The Valley Line: Garden at USC Verdugo Hills named for longtime supporters; ‘floaters’ mix it up with designers

Steve and Sue Wilder, left, were recently feted by USC Verdugo Hills Hospital for their longtime support. They are shown with Tina Marie Ito, Kerri Yoder Hubbard and Keith Hobbs.
(Jane Napier Neely)

Sue and Steve Wilder, major donors to USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, were honored at a lovely reception late last month.

The Wilders, who have been involved with the hospital for over 25 years in a myriad of ways were recognized for their support not only monetarily but for their generosity of heart and spirit.

The highlight of the June 27 reception, held in the hospital’s main floor garden with its cascading waterfall, was the unveiling that this garden is now called the Sue and Steve Wilder Healing Garden.

Tina Marie Ito, the newly appointed chair of the hospital’s foundation board, was master of ceremonies, as she introduced the Wilders and told of their personal commitment to the hospital. Also speaking and thanking the Wilders for their exceptional gifts to the hospital were Kerri Yoder Hubbard, executive director of USC Verdugo Hills Hospital Foundation and Keith Hobbs, the facility’s chief executive officer.


It was a warm gathering of friends and hospital staff as they came to honor the Wilders. A champagne toast was made as the lettering on the garden wall was revealed with their names.


Artists of La Cañada’s 2020 float entry in the Rose Parade, “Dodo Bird Flight School,” were featured speakers at the Tournament’s Happy Hour at the Community Center of La Canada Flintridge.
(Courtesy of Barbie Eland)

Maureen Bond, executive director of the Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge, opened up the doors of the center to host the LCF Tournament of Roses Assn.’s Happy Hour on June 28.


Nearly 70 people came to nibble on the hors d’ oeuvres and desserts that were brought pot-luck style by Tournament members.

The stars of the evening were float designers Ted Baumgart, Grant Delgatty and Tony Gleeson, all with impressive resumes, who explained the evolution of this year’s float, “Dodo Bird Flight School.”

Guests hung on every word of these talented guys, and many feel that this adorable concept for the float submitted by Arlene Buchmann is a “for sure” award winner.

Nancy Wolhaupter, from left, Ann Neilson and Denise Springer greet guests at the LCF Tournament of Roses Happy Hour.
(Courtesy of Barbie Eland)

The VIPs of the organization were there to meet and greet. Michael Davitt, who also serves on our city council, is president of the group. The sister team of Alice Perez and Trish McRae were there to sign in guests.

Bill Pounders, Sue Beatty, Nancy and John Wolhaupter, and Ann Neilson, all of whom have taken leadership roles in the organization over the years, were also there to say hello.

Manning the bar were Chuck Terhune, Art Johnson and Jeff Hemphill.

It was a fun and informative Happy Hour. Hats off to all the loyal float supporters!


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

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