Calendar: Richard O'Toole to speak at Tupper Awards, Union Station gala

Local resident Dr. Richard O'Toole will present the annual Les Tupper Community Service Awards on Monday, May 14, at JPL's von Karman Auditorium. The event gets underway at 7 p.m. and the public is invited. The sponsoring group is the La Cañada Flintridge Coordinating Council.

O'Toole, executive manager of the Office of Legislative Affairs at JPL, started there in 1975 and served as a group supervisor and section manger in the Systems Division before moving to his current role in 1988. He received his bachelor's degree from Brown University and a doctorate in economics from the University of California at San Diego.

“Exploring Space: 2011, A Year in Review” will be the topic of his presentation.

The Les Tupper Award, given to honor outstanding community volunteers, is named after the late Leslie C. (Les) Tupper, a La Cañada Flintridge resident and community leader. This year's awardees are Barbara Weber, Randy Strapazon, Kathryn Battaglia and Alex Keledjian. Also receiving Tupper awards this year are two organizations: La Cañada Junior Baseball/Softball Assn. and the Flintridge Riding Club.

In other Coordinating Council news, the group has recently launched a website,, on which the organization provides information about La Cañada groups, their leadership, activities, meeting times, etc.

“The council's website is intended to provide information and details on the many community organizations that provide volunteer services that enrich our community” stated Sheree Butts, council president.

Nonprofit organizations, churches and schools that are not listed in this year's council directory or website can join the LCF Coordinating Council for an annual fee of $15.

CC-YMCA plans open house on Saturday

The Crescenta-Cañada Family YMCA will be hosting a Spring Fling and Open House from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 28. Three local organizations will be on hand with free food: Sprouts, Hello Pizza and Zina's Healthy Corner. The community can also enjoy full access to the facilities: Wellness Center, Indoor Heated Pool, Group Exercise Classes, Yoga and more. On Saturday only, anyone can join the Y for $28.

Live music will be provided by local band Misplaced Priorities.

Raines shines at Kiwanis Club

Meteorologist Dallas Raines, who has appeared on KABC-7 for nearly 28 years, was the guest speaker at last week's meeting of the Kiwanis Club of La Cañada, held at Van de Kamp Hall in Descanso Gardens. Raines described how he developed an interest in weather as a child in Georgia, then later earned a degree in broadcast journalism and meteorology.

The weatherman announced that he is currently writing a book titled “Climate Change” and hopes to make the topic understandable for anyone interested in the subject.

A certified meteorologist and member of American Meteorological Society, Raines enthusiastically chases tornadoes. He showed Kiwanians a video of a tornado he witnessed in southeastern Colorado.

The Kiwanis Club also elected its officers to serve the 2012-2013 club year. They are President James Phillips, President-elect Thomas A. Passanisi, Vice President Dr. Fred Schooley, Secretary Dr. E. Forest (“Skip”) Boyd III and Treasurer Robert Wallace. Outgoing president is Mary Gant.

Chamber, Thursday Club share mixer

Members of the La Cañada Thursday Club on April 19 welcomed members and guests of the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce for the latter's monthly mixer. Both organizations are marking their 100th anniversaries this year, and the club created displays, shared historic scrapbooks and served a birthday cake.

Attendees had the opportunity to see first-hand the club's new Centennial Garden, which boasts a beautiful new fountain. Club President Judy Cooper welcomed the guests and spoke of the organization's programs.

The chamber recognized teens who participated in its first internship program: Stephen Costello, Eric Cho, Sonia Cwik, Thomas Han, Shannon Lee and Joseph Song. Each was presented a scholarship check; Han won an additional amount for being named the top intern.

Union Station gala planned for May 12

Radio host John Rabe (“Off-Ramp,” KPCC) on May 12 will emcee “A Place to Call Home,” a gala in support of the nonprofit Union Station Homeless Services.

The event will honor the dedication of actor Hector Elizondo, Margo and Ralph Kidushim, and Congressman Adam Schiff.

“We are helping individuals and families who have lost everything — their jobs, their homes, and their sense of hope,” stated honoree and former board member Margo Kidushim. “At Union Station Homeless Services, they find sanctuary from the streets and the chance to rebuild their lives. Union Station Homeless Services give them a warm meal, a comfortable bed, caring staff, a full continuum of supportive services and place to call home until they can get back on their feet.”

To buy tickets, visit, or call Amanda Green at (626) 240-4559.

-- Carol Cormaci

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