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Luncheon celebrates altruistic Glendale pair

October 11, 2011|By Ruth Sowby
  • Honored with the "Community Partners" Award are, from left, Vanessa Kogevinas and Vanessa De Vargas surrounding Luncheon Co-Chair Isabelle Zimmerman. (Photo by Ruth Sowby)
Honored with the "Community Partners" Award…

Glendale residents and ceaseless do-gooders Mary and Paul Wight were honored with the “From the Heart” Award at a “Forget-Me-Not”-themed luncheon at the Wilshire Country Club. The luncheon was sponsored by the Auxiliary for the Good Shepherd Center for Homeless Women and Children. On Saturday, Oct. 8, dozens of the Wight’s family, friends and fans gathered to pay homage to the couple’s volunteer work as members of the Center’s Auxiliary and in the Glendale community as past board members of the Glendale Symphony and the Cabrini Literary Guild. Also honored were Vanessa De Vargas and Vanessa Kogevinas with the “Community Partners” Award. Both are co-chairpersons of the Charity Design Project. They were project managers of the decoration of 30 client rooms and the communal room of the Center’s Hawkes Transitional Residence in West Los Angeles.

A substantial Glendale contingent had their own table with the Wights. Glendale supporters included Maureen Walsh, Jo Ann Grimaldi, Marcella Kalish, Wanda Bistagne, Miryam Finkelberg, Joyce and Joe Ayvazi and Rita and Robert Burns. Several of the Glendale guests were members of the Cabrini Literary Guild.


A silent auction and reception preceded the luncheon of Chinese chicken salad and mud pie. Center Auxiliary President Louise Phipps welcomed her audience of some 200 supporters and introduced event co-chairpersons Sylvia Watson and Isabelle Zimmerman. They, in turn, introduced Mistress of Ceremonies Val Zavala, anchor of KCET’s “SoCal Connected.” Zavala kept the action moving pre-lunch and after lunch.

The invocation was offered by Father Frank Hicks, Saint Basil’s Church Pastor followed by the presentation of the “Forget-Me-Not” Awards by Sister Anne Tran, director of the Center since 2002.

For 27 years, the Los Angeles-based Good Shepherd Center has sheltered women and children. The Hawkes Transitional Residence houses up to 30 women for as long as two years during which the women receive computer training, art therapy, counseling and case management. An Employment Center has also been recently added.

Among other programs, event proceeds will help support the Hawkes residences; the Mobile Outreach Van, bringing food and clothes to many women on the street; and the Angel Guardian that provides long-term housing for 12 disabled women and children.

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