The year was 1956 and Glendale was in the midst of celebrating 50 years of cityhood with a special parade and other events when Irene Patterson and attorney Alice Moore invited civic leaders, business and professional men and women and philanthropists to a gathering at Patterson’s home.
Their goal was to form a community fund for the rapidly growing city, a fund structured so that anyone could donate any amount—small or large.
Now, 55 years after its founding, the Glendale Community Foundation has rebranded itself as the Community Foundation of the Verdugos and is a significant source of assistance to our schools and other nonprofits.
Much of the credit goes to the two women who were inspired by the events surrounding the city’s 50th celebration.
“The two guiding lights were tireless in their efforts in launching the foundation,” wrote Betty Preston Oiler in the Glendale News-Press, Nov. 7, 1996.
Interestingly, the first contribution, $3,000, came from Patterson’s neighbor, John Bruecker, who was new to the city. He had done well with his design of an electric razor and chose to retire in Glendale. (See Verdugo Views, Aug. 15, 2008 for more on Bruecker.) He was a very generous philanthropist to his adopted city.