On the Town:

Council salutes 100 years of Scouting

May 12, 2010|By Ruth Sowby

The Glendale Civic Auditorium was the setting for the Centennial Boy Scout Gala, celebrating 100 years of Scouting coming to America from its birthplace in England.

The Verdugo Hills Council began in 1922. On Saturday, the council went all out for its 36th annual Big Strike Auction to honor former Glendale Mayor Sheldon Baker with the first national Outstanding Eagle Scout Award. Also recognized was Genevieve Sultenfuss, who is also celebrating her 100th birthday. Sultenfuss is the mother of popular city employee Julie Shermer, also present.

On May 27, 1952, Baker received his Eagle Scout pin — the highest award in Scouting. He was a member of the Verdugo Hills Council’s Order of the Arrow. Baker joined the Cub Scouts at 9 years old. He admits he was “shy, small, timid and quiet.” The now gregarious, Baker, who blooms before a microphone, credits Scouting with “helping to find myself.”


His award was presented by good friend and council board member Charles “Tye” Veden. Baker’s wife, Marilyn Baker, received a bouquet of roses. The applauding audience included the Bakers’ daughter Melissa O’Gara; son-in-law Mike O’Gara, recently elected a Superior Court judge; and grandson Michael O’Gara, 9. More VIPs included centennial celebration Chairs Sharon and Bill James, and Council Executive Director Jon Maeda.

The evening’s emcee was Burbank resident and member of the council’s Executive Board Dan Humfreville. He introduced Rahla Lindsey, president of the Verdugo Hills Council. Lindsey, in turn, welcomed more than 250 audience members. Presiding during 2010’s “Year of the Tortoise,” Lindsey was presented with a live tortoise. Her working mantra has been, “You can’t get far without sticking your neck out.”

The night of dinner, music and auctions included a “ballpoint” auction and live auction. Remembered were the many years Sultenfuss donated a two-week stay in her Hawaiian home.

Expected net proceeds of $60,000 will benefit the Scouting and Learning for Life Programs available to all young men and women.


“Salsa for Scholarships,” presented by Glendale Arts and the Glendale Latino Assn., was the apt name for a fundraiser, smack dab in the forecourt of the Alex Theatre. Dozens of supporters gathered May 5 for Damon’s Steakhouse-catered appetizers and samples of Cuevo tequila poured by Cuevo girl Stephanie Ouellette.

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