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Volunteers are the city's real gems

May 12, 2011|By Ruth Sowby
  • Enjoying some fresh air are, from left, honoree Lana Haddad, Glendale City Councilman Ara Najarian, Commission on the Status of Women Chairman Paula Devine and Elizabeth Sadlon, Board Chair of "Girls on the Run."
Enjoying some fresh air are, from left, honoree Lana Haddad,…

No one knows how to throw a party like the girls (and two guys) on the Glendale Commission on the Status of Women. On May 5, the Oakmont Country Club was the sparkling setting for the usual trifecta — social hour, silent auction and luncheon. The Jewels of Glendale represents the commission’s seventh annual fundraiser.

Commission Chairwoman Paula Devine, Vice Chairman Vatche Tashjian, commissioners Chris Garsevanian, Susan Hunt and Grace Walker appropriately took their bows. Devine greeted her audience of some 250 guests.

“We’re out there for every woman in our community,” Devine said.

Mistress of ceremonies and radio personality Susanne Whatley then took over the mic and gave plaudits to her mother in honor of Mother’s Day. A word to the wise from Whatley’s writer mother: “Never write what you wouldn’t want in the Los Angeles Times.”

Seven “Women of Courage” were honored during the afternoon events. “Jewels” were Mona Marcos, Lynne Raggio, Tanis Rhines and Blanca Zavala. Ani Ghazikanian was recognized with the Gem Scholarship Award, and Glendale Water and Power Analyst Lana Haddad was honored with the Special Chair’s Recognition Award.


Eighty-year-old Raggio, nominated for the award by daughter Lisa Raggio, is the wife of former Glendale Mayor Carl Raggio, who was at the luncheon. Lynne Raggio regaled the audience with highlights of her life. She has been a Glendale resident since 1963 and married to Carl for 60 years next month. They have three children, 15 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

VIPs in attendance included Glendale City Councilman Ara Najarian, former Mayor Larry Zarian, City Clerk Ardy Kasshakian and Fire Chief Harold Scoggins. Glendale Community College Board of Trustee members were out in force, including President Vahe Peroomian, Armine Hacopian, Tony Tartaglia and Ann Ransford. College Supt./President Dawn Lindsay and Board of Trustees Executive Director Lisa Brooks also represented the college.

“What a power lunch this is: If you want something done in the city, this is where you come,” Najarian said.

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