For 14 years the YWCA of Glendale has been honoring local women with “Heart & Excellence” Awards at Legacy Luncheons. And each year the honorees appear to become more “excellent.” Each had an opportunity to say a few words when presented with their award. Most touching were the remarks of honoree Lori Hartwell. Hartwell, author of “Chronically Happy-Joyful Living Despite Chronic Illness,” had her fourth kidney transplant just weeks ago. Having spent most of her life on dialysis treatment, the upbeat Hartwell recounted her journey to health. Her audience was all ears.
This year’s luncheon was held on March 31 at Burbank’s Castaway Restaurant in one its largest banquet halls. A reception with dozens of silent-auction baskets to bid on began the afternoon’s events. Word had it that a basket of hand-painted scarves donated by Ilene Blicker was the prize to go for. After the auction, event co-chairwomen Dr. Carol Ann Burton and Marilyn Gunnell welcomed approximately 200 supporters. Michaela Pereira, KTLA “Morning News” anchor, performed mistress of ceremony duties with style. Audience introductions were made by YWCA Board President Valerie Merritt, followed by remarks from the keynote speaker, organic-cooking guru Christina Avaness.