The Valley Line: Las Candelas installs new officers

The "tween" social season (between spring and summer) has been so busy it would make most people's heads spin. It certainly has my brain buzzing.

Where do I begin? I'll just jump in with talking about Las Candelas, an amazing organization that raised $90,000 for emotionally disturbed children under the direction of Monica Sierra, who was president for the past two years.

The group volunteered nearly 400 hours to organizations Hathaway-Sycamores, Hillsides, Glendale Healthy Kids, Glendale YWCA and the Didi Hirsch Center.

The women of Las Candelas recently gathered to install the organization's new officers. Jeannie Flint is the new president; her board includes Ellyn Semler, J.C. Byer, Ginny Simpson, Patti Baker, Carolyn Beaton, Jeri Benton, Margaret Steenken, Anna Brewer, Cathy Keen, Ann Jones, Monica Sierra, Karen Whyte and Joan Anderson.


Nobody was lucky enough to make a hole-in-one at the Hathaway-Sycamores "Shot-at-a-Million" golf classic held in late May at the Angeles National Golf Club in Sunland. But it was a successful day that raised $100,000 for the organization that is one of Los Angeles County's largest, private nonprofit children's mental-health and welfare agencies.

More than 200 people took part in this year's event, including golfers who raised money by teeing off at 7 a.m. for the "Longest Day of Golf" or taking part in the afternoon "9-Hole Team Challenge.

The day concluded with a 19th Hole after party on the club's picturesque back patio, which overlooks the 18th green.

There were many great golf stories told as party guests sipped refreshing drinks and nibbled on tasty hors d'oeuvres. There was a silent auction with many tempting things to bid on. There were also fabulous prizes to be won, including a seven-night stay and airfare for two at the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui, as well as a three-night stay, along with airfare for two, at the Hilton New York hotel.

Randy Escanuelas, an emancipated foster youth at Hathaway-Sycamores, spoke to guests about his deep fondness for, and appreciation of, the foster family he has lived with for the past seven years.

Some of the La Cañadans enjoying the after party included David Hilton, Mark and Jennifer Jewell, Mary Pinola and Charlie Kenny, Jennifer and John Suh, Renee LaBran and Malcolm Boyd, Paulette and Bob Lang, Julie and Dave Battaglia, and Kyla and Rob Myers.


Music man Michael Feinstein made his debut June 1 as Pasadena Pops principal conductor.

The crowd was in the thousands as they came to witness what turned out to an absolute success — not only for Feinstein, but also for the accomplished musicians of the Pops orchestra.

Feinstein, who is a music scholar in addition to being a vocalist and pianist, entertained concertgoers with his insightful patter as he introduced each piece with a wealth of information about the composers. It whetted one's appetite to see what more he has up his sleeve for this summer season.

He also called upon vocalist friends to delight the masses — Cheyenne Jackson, Lari White and Marc Cherry.

Next up for the Pops is Bernadette Peters in concert on June 29 at the L.A. Arboretum. Feinstein will be back on the podium on July 13 in a program called "MGM Movie Classics."


More than 250 guests attended Five Acres' 125th Anniversary "Swingin' on a Star" Gala held at the beautiful Ambassador campus in Pasadena.

The event raised more than $200,000 for Five Acres vital services, which provide successful solutions for more than 6,500 children and families in crisis annually throughout Southern California.

Signature drinks and delightful hors d'oeuvres were served as guests added their names to silent auction items before they were seated for a sumptuous dinner.

The evening included a special video presentation of Five Acres alumni stories, a grand finale performance by Shelea Fraizer, who sang "Reach for the Sky,' composed by Tena Clark. A surprise fireworks spectacle painted the dark sky in bright colors in recognition of Five Acres' 125th anniversary.

Some of the La Cañada folks taking part in the festivities were Nishat Ahmed, Pamela Scott, Cathy and Paul Clement, Carol Swemline, Judith and Stanley Farrar, Anita and Michael Yagjian, Karen and Don Bishop and Rowena and Tom Bouquet.


The 16th annual "Big Night Out" fundraiser for the Aids Service Center of Pasadena was a huge success, with more than $200,000 raised to help improve the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS and providing prevention education.

The evening began with at the beautiful estate of Drs. Carmen Puliafito and Janet Pine with a bountiful array of foods and beverages. It was a time to also make selections at the silent auction tables.

From there, guests went to dinner parties throughout the Los Angeles basin hosted by ACS supporters.

Jan Ledgard hosted a party in the La Cañada Flintridge home of Steve Applebaum and Chien Fang. Their party was themed "Jazzy Night."

I went to a party hosted by Bill Miltenberger at his Hollywood Hills home. It was a fun evening with an exotic theme of "Garden of Allah" in honor of silent film star Alla Nazimova, whose home and apartment complex, built in 1919, was a famous party spot for the Hollywood stars, writers and musicians. Bill's home is near Sunset Boulevard where Nazimova's complex was located before it was torn down to make room for a strip mall.

It was a blending of themes at Bill's party — silent movies and the Flapper Era sprinkled with the spice of Morocco with belly dancers and Middle Eastern foods.

Bill was a gracious host as he enjoyed all the entertainment as much as his guests did. La Cañadans enjoying the ambience of the evening were Karen and Greg Barsamian and Boyd Smith.


JANE NAPIER NEELY covers the La Cañada Flintridge social scene in her bi-weekly column. Email her at with news of your special event.

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