Life and Arts

The Valley Line: Debs learn fine art of tea; cancer survivor given her own ‘Rose’ parade

Grace Fontes and Seema Kayali, Provisional Les Fleurette Debs, attend a tea-sandwich-making class.
Grace Fontes and Seema Kayali, Provisional Les Fleurette Debs, attend a tea-sandwich-making class.
(Courtesy of the La Cañada Thursday Club)

The La Cañada Thursday Club 2020 Les Fleurettes provisionals met at the clubhouse for an afternoon of learning how to make tea sandwiches.

Club member Jody Platisa demonstrated the fine art of making the perfect sandwich to accompany an afternoon tea. The teens paid very close attention and later presented their own versions, which were beautifully done. Some of the varieties they made were chicken salad, cucumber, egg and watercress salad ribbon sandwiches. They also learned the history of high tea along with advice on setting an inviting tea table.

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Maddie Reinoso, Payton Shaylor and Cari James join the Les Fleurette tea sandwich class.
(Courtesy of the La Cañada Thursday Club)

This was a lovely way to begin the new year and begin their journey to their introduction to society next December at the Bal Blanc de Noel.


The girls will show off their culinary skills when they host the March 5 Thursday Club tea, along with their mothers. For information on the Les Fleurettes program and Thursday Club membership for adult women, contact Ani Derhartounian at or visit


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Stacy Kimmel receives a tiara from Pasadena Tournament of Roses helper Katie Lipp.
(Courtesy of the Foundation for Living Beauty)

Stacy Kimmel, a six-time cancer survivor, was thrilled to be chosen to ride on the City of Hope float in the Jan. 1 Rose Parade. Unfortunately, at the last minute, her illness prevented her from participating.


However, the Foundation for Living Beauty, a Pasadena-based nonprofit organization that uplifts, educates and empowers women with cancer, surprised Stacy by giving her very own parade on Monday, Jan. 6.

Taking charge in planning the surprise was Nancy Davidson, a La Cañada resident and executive director of the Foundation for Living Beauty. She was assisted in the planning by Anita Mendez and Gayle Michel, and they truly made it a very special occasion for Kimmel.

It wasn’t a float that went down Colorado Boulevard with Stacy aboard, but a borrowed convertible, donated flowers from Duran’s Flowers, a tiara on loan from the Tournament of Roses Assn. and six female Pasadena Police Department officers as escorts.

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Taking part in a special parade are, from left, Lt. Carolyn Gordon of the Pasadena Police Dept., La Canada resident Nancy Davidson, executive director of the Foundation for Living Beauty, and Stacy Kimmel, the honoree.
(Courtesy of The Foundation for Living Beauty)

Starting at Tournament House, the parade ended at Urth Caffe on Colorado, where a number of Living Beauties (all cancer survivors) were on hand to cheer her on and celebrate with lunch.

According to Davidson, this year’s Rose Parade theme, “The Power of Hope” is especially meaningful to Kimmel, who was told five years ago she only had two months to live.

“We are so grateful to be playing a part in making Stacy’s dream come true,” Davidson said. “She truly exemplifies the hope, positive attitude and zest for life that we try to share with all of the women with cancer we serve. This parade’s theme was perfect for Stacy and for all women with cancer. We are grateful to everyone who helped make this come together!”

Kimmel, the day’s honoree, said, “There is always hope and there are always other opportunities and treatments now that weren’t there so long ago.”


For more information about the Foundation for Living Beauty, visit

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