The Valley Line: Couple given Lifetime Legacy Award, doctor named Physician Hero at Glendale Adventist Hospital gala

More than 600 formally dressed guests gathered in the grand ballroom of the InterContinental Hotel in downtown Los Angeles on the evening of Sunday, April 29 for Glendale Adventist Hospital's gala, themed "Dream." The program booklet began with a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."

Sam and Grace Carvajal were honored with the hospital's Lifetime Legacy Award and Lance J. Lee, M.D. was named the winner of the 2018 Physician Hero award.


Before the formal part of the evening began, many of the guests went to the hotel's 73rd floor, not only for conversation but to share the experience of seeing the vast city below from quite a different perspective.

Once guests descended to the main floor where the ballroom was situated, they were seated at elegantly appointed dinner tables. Cynthia Ermshar, an accomplished vocalist who grew up here in La Cañada Flintridge with her parents Dr. Carl and Arlene Ermshar and her siblings Annette and Kendall, gave the pre-dinner blessing by singing "The Lord's Prayer."


Annette Ermshar, chair of the board of directors, gave a warm welcome to the crowd. Also welcoming guests were co-chairs Amanda Dundee (who also grew up here in La Cañada) and Anthony Cardillo, M.D.

Throughout the evening there was entertainment from the stage that included Jaime Jorge, violinist; Doriana Sanchez, dancer and choreographer; Carlos De Antonis, opera tenor; the acrobats from Le Petite Cirque, the Glendale Adventist Academy Chorale and the San Gabriel Academy Vocal Ensemble.

The honorees — Sam and Grace Carvajal and Dr. Lance Lee — each told their stories and gracefully and humbly accepted their awards.

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At the recent Thursday Club tea Aurelio Mitjans, representing Hillsides' Youth Moving On program accepted the club's Philanthropy Award on behalf of recipient Ashley Robledo.

Mitjans read Ashley's application letter to the Thursday Club members explaining how her love and appreciation for education has motivated her to continue with her own education. Ashley was unable to attend the event due to her work and school schedule. She is currently attends a junior college and will receive her associate in arts degree this fall.

She will be transferring to Cal State Los Angeles, where she plans to major in social studies and later earn a master's degree in social work. The club gives an annual award to Hillsides in order to support clients who are seeking to further their education. Recipients are selected by the Hillsides YMO program.

Mitjans explained that the program provides housing and support services, for clients who have "fostered out" of the foster care system helping them transition successfully into adulthood.

JANE NAPIER NEELY covers the La Cañada Flintridge social scene. Email her at with news of your special event.