The Valley Line: Verdugo Hills Hospital remembers 40 years

Poof, in a blink of an eye Santa and his magical day has evaporated. Of course the toys that he brought will be played with each day throughout the year.

The little children in my family were bedazzled as they placed the cookies they had baked from their great-grandmother's recipe on little plates for Santa. They also left food for the reindeer on Christmas Eve. They could hardly go to sleep, they were so excited.

Of course they were awake at the crack of dawn wanting to storm the Christmas tree to see what presents the jolly old man had left for them.

It was a riotous morning with wrapping paper thrown in all directions and kids screeching with joy as they unwrapped yet another treasure that had been on their wish list.

For a seasoned Santa devotee, the timeless tableau enchanted me as usual. This is because I believe in Santa magic and always will.

This year the children of our family began a new tradition. They declared that they would wear their pajamas all day long — no fancy party clothes for them this holiday. So, I spent the day with five adorable pajama-clad grandchildren. They were very happy, and so was I.

OK, now onto party chatting about our townsfolk. There is much to catch up on.

The Verdugo Hills Hospital earlier this month rang in the holiday season and 40 years of its history at the “Poinsettia Ball” held at the historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

The fundraising event was held in the famed Crystal Ballroom, which boasts a 30-foot ceiling, majestic balconies and magnificent Austrian crystal chandeliers. A side note: The 1927 Academy Awards ceremony was held in this room. Legend says that the concept for the “Oscar” statue was drafted here on a white linen napkin.

A film about the hospital, created by Disney film producer Don Hahn, was unveiled the night of the ball. Hahn is best known for the Disney films “The Lion King” and “Beauty and the Beast.” He is executive producer of the Disneynature films and owns his own production company, Stone Circle Pictures.

This was also an evening of awards. Honored were Lee and Chloe Ross and George and Annsley Strong, who were awarded the E. Cardon and Winnie Walker Humanitarian Award; The J. Morgan and Marge Greene Caregiver award was presented to Dr. Eiming Djang.

Dottie Longo, Dixie Austin, Mary Reichley, Jackie Genofile and Pat Radeacher were given the Joy and Hilyard Barr Volunteer Award.

The festive evening included silent and live auctions, and raffles for more than 20 various-themed “Trees and Treasurers” decorated Christmas trees. After dining, guests danced to the tunes of the band, the Tidal Wave.

Proceeds from the event, which was hosted by Micha and Colleen Ohlman, will support capital equipment needs at Verdugo Hills Hospital.

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

Copyright © 2019, La Cañada Valley Sun
EDITION: California | U.S. & World