Around Town: The fundraisers are in bloom

Spring is here and the fundraisers are blooming.

In a down economy, we must be creative.

Last Sunday, we attended the most creative Hillsides Guild “Day at the Races.”

The Hillsides Guild supports the Hillsides center, which began in 1913 as an Episcopal orphanage. Today, Hillsides is a private, nonprofit children's foster care and treatment center, with a focus on counseling and mental health.

Hillsides' “Day at the Races” is the brainchild of La Cañadan Dee Fisher. Dee is a fellow member of the Thursday Club.

Each year, Dee rallies the guild members, assorted husbands and others. I'm not a member of the guild, but we always support Dee's events, which, like their organizer, are a charming amalgam of fundraising, friend-raising and elegance.

This year, Dee partnered with an energetic co-chair named Astrid Fishbein. Their aides de camp, who each made mass purchases of raffle tickets, were Dee's husband, a local viticulturist named Mark Martinez, and Astrid's husband, a man of many talents named Michael Fishbein.

Martinez explained, “I started coming six years ago, when I first met Dee, and now I'm hooked. This is a wonderful cause. The guild is an all-volunteer organization. Their efforts allow the kids to have extra activities, like the annual picnic or a bowling night. These ladies are wonderful.”

The raffle baskets were assembled by La Cañadan Aline Kuhnle, who attended with her husband, Paul.

“This is the most fun we've had all year,” exclaimed Kuhnle.

At Santa Anita Racetrack, the mountains are gorgeous, the food is good and within minutes of arrival, even if you are a teetotaler, you totally mellow out.

Except for mixing up a trifecta with a trifecta box, this year I almost won a lot of money. Plus, there was a lot of chocolate, courtesy of Brettany Harrison, a charming young broker from Coldwell Banker.

Meanwhile, over at Flintridge Prep, the parents are beginning to gear up for the annual Flintridge Prep Parents and Alumni Golf Tournament and Dinner, scheduled for April 30 at the La Cañada Flintridge Country Club. Kudos to Randy Dreyfuss for making our town's only golf course available for so many charity events.

Prep now has a gender-neutral parents association. Back in the day we had the Mother's Club that did all the work, and the Father's Club, which had one guy who did all the work and other guys who watched.

The Flintridge Prep Father's Club Blanket Sale was one of the most successful and price-variable development schemes in the history of any local school. The La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation should take note.

By the time this Valley Sun arrives on your doorstep, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy's Disco Divas of the '80s will be arriving home from the 2012 Gala, held on Saturday at the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena.

The online auction includes a decrepit wheelbarrow aptly named, the Wheelbarrow of Booze. “Bring home this red wheelbarrow and your bar will be stocked for your next party, and much more,” read the description. The Wheelbarrow of Booze was valued at more than $1,000.

Now, that's creative.

ANITA SUSAN BRENNER is a longtime La Cañada Flintridge resident and an attorney with Law Offices of Torres and Brenner in Pasadena. Email her at and follow her on Twitter @anitabrenner.

Copyright © 2019, La Cañada Valley Sun
EDITION: California | U.S. & World