The Valley Line: Hats and flowers mark Thursday Club's fashion show

It was a lovely warm March day when the La Cañada Thursday Club held its annual fashion show luncheon. The event was a rousing welcome to spring and many of the 200 ladies attending the event were wearing their best chapeaux. It was fun to see the different hats — small "fascinators" such as what one might wear to have tea with Princess Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, to floppy-brimmed hats of bright colors just meant for an afternoon outing on a sunny day.

Gracella Gibbs, who chaired the event, was everywhere at once and under her expert direction, the presentation was as silky smooth as some of the flowers adorning hats.

When the guests arrived at the historic clubhouse on Woodleigh Lane, they were invited to shop at the many boutiques that vendors had set up. Here they could purchase many one-of-kind pieces of jewelry, clothing and unique table adornments.

The silent-auction tables were filled with tempting opportunities to bid on specialty wine and foods, certificates to some of the best restaurants in and around La Cañada, floral arrangements and beautiful pieces of jewelry.

The guests were seated at round tables placed in the Centennial Garden patio, with its gently flowing fountain. Each table was centered with hat stands topped by hats of all colors and shapes on display.

A pretty and special gift given to each guest was a home-baked, hand-decorated sugar cookie, frosted in different colors and designs. Jody Platisa and her creative decorating committee baked the cookies.

Of course the focus of the day was the show of fabulous fashions presented by pretty Thursday Club models: Cindi McIntosh-Behr, Fay Hall, Alma Tycer, Pat Huber, Kim Bartine-Ortiz, Mary Hennessy and Mary Irwin.

The clothes came from Holiday Hats and Gowns, a beautiful boutique in Montrose. From casual wear to va-va-voom evening wear — the models and clothes were stunning. Gibbs did a fabulous job as coordinator and narrator for the show.

Also in the spotlight that day was the newly installed tribute wall that was displayed for the first time. Joanie Bartoli-Porto promoted the tribute tiles with the names of members, past and present, their families, and friends painted and fired on them. She was like a proud mama as she showcased the attractive wall.

It was such a lovely day and a fun way to raise funds for club philanthropies and to help students further their educations.

I tip my hat to you Thursday Club ladies — it was an amazing event.


A joyful 125th anniversary celebration and award ceremony was held recently for Five Acres, a pioneer in providing successful solutions that ensure safety, well-being and permanent homes for children and their families.

The event, with 150 in attendance, was held at the Altadena Town and Country Club. The annual award ceremony recognizes key individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to Five Acres.

La Cañada resident Cathy Clement was presented with the Dorothy Cook Lifetime Achievement Award for her 24 consecutive years of leadership. Clement served as Five Acres' chief development officer. There to congratulate her were Five Acres Chief Executive Officer Chanel Boutakidis, Anthony Portantino and Pasadena City Council member Jacque Robinson. Clement oversaw Five Acres' fundraising, communications and special events, raising more than $40 million to help enrich Five Acres services.

Also honored were Ryan Dietz, senior vice president, Wells Fargo, who was recognized as Volunteer of the Year; Pasadena Jaycees were honored with the Special Services to Children Award. Scott Pool, Pasadena Jaycees president, and Nicole Sanders, vice president of community service, accepted the award.


JANE NAPIER NEELY covers the La Cañada social scene. Email her at with news of your special event.

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