Life and Arts

The Valley Line: Ed foundation raises glasses — and $107,000 — in wine auction

Rob Olson, from left, Leslie Chang, Joleen O’Brien, Teresa Butier, Christi and Chris Materese at the La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation Wine Auction fundraising party. The Matereses hosted the event.
(Courtesy of LCFEF)

It was a stellar evening when the La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation hosted its third annual LCF Wine Auction on Saturday Oct. 12, at the beautiful home of Christi and Chris Materese.

More than 250 guests wearing cocktail attire gathered to raise $107,000 for the LCFEF Endowment Fund. Chairs for the event were Leslie Chang, Rob Olson, Joleen O’Brien and Emily Woods.

The wine auction was accompanied by premium wine tasting, a gourmet dinner catered by the Parkway Grill and dancing. Guests had the opportunity to acquire unique and hard-to-find wines. There was an added satisfaction: they knew they were contributing to the future success of the La Cañada public schools. The evening showcased wines from Babcock Winery that included a portfolio of stunning pinot noirs and chardonnays.

Already LCF parents are looking forward to the 2020 annual Gala that will be staged in March. More about the exact date and place for that big event will be announced after the holidays.



The Los Angeles Master Chorale opened its season Oct. 19 and 20, with Grant Gershon conducting both nights. The Sunday evening concert was followed by a cocktail party.

Both of the choral pieces performed that opening weekend were performed for the first time by the Chorale’s singers and orchestra. First was Anton Bruckner’s Mass No. 3 in F minor, written between the years 1867-68.

The concert concluded with Argentina-born composer Osvaldo Golijov’s “Oceana,” a cantata loosely based on a work penned by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. The soloist for “Oceana” was the talented Brazilian pop singer singer Luciano Souza.


Joining the after-concert fun on the opening night of the Los Angeles Master Chorale were, from left, Kristin Smith and Brian Brooks, Grant Gershon, conductor of the Master Chorale, with Annette and Dan Monahan.
(Photo courtesy of Jamie Pham)

In Gershon’s remarks before “Oceana” was performed he told the audience the piece was originally written for Souza.

As specially invited guests entered the Founders Room, a fabulous Brazilian trio, Nova, welcomed us into a lively evening with classic bossa nova songs such as “Girl from Ipanema,” “Insensatez” and others.

Beth and Rob Hanson attend the Los Angeles Master Chorale concert and after-party.
(Courtesy of Jamie Pham)

I had a fun time catching up with both Beth and Rob Hanson and Annette and Dan Monahan. Beth and Annette both grew up in La Cañada Flintridge, so we always have hometown news to share. Beth was delighted to share that her son is a Pasadena high school student along with Kristin Haegelin, the girl soprano soloist in “Oceana.” Gershon, in his party remarks applauded Haegelin as a young woman with nerves of steel.”

It was truly a South American evening. The red and white wines were offered from both Argentina and Chile. The buffet items were tasty and plentiful. It was a lovely evening with outstanding music from beginning to end.


I hope you are all ready for the trick-or-treaters making their rounds on Halloween night. I can hardy wait to see what the popular costumes will be with the hundreds of kids that will be knocking on my door!


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