12; and Ashlin Clark, 13.
(Ruth Sowby Rands)

Altrusa members attending the event included Crawford, Brady and Tharp with her husband, Bill. Pat Zayas, a former Altrusa president, was joined by her husband, Ed. Guests of Pat Zayas were Suzette Van Sleeuwen and Arlene Boychuk. Guests of hostess Monninger were Burbank resident Linda Wilson, her mother, June Hasencamp, and Sheldon Haase, both from Glendale.

The evening ended with a vigorous game of bingo. Altrusa members provided the prizes.

The evening’s proceeds will benefit Altrusa’s community projects including bedding for the Ascencia shelter, lunches at the Campbell Center, ESL tutoring at the Downtown Glendale Central Library, an ESL cultural evening exchange at Glendale Community College, the “Grandparents and Books” program for the Glendale Unified School District, the “Make a Difference Day” at the Glendale YMCA and a generous Christmas donation to the Glendale Salvation Army.

Altrusa is an international network of business and professional leaders dedicated to improving their communities by personal service. The Glendale club was organized on March 31, 1954.

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Ruth Sowby Rands may be reached at ruthasowby@gmail.com.

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