The Valley Line: Auxiliary rolls out the festive cheer; luncheon honors Pamela Fiori

Our burg is looking so festive, with twinkling lights of all colors etching houses and trees. It is such a lovely time of year as community dwellers celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas.

Along with the glitter are people coming together to celebrate the holidays at parties where good cheer is served with heartfelt care and goodwill.

Such was the case when members of Los Altos Auxiliary of Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services, with spouses and guests in tow, came to quaff celebratory spirits and tasty hors d'oeuvres catered by “Gourmet a Go Go.”

Hosting the gathering were Susan and Steven Peterman in their newly renovated La Cañada Flintridge home. The Christmas elves had been very busy indeed, and every corner of their beautiful home was festooned with fabulous decorations.

Also greeting those arriving for the event was Julie McCarty, president of the Los Altos Auxiliary.

Guests wandered from room to room to admire the decorations while others chose to sit on the patio and warm their hands near a dramatic open-flame fire pit.

It was a meaningful, sharing evening as members talked about their yearlong fundraising commitment to the residents at the El Nido campus of Hathaway-Sycamores and the joy they receive by helping these young students.

In the next few weeks, members will be having a Christmas party for the residents where they give them presents such as gift cards, and they also bake yummy cookies for them.

Bill Martone, president and chief executive, said, “It's difficult to express how much we appreciate the year-round support we receive from the Los Altos Auxiliary. Their generosity is especially appreciated during the holidays because their efforts really do brighten the lives of the youngsters who are in our care.”

Among some of the revelers attending this holiday party were Debbie and Carol Chacon, Barbara and Tim Conroy, Carol and Mark DeFond, Dr. Steve and Ann Gupta, Joy and Chris Lang, Mary Anne Lantieri, Julie and Tom McCarty, Sandi Mellin, Diane and Jon Moldafsky, Ines and Kirk Nyby, Diane and Michael Poryes, Maureen and Sherman Railsback, Laurie and Eric Rodli, Karen Sellergren, K.D. Shaughnessy, Andi Sica, Sue Slater and Kent Johnson, Kelly Springer, Betty Stanfill, Kelly Williams, Linda and Paul Yaussi, Melissa Oechsel, Karen Sarian, Joy and Mike Padula, Anne Hennessy and Walt Kaletsch.


Another lovely party that several La Cañada Flintridge folks attended was a beautifully presented luncheon that honored Pamela Fiori, author of “A Table at Le Cirque: Stories and Recipes from New York's Most Legendary Restaurant.”

The event was hosted by Melvyn Blum of Vornado Realty Trust — the first in a series of upcoming cultural and social programs celebrating new beginnings at Granite Park Place, a full-service luxury condominium residence located in the heart of the South Lake Avenue Pasadena neighborhood.

Fiori is the first female editor-in-chief of Town and Country magazine, stepping down after a 17-year tenure, and before that she was editor of Travel & Leisure magazine for 14 years. Fiori is the author of the book that not only tells the fascinating stories of this fabled New York City restaurant founded by Sirio Maccioni in 1974, but also presents recipes from its famed chefs. According to Fiori, “Maccioni not only redefined fine dining for the entire country, but his restaurant also became a sophisticated ‘club' for titans and tastemakers from all walks of life — presidents and kings, café society and business magnates.”

Fiori, a dynamic speaker, charmed the audience with stories of those who set the tone of this restaurant. In this book, Fiori tells stories never before heard about its famous clientele and includes many candid photographs.

Luncheon guests dined on Le Cirque's recipe for lobster salad that had been recreated by a Pasadena caterer. The recipe is one of many iconic dishes in this beautiful coffee table book.

Some of the La Cañadans attending this luncheon were Marilyn Clark, Cam Eberhardt, Karen Barsamian, Rita Gooch and Judith Farrar.


On Tuesday night the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce and Community Assn. held its 100th annual meeting and holiday reception high atop the hill at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy. I'll have details of that event for you next week. Until then, enjoy the many happenings of the season.

JANE NAPIER NEELY covers the La Cañada Flintridge social scene. E-mail her at with information about your special event.

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