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The Valley Line: Fall is the time for fundraisers

The Valley Line: Fall is the time for fundraisers
Ladies dressed up for ‘Rockin’ Out’ are Jenny Painter, from left, Vicki Schwartz, Renee LaBran and Elysa Del Guercio.
(Photo by Jane Napier Neely)

On Monday morning, Veterans Day, I was so focused on my computer screen that it seemed that the rest of the world had disappeared. Like a pesky fly, a low but persistent sound penetrated my consciousness.

I was taken out of time and place because it was the sound of vintage fixed-winged airplanes emerging from a distance and the sound grew to a deep rumble and rattled the loose pane of glass in my office window as they flew right over my house.

A thousand thoughts raced through my mind. I wondered if this is what it sounded like when United States bombers flew over the cities and farmlands of Europe during World War II?

I have no idea where these planes came from or what kind of aircraft they were. My guess would be that it was the Condor Squadron based at Van Nuys airport. On Memorial Day they fly over our Fiesta Days parade route.

Anyway, there were seven of them, painted red and white and they were flying in perfect formation.

This single event on Monday made me reflect on all the wars that have been fought and the millions of Americans that have fought for the freedom of our country. Yes, Monday was their designated day of remembrance, but it is every day that they should be honored.


The autumn benefit season has been absolutely crazy this year and I’ve been running nonstop. It’s been fun so far, if exhausting.

So what does the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce do for a spur of the moment fundraiser? Linda Taix-Paccone had the answer — “Let’s do our very own movie premiere at Regal Cinema right here in town.”

And so they did, and it was fantastically successful for a first time around. The film preview was last Thursday night and the movie that community members had a first peek at was “Thor: The Dark World” which didn’t open to the public until the next day.

The premiere moviegoers enjoyed a great cinema package that included hot-off-the-grill hamburgers, chicken burgers and fries from North Shore Burgers with beverages to enhance their food choices. Framed photos of themselves on the red carpet in front of the step-and-repeat backdrop with all the sponsor names, courtesy of Printefex, La Cañada, and a big poster of the movie as a memento.

Sponsors of the evening included the Allen Lund Co., Barbara Marshall State Farm Insurance, Bob Olmstead, candidate for Sheriff, L.A. County; Flintridge Family Chiropractic, MD Appliances, NASA Services, Paco’s Barber Shop, Southern California Edison, Sport Chalet, Student Planning Services and Taix Workout Studio.


Rockers and rocker wannabes gathered in La Cañada Flintridge to raise awareness and funds for the homeless of San Gabriel Valley.

The party, held at the Thursday Club, raised over $55,000 for the Union Station Services based in Pasadena. Union Station is the area’s largest and most comprehensive social-service agency, assisting homeless and low-income men, women and children rebuild their lives and working to end homelessness.

Rabbi Marv Gross, chief executive of Union Station, came dressed to the party as Elvis Presley. Brad Schwartz, along with his wife Vicki, who have chaired the event for three years, introduced Gross to the crowd of outlandishly dressed guests. Gross thanked the assembled “Rock Stars” for support of their mission.

El Cholo presented a spicy south-of-the-border feast along with thirst-quenching beverages.

Providing the tunes so we could rock out were the bands: “The Untouchables” and “That’s What She Said.”

Just some of the sponsors that evening were Tom and Jodi Cassutt, David and Janet Lazier, Brad and Vicki Schwartz, Ron and Fabiana Badie, The Capital Group Companies, Al Schneider and Cathy Heron, Strategic Law Partners, Larry and Judy Freeman, Steve and Elysa Del Guercio, Teena Hostovich and Doug Martinet, Grace Kim, Kevin and Carrie Martin, Kevin and Joanne McCloskey, NASA Services, Inc./Sarkisian Families, John and Gina Ricci, Larry and Karen Tashjian, Keith and Tracy Tobias, Ted and Esther Vavoulis, Wells Fargo, Todd and Vanessa Greco, Ben and Janelle Ross.

More sponsors were Brad and Clarissa Weirick, Fernando and Valerie Aenlle-Rocha, Renee LaBran and Malcolm Boyd, Dave and Julie Battaglia, Celina Lew and Eddie Castro, Paul and Kelly Chamberlain, Dave and Karyn De Angeis, Fred and Dru Gartside, Lenny Ginn, CMT, Mark and Lisa Goldstein, Phil and Katie Holthouse, Jim and Stephanie Kambe, Greg and Madeline Lee, Kathy Seuylemezian/Coldwell Banker, Robert Schwartz, Andy and Hayde Torosyan, Rhodes and Liz Trussell, 1st Enterprise Bank/David and Mary Kohn, Btech/The Bird Family, and Tony Chahine/O D Inc.


It was a sold-out event when the La Cañada Flintridge Orthopaedic Guild celebrated its 56 years of caring at its annual Book and Author Luncheon. Guild President Marie Baker welcomed the guests and the three authors that spoke and later signed their books.

Joan Cleven was chair of the event, which was held at the Angeles National Golf Club.

Special guest was William Oppenheim, M.D., director of the cerebral palsy program at Orthopaedic Institute for Children in Los Angeles.

Featured speakers were Tim Egan, author of the “Pink Refrigerator,” Romy Wyllie, author of “Loving Andrew,” and radio show host Dennis Prager, author of the book, “Still the Best Hope.”

Members assisting Cleven in planning the luncheon were Elinor Bunn, Marilyn Cable, Marilyn Center, Margaret Dickson, Danette Erickson, Marianne Jennings, Carol Jones, Jeanne Long, Arlene Massimino, Mary Lou Morrison, Wendy Nicoll, Caryl Pettit, Joanne Ploszaj, Margot Siess, Ginny Pruitt, Patty Rademacher and Carolyn Geer.


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