The Valley Line: La Cañada Juniors rock out, just in the nick of time


The La Cañada Junior Women’s Club luckily held their major fundraiser benefit on March 6, seemingly moments before the panic over the new coronavirus swept across our nation. Their party took place the weekend before we started receiving notifications from one organization after another that all social gatherings had either been canceled outright or postponed until later this year out of safety concerns.

The theme for the Juniors’ party was “A Night at the Troubadour.” It was so much fun! Many of the guests dressed as rock stars or avid rock fans.

The party was held at the La Cañada Flintridge Country Club and chaired by Trish McRae and Alice Perez. McRae was dressed as an Elton John fan with sparkly jacket and glasses while Perez was a ‘70s groupie with a long blonde wig and a sassy attitude.

Serving on the gala committee were Jill Chapman, president of the club, Kyle Grimes, Elizabeth Landswick, Kelly Chamberlain, Gillan Abercrombie Frame, Rima Sirrieh, Sarah Hill Lowe, Carmela de Brouwer-Pinillos, Karen King, Tracey Nelson, Stephanie Avanessian, Christy Ferguson, Lisa Foster, Georgina Mueller, Laura Plourde and Analily Park.

Looking oh so “groovy” were Laura and Jeff Plourde, who flashed guests with the peace sign. Jeff Plourde looked like he was literally poured into his polyester pants accented with his clunky high heel shoes and an incredible mullet wig. His wife wore a scarf tied over a long black curly wig that was placed over her blonde hair. Yes, they were “far out.”

Kyle Grimes looked spectacular in her Stevie Nicks outfit of a black lace duster with a velvet ribbon at her throat and a top hat festooned with red feathers. She told me that Nicks was her favorite singer and that she had always wanted to look like her (not to mention, sing like her.) She pulled off the disguise so perfectly. I was just waiting for her to break out in “Landslide.”

At dinner I was sitting next to “Freddie Mercury,” aka Carl Husfeld and his sultry wife, Mia. Carl could have been a stunt double for Freddie except his mustache kept falling off on one side.

Paul and Kelly Chamberlain came dressed as the popular duo, the Captain and Tennille. Paul was wearing a jaunty captain’s hat while Kelly was looking fabulous with her chic outfit that featured a backless silk blouse.

People truly embraced the theme with their imaginative costumes, which added a special vibe to the evening.

Karen Nichols was the beautiful emcee who deftly guided the live auction, raising nearly $4,000. She was assisted by Kaitzer Puglia.

Isabelle Fox, executive director of Mending Kids, spoke to guests thanking them for supporting the Mending Kids organization with the event’s proceeds.

It was great night!


These past several days have unfolded into a world I have never experienced before — and I’m no spring chicken. In fact, I’m one of those “high risk” seniors with underlying health issues at particular risk for COVID-19 in this pandemic.

I simply can’t believe that in our land of plenty I couldn’t find any food at the corner grocery store or any other market big or small. I spent three days going to three different stores trying to find eggs, not to mention chicken pieces that I could put on the grill.

It was a surreal experience for me at the grocery store, to be sure, but I could see my fellow shoppers were as stunned as I was. They wandered up and down the aisles with blank looks on their faces as they passed empty shelf after empty shelf.

I know many of you have experienced the same scenario I did. I can only hope this terrible virus will be stopped as soon as possible. Please keep yourself and your families safe.

Since all gatherings have been canceled, you will not be seeing my column here until our nation has recovered from this frightening health crisis. In the meantime, stay well.

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