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Life and Arts

The Valley Line: 2019 Miss La Cañada Flintridge crowned at Chamber installation dinner

Last Thursday evening the 107th La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce installation of officers and awards ceremony was held at the La Cañada Flintridge Country Club.

The event also served as the formal introduction of the new 2019 LCF Royal Court with the crowning of the new Miss La Cañada Flintridge, Francesca Christensen, a student at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy.

Also serving on the court are Kate Hightower, Campell Hall; Sophie Lin, Flintridge Prep; Sarah Peck, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy and Audrey Raulli, La Cañada High School. All of these young women looked so poised as they took to the stage. They will represent the city well in the coming 12 months.

Before that big announcement, guests enjoyed mingling and a lovely dinner — the LCF Country Club chef and team outdid themselves on this one. As the business portion of the evening got underway, Steve Hronek, chairman of the chamber’s board, stepped to the podium to welcome the guests. The Rev. Kyle Sears of La Cañada Congregational Church gave the invocation and Len Pieroni, mayor pro tem, led the pledge of allegiance.


Mayor Terry Walker was the evening’s emcee. One of her first “shout outs” was to recognize the LCF Tournament of Roses Assn. for its winning Rose Parade float, “Tree Frog Night.”

Katherine Markgraf, Royal Court adviser for the Miss La Cañada Flintridge scholarship program, first introduced the outgoing 2018 court, Queen Hazel Valentine, and princesses Megan Andrews, Courtney Johnson, Rucha Kadam and Julia Powers, and announced their scholarships. It was after they were thanked for their efforts that the new court was introduced and the Miss LCF tiara was placed on Francesca Christensen.

Mayor Walker then introduced the summer intern program and those scholarship presentations. The interns were James Yim and Rucha Kadam, Allen Lund Co., Aidin Ryssdal, city of La Cañada Flintridge, Emma Garland, Community Center of LCF; Aaron Kornfeld from USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, and Christian Chung, YMCA of the Foothills. Each received a scholarship check for $1,200. Garland was named the top intern and given an additional $800 scholarship sum.

The next big presentation was the naming of the top three LCF Chamber Ambassadors. The top ambassador award went to Joe Thompson, with Harriet Hammons and Barbie Eland also being recognized.


Community Service Awards went to Rick Anderson, the Proper, Business Achievement; Adam Ralphs, Business of the Year, Sport Clips; Bent Hansen, Los Gringos Locos, Community Service; Patrick Liddell, Community Spirit, Melby & Anderson LLP and to Crestview Prep’s third-grade teacher Jamie Lyn Davis, who was named Educator of the Year.

Chamber board officers installed included Steve Hronek, chairman; Adam Ralphs, Lynne Graves, Mike Leininger, Pam Stumbaugh, Gary Stibal, Pat Liddell, Dave Silversparre, Katherine Markgraf, Karl Johnson and Rion Zimmerman.

Directors installed included Rob Ananian, Sean Grigorian, Carrie Grochow, Zach Jennings, Charlie Kamar, Adam Liebelt, Lara Sarkisian, Jack Malian, Bent Hansen, Cecilia Pyzow, Elizabeth Ramirez, Orlando Sanchez and Tyler Wright.

Kudos go to Pat Anderson, chief executive and president of the chamber, and her dynamite team of Nancy Rappard and Tina Daley, who not only made sure the dining room looked gorgeous, but moved the lengthy ceremony right along. Anderson was especially pleased that the program was half an hour shorter than in the previous year and everyone appreciated that immensely.

Jane Napier Neely covers the La Cañada Flintridge social scene. Email her at with news of your special event.