The Valley Line: Smith feted for foundation work

It was so delightful to wake up on Monday morning to see and smell such a freshly scrubbed world. The teeny bit of rainfall sometime between midnight on Sunday and 6 a.m. on Monday made such a difference in the way the neighborhood looked.

I was a little bit sad in a way because just that tiny bit of moisture erased most of the chalk paintings that my grandchildren had left for me in the side patio. My grandkids Catherine, who turned 7 on Monday and Ryan who just turned 4 in October, came to visit me from their Palo Alto home. Their mother (and my daughter) Heather came with them too, so we all had a fabulous time together.

Chalk painting for my grandkids has turned into a high art form and they spend hours creating their masterpieces. Luckily I did photograph all of their creations before the rain washed them away.

I certainly do hope that this crisp autumn-like weather sticks around for awhile. I'm not much liking these 90-plus day surprises that we had last week. I'm so done with summer — I just want it to stay away!


These have been very fun and busy social times around here lately. Our residents don't stand still long enough to let any moss grow under their boots.

Rob Smith, a longtime LCF resident, was recently honored by the Catholic Education Foundation (CEF) for his seven-year affiliation with the organization and as immediate past president of the board of trustees.

More than 100 people gathered at the Wilshire Country Club for cocktails and a dinner where later Rob was toasted and lightly roasted. Master of ceremonies for the event was Tim Smith, also a LCF resident and brother to Rob.

Mike Smith, who was honored by the Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce earlier in the evening, made it across town just in time to enjoy the roast of his brother.

The well-known La Cañada Smith family was out in force to honor one of their own as well as many colleagues in the business and church world.

His Eminence Cardinal Roger M. Mahony was in attendance and gave the blessing before dinner. He later stepped to the podium to give tribute to Rob and the remarkable work he has accomplished during his tenure.

During the time that Smith led the CEF team there was a record amount of over $50 million in tuition program awards to over 40,000 pre K-12 student recipients to attend Catholic schools throughout the tri-county Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Of the students who receive tuition support, a remarkable 98 percent graduate from high school in four years and 98% of them attend college.

Rob, as well as other supporters of CEF, believe that a quality education is the most important component in breaking the cycle of poverty. Since the CEF was founded in 1987, the foundation has provided over $108 million in tuition awards to over 110,000 awardees.

It was a joyful occasion that night at the country club and other speakers for the evening included Dr. Shane Martin, a CEF student beneficiary who is dean of the school of education at Loyola Marymount University; Alex Chacon, principal at St. Monica High School, a CEF recipient; Dorothy Shea, CEF trustee; Tom Barron, CEF current president; Kathy Anderson, CEF executive director, and Kevin Dretzka and Jill Wondries, CEF trustees. Jill is a longtime La Cañada Flintridge resident.

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