Take Five: Hidden treasure in La Cañada unearthed

Want to look for hidden treasure here in La Cañada — and find it?

Some adventuresome searchers study yellowed rum-stained maps for clues. All we have to do is walk down Chevy Chase Drive and step across the street from our new, superb Flintridge Bookstore to find a true local treasure.

I am speaking about our own Community Center. There are rubies and gold to be found in sports activities like karate, cooking, science, art, language, ceramics, music, dance and theater.

In May, there will be an opportunity to adopt a dog. What fun and joy it is to bring a new pet into your home. I must say that caring for a dog is a mystical treat and a wonderful experience, better than gems.

Under the direction of Megan Nordvedt, the center is indeed our own treasure here in town. The dedication to do well shines brightly in Megan’s face as she tells me her personal story of growing up in La Cañada. Her family took her to many events at the center. She was hooked then and remained figuratively attached even while attending college in Colorado. After graduation, she worked in the travel industry but ultimately came back to LCF. It was a dream come true to eventually become the center’s director.

“Not enough people use us or know about us,” says Megan with a touch of wistfulness. “We’ve got so much for everybody, from pre-school kids to super seniors. Our mission is simple: to serve the LCF community. Our website (www.cclfcf) lists all the wonderful events and programs we offer.”

It looks like a treasure map to me.

Megan continues, “One of the best benefits we have is the great track next door to us. Come on down if you want to run, jog or just mosey along at your own pace. We’re out of the way of the Foothill street traffic, so no one will have to share the road with cars.”

And it’s spring, which means T-ball time. “Our volunteer-trained corps is amazing. We have young teenagers, 14- and 15 year-old boys and girls who know how to work with smaller kids who want to play baseball. It’s fun, educational and transforming. I couldn’t be more proud of any program we have here,” says Megan.

Going from one end of the age spectrum to the other, I’ll remind you of the “Lust for Life” Senior Expo coming up on Sunday, May 1. This day is devoted to our older folks who want (and need) to take part in activities outside the home.

Megan really got to me when she mentioned that on the Lust for Life Expo day, the Pasadena Humane Society brings many dogs to the show. Seniors are given a chance to volunteer to work with the dogs at their center in Pasadena. As mentioned, they encourage adopting a pet. If you have had a dog in your life, you know the wonders of having a dog look up at you with tongue out and tail wagging. And no back talk.

Megan and her staff have an iridescent glow about them. No wonder, when any day of the week a visitor might witness a 3-year-old finish a pirouette on the dance floor or look out the window as a 72-year-old woman completes her walking circuit with a victory grin worthy of an Olympic medalist.

There’s no fools’ gold whatsoever to be found here. The Community Center of LCF is solid 24-carat gold.

GENE PEPPER is a published author and writer. Email him at gpep@aol.com, or call him at (818) 790-1990.

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