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University Women honor past presidents

January 12, 2011
(Rith Sowby )

In a matter of three hours, a hardy band of American Assn. of University Women members raised more than $800 during its 88th Founder's Day Celebration on Saturday at a luncheon at the Oakmont Country Club.

Sixty-six generous women bought opportunity tickets for some 25 baskets overflowing with goodies and gift certificates. One of the favorite baskets was "Movies and Mojitos." That was won by former Glendale Mayor Eileen Givens, honored in a "Salute to the Past Presidents." Givens was president of the Glendale Branch during 1975-77.

Other past presidents honored included Joyce Covey, who also was recognized for her 50 years of branch membership. She was branch president for 1967-68. Covey, given a "Life Certificate" for her service, is exempt from membership dues for the rest of her life.

Glendale residents on hand included longtime branch members Leni Richardson, Sunny Wheeler, Mary Margaret Smith, Susan Hunt, Florence Chase and Anna Rundle. Vice President of funds, Barbara Merkle, also present, said the $800 raised will be used for the national organization's Education Foundation.

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President JC Chauvin-Byer welcomed members and guests. After the luncheon, Norma Cunanan introduced speaker Susan Straight. Straight teaches creative writing at UC Riverside and is an award-winning novelist. Her novels include real-life stories from her large, extended family. Straight generously signed her recently published "Take One Candle Light a Room."

Members of the Glendale Branch are looking forward to their dinner meeting on March 22.

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A Glendale boy made good in Burbank. Pop artist Nelson De La Nuez, 1977 Hoover High grad, was the center of attention at a reception/book signing on Thursday. The Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank played host. Besides other claims to fame, De La Nuez was the last artist to sell art to Michael Jackson, three weeks before Jackson's death.

Of the three works sold for a total of $15,000, "Michael strongly resonated with my 'Wicked Witch,'" said De La Nuez.

That work, reminiscent of the Wicked Witch in the "Wizard of Oz" film, was a favorite of Jackson since he played the Scarecrow in the "The Wiz" on Broadway, according to the artist.

During the reception, De La Nuez signed copies of his new "Pop Americana," a collection of the artist's pop images. The book was recently published by Pop Land Publishing. Longtime emcee, voice-over artist and collector of De La Nuez's pop art, Gary Owens, wrote the foreward to the book.

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