Life and Arts

The Valley Line: New Miss LCF named at Chamber gala; Scripter event held at USC

Miss La Cañada Flintridge of 2020, Ally Rayer, looks to court member Reese Ramseyer as she’s given a crown by outgoing Miss LCF Francesca Christensen at the 108th Installation and Awards Gala at the La Cañada Flintridge Country Club on Thursday, Jan. 30.
(Tim Berger/La Cañada Valley Sun)

The La Cañada Flintridge Country Club was the setting Jan. 30 for the 108th Installation and Awards Gala for the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce and Community Assn.

Pat Anderson, president and chief executive of the Chamber, along with her staff of Nancy Kozakar and Tina Daley, with extra help from Kris Silversparre, put together a dazzling gala that was attended by well over 100 guests.

Los Angeles Times columnist and La Cañada resident Chris Erskine did an expert job as master of ceremonies, keeping things rolling right along.

Emcee Chris Erskine at the 108th Installation and Awards Gala addressed the crowd at the La Cañada Flintridge Country Club.
(Tim Berger/La Cañada Valley Sun)

As guests entered the club’s ballroom, they were introduced to the eclectic piano stylings of pianist Dave Silversparre who once served the community as captain of the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station. As Erskine said, “He is a man who went from driving a black and white to playing a black and white.”

Many of the women attending the gala were wearing their sparkling best and looking lovely for this evening of camaraderie and awards.

Adviser for Miss La Cañada Flintridge and court Katherine Markgraf talks of the outgoing court’s experiences last year during at the 108th Installation and Awards Gala on Jan. 30.
(Tim Berger/La Cañada Valley Sun)

The first highlight of the evening came when Katherine Markgraf, the adviser of the royal court for the Miss La Cañada Flintridge scholarship program, introduced outgoing Miss La Cañada Flintridge court, Queen Francesca Christensen and princesses Kat Hightower, Sophie Lin, Sarah Peck, and Audrey Raulli, and recognized them all for their service over the past year.


The outgoing 2019 Miss La Cañada Flintridge Francesca Christensen, with princesses Kat Hightower, Sophie Lin, Sarah Peck and Audrey Raulli, holding gifts they received on completing their year on the court.
(Tim Berger/La Cañada Valley Sun)

There was a hush in the room as Christensen then announced that the 2020 Miss LCF is Allison (“Ally”) Rayer. Serving with her on the court are Grace Fontes, Ellaney Matarese, Audrey Melillo and Reese Ramseyer. All of the court members were given lovely tiaras to wear during the year.

Ally Rayer reacts on being named 2020 Miss La Cañada Flintridge. She is surrounded by court members Audrey Melilo and Reese Ramseyer at the 108th Installation and Awards Gala at the La Cañada Flintridge Country Club on Jan. 30.
(Tim Berger/La Cañada Valley Sun)

The Chamber provides a minimum scholarship of $500 for the queen and $250 for each princess. However, each year the court has the opportunity to earn more than these amounts, depending on how hard they work at each Chamber mixer as they sell raffle tickets. The 2019 court doubled their money, thanks to all community members who attend the mixers to help them earn more money by buying the tickets.

The next surprise introduction was when the 2019 summer scholarship interns were introduced. The interns were introduced and stepped to the front of the room, accompanied by the businesses they worked with from June 17 until July 25 last year.

The interns were Conor Harris, working at the Allen Lund Co.; Lucas Oh, Citizens Business Bank; Malaya Perushek, city of La Cañada Flintrige; Marco Jovanovic, Community Center of LCF; Annie Wang, Los Gringos Locos; Maximus(“Max”) Fan, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital and Lauren Lee, YMCA of the Foothills.

Max Fan, who interned at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, is named the top intern for 2019, at the 108th Installation and Awards Gala held Jan. 30 at the La Cañada Flintridge Country Club.
(Tim Berger/La Cañada Valley Sun)

The winning intern was Max Fan. Each intern received a scholarship check for $1,200 and Fan received an additional check in the amount of $800.


Fan, his parents accompanying him, was seated at our table for dinner, and he was very animated as he told us how much he enjoyed working at the hospital. He said his goal is to attend medical school and become a surgeon.

Harriet Hammons, who was given the Community Spirit Award during the LCF Chamber installation dinner smiles to the crowd as emcee Chris Erskine reads her certificate.
(Tim Berger/La Cañada Valley Sun)

Smiling broadly, longtime community booster Harriet Hammons accepted an award for her service, as did Volunteer of the Year Pam Strambaugh and Joe Radabaugh, who also won a community service award.

Volunteer of the Year Pam Strumbaugh is recognized by emcee Chris Erskine on Jan. 30 at the 108th Installation and Awards Gala at the La Cañada Flintridge Country Club.
(Tim Berger/La Cañada Valley Sun)
Community Service Award winner for Community Service Joe Radabaugh accepts his award from emcee Chris Erskine.
(Tim Berger/La Cañada Valley Sun)

Also recognized was Joe Thompson, who captured the chamber’s Ambassador of the Year award.

Ambassador of the Year Joe Thompson smiles as he approaches the stage for his award at the 108th Installation and Awards Gala at the La Cañada Flintridge Country Club.
(Tim Berger/La Cañada Valley Sun)

The final highlight of the evening came when the new officers and directors of the Chamber for 2020 were announced and installed.


Serving as chairman of the board is Adam Ralphs. Other officers installed were Mike Leininger, Lynne Graves, Carrie Grochow, Cecilia Pyzow, Pat Liddell, Dave Silversparre, Katherine Markgraf, Karl Johnson and Steve Hronek.

The exciting 32nd annual Scripter Awards were held in the Edward L. Doheny Jr. Memorial Library on the USC campus on Jan. 25.

The Scripter is always a beautifully staged event that begins with cocktails in the marble-clad foyer of the main library. Guests are seated for dinner in the Los Angeles Times Reading Room. It is so lovely to dine in a room surrounded by beautiful books, some with elaborate gold writing on their leather spines.

Catherine Quinlan, dean of USC Libraries and emcee for the Scripter Awards, left, is shown with Scripter Award-winning “Little Women” writer/director Greta Gerwig, “Little Women” producer Amy Pascal holding Louisa May Alcott’s trophy, Literary Achievement Award winner Susan Orlean, and USC President Carol Folt.
(Courtesy of Sarah Golonka)

It is always a formal occasion, so the fashion parade of beautiful gowns and the men in tuxedos is always a delight to see.

Saying hello to arriving guests was Catherine Quinlan, dean of the USC Libraries who also was the master of ceremonies. She was wearing a beautiful gown of dark blue with tiny sequins scattered throughout that caught the light with a subdued sparkle.

The Scripter Awards is a unique event in the busy Hollywood film award season. It honors the year’s best adaptation of the printed word into film, and is given to both the author and screenwriter. In 2016, the USC Libraries inaugurated a new Scripter award, for television adaptation.

The Scripter celebrates writers and writing, collaboration, and the results of transforming one artistic medium into another.

Attending the Scripter Award ceremony are Jill Wondries, from left, Frank and Janet McNiff.
(Courtesy of Jane Napier Neely)

Chaired by USC professor and former Writers Guild of America West president Howard Rodman, the 2020 Scripter selection committee chose the finalists from a field of 61 movie and 58 TV adaptations.

Susan Orlean, author of “The Library Book” and “The Orchid Thief” — the latter of which was adapted into the film “Adaptation” — was honored with the USC Libraries’ Literary Achievement Award.

Greta Gerwig’s script adaptation of Louise May Alcott’s “Little Women” won the Scripter Award for best film adaptation. She was also the director of the film. Phoebe Waller-Bridge won the television award for Fleabag.”

Interestingly, eight of the last 10 winners of the Scripter have gone on to win the Oscar for adapted screenplay.

With the Academy Awards happening this Sunday evening, let’s see if once again the Scripter has foretold an Oscar winner.

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