The Valley Line: Las Candelas benefit event raises $100K


It was a lovely day when nearly 700 people filled the Academy Ballroom at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel to participate in the 64th Las Candelas benefit.

Chairing the March 6 event, themed “Love is a Many Splendored Thing,” were Las Candelas members JC Byer and Pattie McCormick. The organization’s president, Ellyn Semler, led this group of 40 members to a very successful event that raised $100,000 for their charities — Hillsides Education Center, Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services, Didi Hirsch Mental Services, YWCA of Glendale’s Domestic Violence Program and Ascencia.

The big star of the day was fashion designer Lordes Chavez, who showed off her stunningly beautiful spring collection, which ranged from daytime dresses to elegant ballgowns.

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Chavez was born in Mexico and moved to Los Angeles with her parents and eight brothers at the age of 9. After high school graduation she was accepted to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM). In 1998 she introduced her own label. She was honored by the state of California and the City of Hope as Latina Business Woman of the Year.

Adding a theatrical touch to the Las Candelas show was Claire Corpuz, who performed a modern dance.

There was much excitement through out the luncheon as opportunity prize numbers were called for prizes such as a two-night stay at the Marriott Palm Desert Hotel, an evening at the Hollywood Bowl in a garden terrace box for four, a day at Disneyland and much more.

The club had a good time designing the menu featuring foods from the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s. The first course was grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, the main course gave a nod to the ‘60s with a California Cobb salad, similar to what the famous Brown Derby served. And the 1940s-style dessert was an ice box parfait of layered brownie chips with fudge pudding, with crème Chantilly and Oreo crumbles.

Just before guests left there was a centerpiece drawing of the glorious floral arrangements designed by Jacob Maarse Florists in Pasadena.

The Oakmont League recently held a dinner meeting at Oakmont Country Club. The keynote speaker was Phil Kubel, husband of club member Jackie Kubel.

Phil, who studied film at USC, is an eight-time Emmy- winning producer and director. He is the vice president of Digital for the Stronach Group, which owns racetracks across America, including Santa Anita.

He also was a founding member of HRTV, a national TV network that featured horse-racing content where he served as vice president of post production. While there he was the creative force behind the series “Inside Information” for which he traveled the world with the show.

He gave guests a glimpse into the inside track of horse racing. He began work at Santa Anita Park producing and directing live racing shows for Fox Sports. His creativity continued launching the first ever multimedia horse-racing sites. Phil was chosen to lead a new digital initiative for the Stronach Group launching XBTV, which has become an industry-leading network dedicated to providing insight and analysis for wagering.


JANE NAPIER NEELY covers the La Cañada Flintridge social scene. Email her at