The Valley Line: It’s the fall season for Valleyites

Neil and Sonia Singla talk with Bill Martone, Hathaway-Sycamores president and CEO.Neil and Sonia hosted the reception honoring Tim and Kathy MacDonald at their Pasadena home. (Photo by Orly Olivier)

Do you think its autumn yet? Last week’s heat wave left me wondering. I liked the rainstorm we had the week before much better. Just before the rain fell I was getting into an autumn mood and decorating the front of my house with a wreath of autumn-colored leaves, a flower pot filled with gold-colored chrysanthemums, and a perfectly shaped pumpkin sitting by the wrought-iron gate.

I really like my sentinel pumpkin; however the birds like it even more. Its perfect shape is being altered as the birds are pecking away at it. My pretty pumpkin now has a polka-dot patina. I have yet to catch what variety of bird has developed such fine pumpkin taste — maybe it’s like a sweet pie to them. I just might have to purchase a faux pumpkin and really confuse them. Anyway, happy autumn, everyone.


Valleyites Tim and Kathy MacDonald were recently honored by Hathaway-Sycamores with its “Celebrating Children” award at a reception held at Sonia and Neil Singla’s Pasadena estate. The award was presented to them by last year’s honorees Annette and Michael Madden.

Also honored was the Parsons Corp. for its dedication to Hathaway-Sycamores. Presenting the award to Erin Kuhlman, Parsons’ vice president of corporate relations, was La Cañada resident and Assemblyman Anthony Portantino.

The Parsons Corp. has generously donated funds for many years to Hathaway-Sycamores and has traditionally hosted an annual holiday party for the residential youth and nonpublic-school students.

Present to support Kathy MacDonald were many of her Los Altos Auxiliary of Hathaway-Sycamores friends. The auxiliary began here in La Cañada many years ago and the group has centered its fund- and friend-raising efforts to Hathaway-Sycamores El Nido campus.

MacDonald has been a member of Los Altos Auxiliary for more than 20 years and has been president two times. In her remarks that evening she said, “I was first introduced to the Los Altos Auxiliary by my dear friend Trudy McKay. The group was then known as Los Altos Children’s Home Society, which became the Los Altos Auxiliary of the Hathaway-Sycamores. I have been fortunate to be a part of this amazing group of women who have done so much to enrich the lives of young people.”

And she added, “From the bazaars and supportive membership drives, to the wine tastings and Thanksgiving centerpieces, Los Altos has raised money for the boys at the El Nido Campus … Los Altos makes a difference. We care.”

The evening began with a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres social time catered by Noir Food & Wine, followed by a sit-down award presentation. Guests were also treated to a special presentation by the Hathaway-Sycamores and Pasadena Unified School District Children’s Choirs led by Muse/ique artistic director Rachael Worby.

More than 250 people attended the reception, which raised more than $85,000 to help fund Hathaway-Sycamores — the largest provider of children’s mental-health and other support services in Los Angeles County.


Jean and Don Spomer were the hosts of the September La Cañada Tournament of Roses Happy Hour. Nearly 80 party-goers gathered to taste a wide array of appetizers and desserts.

On prominent display was the color rendering of LFC’s 2012 Rose Parade float, “If pigs could fly.”

The next Happy Hour is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 28, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the home of Cary and Jim Moore, 4843 Vineta Ave. Take an appetizer to share and support La Cañada’s float.

JANE NAPIER NEELY covers the La Cañada social scene. She can be reached at