Life and Arts

The Valley Line: Las Candelas gifts local YWCA, Ascencia, Hillsides, Didi Hirsch at luncheon event

From left are Martha Basmadjian, Didi Hirsch program director, Las Candelas member Mary Lane and Dr. Patrick Kelly of Didi Hirsch. Las Candelas’ gift to Didi Hirsch program will go toward supporting its annual Teen Summit.
(Courtesy of Las Candelas)

Oakmont Country Club was the setting Nov. 21 when members of Las Candelas welcomed guests from some of the area nonprofits they serve to a luncheon meeting. Opening the meeting was JC Byer, president of the philanthropic group.

Candelas member Marion Graydon Greene, left, and Glendale YWCA Executive Director Tara Peterson share smiles after Peterson was presented with a Las Candelas gift to be directed to Camp Rosie during a Nov. 21 luncheon meeting at Oakmont Country Club.
(Courtesy of Las Candelas)

The mission of Las Candelas is to give volunteer service and financial assistance to improve the lives of children and youth in vulnerable situations and to support awareness of their mental health needs.

Gratefully accepting grants from Las Candelas for their respective organizations were Tara Peterson, Glendale YWCA executive director; Ascencia’s executive director, Dr. Laura Duncan; Hillsides (Youth Moving On) grant director Rahneesha Lewis and Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services representatives Dr. Patrick Kelly and Martha Basmadjian.


Las Candelas Third Vice President Karen Swan and Ascencia Executive Director Dr. Laura Duncan are shown during a Nov. 21 luncheon meeting at Oakmont Country Club. Duncan was the guest speaker at the event; she holds an envelope with a grant for her agency from Las Candelas.
(Courtesy of Las Candelas)

Funding to the Glendale YWCA will be directed to Camp Rosie, a two-week camp for girls aged 12 to 16 that’s geared toward leadership development and healthy choices and relationships.

Financial assistance to Didi Hirsch will support their annual Teen Summit, a seminar geared toward suicide prevention in teens and creative coping.

Hillsides (Youth Moving On) will use the Las Candelas gift to keep their facility stocked for homeless or struggling youth 18 and over and to provide apprenticeships.


Hillsides’ Grant Director Rahneesha Lewis, left, accepts a Las Candelas gift for her organization from Las Candelas Second Vice President Lynne Naeve.
(Courtesy of Las Candelas)

Ascencia’s Duncan was the guest speaker for the event and presented an emotional program about homelessness, how it can happen and how Ascencia helps to lift people out of it. Her organization will use the funds the organization was granted to purchase supplies for an art therapy program offered to the children in their shelter.

Las Candelas was founded in 1953 and traditionally has had many Foothills area members among its membership.


The La Cañada Junior Women’s Club will hold its annual holiday scarf party on Dec. 11 at the home of Renu Samudrala. This is a favorite event for Junior members and an opportunity to go home with a beautiful new scarf garnered through a unique game that is played. Calling all Juniors to reserve your spot at the party by Dec. 8! To learn more about the Juniors, visit

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