The Valley Line: USC-Verdugo Hills Hospital foundation event was the ‘bee’s knees’

The 1920s were roaring once again when the Women’s Council of the USC Verdugo Hills Hospital Foundation held a delightful luncheon and fashion show last week.

As people might have said back in the day, the June 13 event was truly “the bee’s knees.”

Pat Gilbert, of Activity on a Budget, served as coordinator for the show. She did a fantastic job, not only in gathering the vintage ’20s clothing but also in researching the Jazz Age. Those were the days when young energetic women who embraced newly emerging social freedoms were called “flappers.”

Gilbert pointed out that the flappers had new ideas about how to live as they broke away from the Victorian image of womanhood. They dropped the corset, chopped their hair in a bob, wore makeup and dropped layers of clothing to increase ease of movement. They created what many considered the “new” or “modern” woman. The flappers had both an image and an attitude that was free and wild — they were definitely the “cat’s whiskers,” another idiom of the day.


The models vamping for the luncheon crowd included Nona Janszyano, representing Serene Hospice Care; Mirna Yanez, a former flight attendant who is currently a caregiver at Twelve Oaks Senior Living; Maria Revis, a medical tech at Twelve Oaks, Ruth McNevin, a longtime volunteer at USC-VHH Hospital; Sonia Beghdasarian, also a USC VHH volunteer; Chris Parrish, a SAG member and movie actress and Crystal Liu, a Glendale Community College student studying to become a registered nurse who recently completed her last rotation at the hospital.

Adding a fun element to the afternoon was a song and dance duo comprised of Tricia and Tracy Henry called “2 for the Show.” Tricia was dressed in her flapper best and her husband, Tracy, was showing off his chops on the tenor and bass saxophone. He also made some expert dance moves.

After the fun of the fashions and the music it was time to get down to some important business for the Women’s Council, as a check for $20,000 was presented to hospital chief executive Keith Hobbs, the final installment of their $150,000 pledge to help in the development of USC-VHH’s neonatal intensive unit. The check was presented to Hobbs by Becky Happach, incoming chair of the Council and Purmina Panchal, the outgoing chair.

Tina Marie Ito, vice chair of USC VHH Foundation Board, then stepped to the podium to serve as installing officer for the council’s new board. Installed were Becky Happach, chair; Anna Arabyan, chair elect; Laney Scher-Podell, recording secretary; Sonia Baghdasarian, treasurer; Purmina Panchal, Becky Happach, Angela Mandujano and Marie Fuentas, fundraising co-chairs; Wanda Sellers, membership chair; Teri Rice, Pauline Hendricks, Angelea Mandulano and Maria Fuentas, program co-chairs; Toni Williamson and Hassie Ramnath, corresponding co-secretaries; Ruth McNevin, publicity/historian; Pauline Hendricks, parliamentarian and Purmina Panchal, nominating and resource chair.


Members at Large include Anush Arabayan, Jane Peterson, Cindy Sawyer, Jeanine Hernandez and Kate Kaneko.


The La Cañada Flintridge Orthopaedic Guild held its last meeting for the summer before members reconvene in September and go full steam ahead in planning the group’s Oct. 22 annual fundraiser, the Book and Author Luncheon to be held at the La Cañada Flintridge Country Club.

They report they are looking forward to the July 23 ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the grand opening of the new Urgent Care Center at Orthopaedic Institute for Children in Los Angeles.

Jane Napier Neely covers the La Cañada Flintridge social scene. Email her at with news of your special event.

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