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The Valley Line: Oakmont League holds annual Christmas party

Hard to believe but Christmas day is just six days away! There just wasn’t enough time between Thanksgiving and Christmas to get everything done and I’m still scrambling.

It has been parties, parties and more of the same. It is a jovial season and the celebrations go on and on. I’ll try to catch you up on some of the events happening in our foothill community.



Last Sunday night The Oakmont League of Glendale held its annual Christmas party.


It was a beautiful evening, planned expertly by Carolyn Beaton and her committee. This was her “baby” and she spent months making certain every detail was as perfect as she envisioned it. Assisting her with the party plans were Patsy Dewey, Jeri Benton, Mary Broerman, Lynn Dittrick, Ellen Farewell, Nina Ratliff and Donna Sauer.

As the nearly 70 guests arrived, Voices of Christmas carolers were taking song requests and serenading them. They moved from table to table singing favorite Christmas songs.

The tables were centered with greens, crystal and gold-leafed candle goblets embellished with plaid bows, and pine cones. At each place there was an adorable candy snowman or Christmas tree on a stick— each one handmade by a friend of Carolyn’s.

The traditional Christmas fare was prime rib with all the trimmings that make it an extraordinary feast. And yes, there were spirits served to make the evening even merrier.


It seemed that everyone was in a dancing mood and the floor became very crowded quickly. First out on the floor were Marian and Paul Green followed by Larry and Nina Ratliff. Carolyn and Ron Beaton weren’t far behind. The music was great with a strong jazz vibe — that is until they busted out with “Mustang Sally.” Providing those great danceable tunes was the Joel Scott band with Laura Angelini as their vocalist. Laura had the timing and phrasing of some of the best female jazz artists.

The evening closed with everyone singing Christmas carols. It was a joyful way to end such a lovely party.

Some of the revelers included Wanda Bistagne, Jeri Benton and Bob Clark, Mary and John Broerman-Yeghiaian, Julie Budimir, Esther and Ken Bowen, Michaelynn and Jim Cashion, Patsy Dewey, Lynn and Michael Dittrick, Ellen and Bob Farewell, Nancy and Ludwig Fraines, Herminia Gallegas, Julie George, Marian and Paul Greene, Grace Gregor, Chris and Michael Halajian, Liz and James Isenman, Shirley Johnstone and Joe King, Marcy Kalish, Sofie and Bob MacIssac, Sue and Greg Kimberlin, Barbara and Les McCullough, Roberta Raffaelli, Nina and Larry Ratliff, Donna and Frank Sauer, Jeraldine Saunders, Brook and Lydia Trout, and Rosalie and Ron Youra.



The Hillsides Guild, a support group of the Los Angeles County charity Hillsides, recently hosted its annual holiday celebration at the Parkway Grill in Pasadena, which was festively decorated for the season. Gregg Smith, former La Cañadan and owner of the Grill, was on hand to greet the more than 125 guests who arrived in a party mood.

Before dinner, guests enjoyed cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres. After the cocktail chatter time, guests were seated in the dining room where they were served a sumptuous dinner of filet mignon, mashed potatoes and asparagus, and a performance by the renowned Citrus Singers from Citrus College in Glendora.

Donna DeMond, president of the Guild, welcomed the guests. Donna is also a member of the La Cañada Thursday Club.

Guests also participated in an opportunity drawing that included dinner for four at Arroyo Chop House; dinner for four at Cheval Bistro, dinner for four at Parkway Grill, dinner for four at Seco, dinner for four at Smitty’s and a Jacob Maarse holiday decoration. La Cañadan Julie Gans was the lucky winner of dinner for four at the Parkway Grill.

The proceeds from the dinner will be used to support the children in residence at Hillsides. Throughout the year, the Guild provides the children with outings and gifts they normally would not receive, such as seasonal gift baskets, birthday presents, a special spring break outing, and an annual scavenger hunt.

“Once again, the Guild threw a wonderful party where Hillsides supporters could get together to enjoy the season and each other’s company while raising money for Hillsides,” said Joseph Costa, Hillsides chief executive officer. “We want to thank the Smith Brothers Restaurants for allowing Hillsides to use the Parkway Grill for this event and for providing five of the opportunity drawing gifts.”

Some of the foothill community members attending the evening of good cheer were Karen Tanji, Rich and Ellyn Semler, Susan Bornhurst, Steve Nishibayashi and Mary Dee Hacker, Mark Martinez and Dee Fisher, Sue and Jerry Tutt, Nina Ratliff, and Aline Kuhnle.


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