The Valley Line: Float association fetes its success

Our town's Olympian, luger Kate Hansen, became a media darling of the games. Everyone is talking about her dance moves that she used to warm up for her luge slide down the track. Beyonce is her music idol and last Thursday morning the America Online home page even published her music playlist. The Queen Bey sent Kate a tweet that said, "Go Kate!"

Going into the Olympics, Kate said she wanted to have a good run and land in the top 10. She accomplished her mission. She also said she wanted to have fun and that she has accomplished too. We are proud of you Kate! We are waiting to celebrate you here at home.


With great excitement about 80 La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Assn. members, officers and guests recently gathered to celebrate the victory of the city's float, "Dog Gone!" which garnered the Bob Hope Humor trophy at the 2014 Rose Parade.

The banner proclaiming our float to be the recipient of the award on parade day was on prominent view in the Thursday Club building's main room where the festive dinner was held.

Tim Rahtz opened the meeting by giving the invocation and he gave thanks for the 36 years that people of widely diverse interests and talents united as community volunteers to create this year's whimsical float.

Mayor Laura Olhasso was the master of ceremonies and also handled the installation portion of the night.

Ann Neilson, outgoing president, presided over the meeting and recognized the retiring directors. Assisting her in the program were Peggy Hotaling, Pam Wiedenbeck, Janis Peterson, Jennifer O'Connor and Chuck Terhune, who in turn recognized some of the many individuals involved in all aspects of the creation of the float.

New directors elected to the board for a three-year term are Caroline Craven, Nymia Cucueco, Jim Geoghegan, Bob Neilson, Tyler Wright and Dena Hardin. They will join continuing directors Julia Cameron, Barbie Eland, Mike Leininger, Janis Peterson, Bill Pounders, Sarah Yegiazaryan, Clyde Hemphill, Corkie MacPherson, Jennifer O'Connor, Tim Rahtz, Chuck Terhune and Pam Wiedenbeck.

Among the newly elected board members installed that evening included Bill Pounders, president; Pam Wiedenbeck, VP administration; Jim Geoghegan, VP float development; Sue Beatty, secretary; Betty Jones, treasurer; Pam Wiedenbeck, assistant treasurer. The nominating committee chair Peggy Hotaling announced the committee chairs as Dena Hardin, fundraising; Julia Cameron, membership; Barbie Eland, public relations; Bob Neilson, construction; Jennifer O'Connor, decoration; and Chuck Terhune, site support.

Newly elected President Bill Pounders congratulated Ann Neilson for leading the association for three consecutive years and expressed appreciation for all the hundreds of hours of tireless effort that went into building a fantastic float. He then called on a renewed effort to match the success of "Dog Gone!" in 2015.


Eveline Siracuse and Monica Sierra gathered together about 30 friends at the New Moon Restaurant to welcome in the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Wooden Horse. This is Monica's birth sign so she is eager for "her" year to unfold.

In Chinese astrology horse year is considered a fortune year that brings luck and good things. Chinese astrologers say the magical horse has supernatural power, is heroic, strong, and can even fly. A white celestial cloud horse, bringing peace and blessings, is sacred to the Chinese Goddess Kwan Yin. Her white horse flies through the heavens. By the way, Horse birth years include 1942, '54, '66, '78, and '90.

A virtual feast of fabulous Chinese cuisine was served along with flavorful green tea. Of course everyone received chocolate-covered fortune cookies.

Before everyone went home Ryoji Okabe, general manager of the restaurant, came in to wish everyone "Kung Hei Fat Choy."


It was standing room only a week ago when the La Cañada Thursday held a rare evening meeting themed, "Classic Cocktails: What Don Draper Didn't Know."

It was clear that members, friends, and spouses, along with significant others, came to find out how to make the perfect cocktail.

Ladling out the exact measurements were Brady Caverly, co-owner of the Flintridge Proper Restaurant and Bar and mixologist Angel Meza. Assisting at the bar was Brady's wife, Mary, who is a Thursday Club member.

Brady Caverly, an enthusiastic speaker, gave the crowd fascinating facts about the beginning of cocktails in Europe as well as America.

"Gin is like a new star rising, this spirit is coming into its own," he said. To make his point, Meza mixed up the Proper Martini made with Plymouth gin, a light and refreshing Tom Collins, and a cocktail named for the Thursday Club. Samples of all these delightful gin drinks were passed around and sipped with delight.

Greeting guests at the door were Thursday Club president Gale Caswell and vice president and program director Anita Brenner.


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

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