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Life and Arts

The Valley Line: Golf tourney for USC VHH carries a Cuban theme

In between days of May gray and May showers, the sun came out one day last week to shine upon 125 golfers who turned out to raise funds for USC Verdugo Hills Hospital’s high-priority funding needs.

More than $325,000 was raised on this day of golf, dinner and auction at Oakmont Country Club. The fundraiser, held May 20, was sponsored by the hospital’s foundation.

John Taylor and Tina Marie Ito were chairs of the successful event, which carried a Havana theme. Cuba was represented by a live band featuring a traditional Cuban drum called a batá, guitars and trumpet, a cigar corner, beautifully decorated fans, and fresh pineapples placed here and there.

Chuck Dukas, a talented auctioneer, did an amazing job of raising over $40,000 for hospital equipment for the emergency department. There was also a very spirited bidding for an amazing safari trip to Africa.


Even golfers who didn’t have their best game that day surely felt it was a win-win for Verdugo Hills Hospital.


This past Monday I had an opportunity to watch a parade in a different way. Jill Chapman, president of the La Cañada Junior Women’s Club and I, as founder and charter president of the organization 50 years ago, were chauffeured down Foothill Boulevard during the Fiesta Days Parade in a beautiful classic Mercedes convertible. Behind the wheel was Dan Owen, husband of Jane Owen, also a former president of the club.

Jill and I got to watch the parade-goers watching us, calling out our names and waving. It was so much fun to see all the little kids waving their flags and the adorable dogs that came out for the parade too. I don’t think there is anything cuter than kids and dogs at a parade. I could happily do this every year! It sure was fun.


Trish McRae and her sister Alice Perez were the masterminds coordinating the Junior entourage that included a group of the club’s members walking and carrying the anniversary banner, followed by the car Jill and I were riding in, a vintage Volkswagen bus owned and driven by Juniors member Elizabeth Landswik’s husband Erik, and a pickup truck filled with flag-waving Juniors. Erik’s mother, Kersti Hoberg, who lives just outside Oslo, Norway, was thrilled to be in town visiting and taking part in our local parade. She is a delightful lady who shared stories about her native land. I’ll bet that if there was a prize awarded to the person traveling the furthest for the parade she would have won!

Yes indeed, our community does love a parade. Thank you, everyone, for coming out to share this great day!

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

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