On the Town: Oakmont League luncheon is packed with patriotism


The Oakmont League created an inspiring red, white and blue salute during its “America the Beautiful” biennial fashion show luncheon at the Hilton Glendale on Saturday.

Social time was spent chatting with friends or shopping from an array of vendors displaying boutique clothing and sparkling accents for hands and necklines.

President Nina Ratliff welcomed the more than 200 guests attending and noted the league was celebrating its 77th year of service and friendship in the Glendale community. Throughout the years, she said, those attending have helped the league contribute almost $2 million to local schools and charities.

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The league supports Hillside School Learning Center, Glendale Healthy Kids, Glendale Community College’s disabled students’ programs and services as well as scholarships to students attending the five high schools and Glendale Community College.

About the theme, Ratliff said, “We are celebrating how fortunate we are to live in this country.”

So a rousing “Pledge of Allegiance” was followed by a lovely solo of “America the Beautiful” by Annie Dingwall, a friend of member Lydia Trout.

Co-chairs Barbara McCullough and Judy Mendicina joined co-chair Ratliff at the podium and Ratliff announced the master of ceremonies — back by popular demand — her son Stephen Ratliff and co-hostess Emmy Award-winning CBS News reporter Michele Gile.

Gile read the bios of honorees — Esther Bowen, who has given 29 years to the league, and co-chair McCullough, who has given 24.

Bowen was unable to attend because of health reasons, so daughter Allison Weir received the royal blue statuette and granddaughter Heather Weir gave the acceptance speech. And the whole family joined them at the podium.

McCullough was recognized for holding every position on the board of directors, including president for two years.

Father Mike Javor, of Good Shepherd Church in Long Beach, gave the invocation and, in it, thanked the members who continue to prove that “generosity to the needy will never go out of fashion.”

Baby spinach salad with raspberry vinaigrette led off the meal of short ribs or vegetable mushroom risotto and a delightful shortcake with strawberries and blueberries was the grand-old-flag finish.

Models floated down the runway in fashions by the Robert Ellis Boutique. Black as well as black and white were the dominating colors for most of the styles, ranging from dressy day to evening wear. One model strutted the catwalk with a standard black poodle on the end of her leash. Very classy! A white evening gown with a cascade of flowers woven into the fabric of the dress.

Lucky prize-winners were Marguerite Marsh, probably home watching her new flat-screen TV, co-chair Mendicina, surely planning a wine tasting with her new collection, and Maggie Harbaugh, looking forward to her next vacation at a private home on Balboa Island. Mary Fussier landed the stay-cation at the Hilton Glendale. There’s no place like home.

Glendale Beautiful honors sustainable landscapes

Four properties that implement drought-tolerant and storm-water-saving landscapes were honored during the Glendale Beautiful 2016 Awards Day luncheon at the Joe Bridges Clubhouse earlier this month.

This year, Matt Gangi, vice president of Glendale Beautiful, served as awards chairman.

“Glendale Beautiful has awarded landscaping projects that are eco-friendly and help protect the environment,” Gangi said. “We hope that awarding these projects will help encourage others to do the same. Hopefully, everyone in our community locally and beyond can start making steps toward creating a more sustainable future.”

Habitat for Humanity’s Chestnut Homes received the honor for the great work it does building homes for low-income families as well as creating environmentally friendly landscapes that surround the homes. The organization’s landscape design on three homes on Chestnut Street in Glendale features drought-tolerant plants, UC Verde Buffalo Grass and a drip irrigation system.

Christian Life Church of Montrose was recognized for its many eco-friendly features. The landscape features drought-tolerant plants, a drip irrigation system throughout and a braided stream bed to re-infiltrate the ground water.

Oakmont Country Club was honored for removing 33 acres of grass and replacing the course’s water features with sand, gravel and California native drought-tolerant plants.

A special award went to the city of Glendale for its design of Central Park Paseo, which has a beautiful array of drought-tolerant plants and a sense of humor as a Museum of Neon Art sign hangs above the display reading “The leak stops here”.

Business group supports women with events

The Verdugo Glen chapter of the American Business Women’s Assn. will hold a fundraising luncheon this month in addition to its monthly meeting, where women will receive suggestions about to keep their businesses healthy.

Debbie Kukta, Burbank’s city treasurer, will talk about “Lessons Learned from Successful Business Owners” during the group’s next meeting from 6:45 to 8:45 p.m. next Wednesday at the Glendale Elks Lodge, 120 E. Colorado St. Networking will begin at 6 p.m.

Dinner cost is $25. Reservation deadline is Thursday. Pay via Paypal by using the group’s email address, Include your name, any guest name(s), date of event in the notes and a contact number.

For more information, contact Loren West at (818) 261-2386 or visit

Fashions from women’s clothier Chico’s will be featured at the association’s third annual fashion show luncheon with the theme “Put a Spring in Your Step” on April 30.

Tickets are $55. Proceeds go toward student scholarships and member education programs.

For reservations, visit the website above or call (626) 354-6578.


JOYCE RUDOLPH can be reached at