Glendale News-Press: Local YWCA Presents Annual Legacy Luncheon

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Glendale News-Press: Local YWCA Presents Annual Legacy Luncheon

Categories: Press

By Joyce Rudolph

Ah, spring is here and with it comes a multitude of fundraisers proficiently organized by the top female doers in our community.

Glendale YWCA officials presented the 18th annual Legacy Luncheon in mid-March at the Oakmont Country Club. Six women were honored for their volunteer work empowering women and children, which is the purpose of the YWCA.

Welcoming guests were Michelle Roberts, the YWCA’s executive director, Teryl MacDougall, board president, and co-chairs Ilena Blicker and Carol Ann Burton.

The event not only recognized four adult female volunteers and two teen female volunteers, but reminded guests of the programs the YWCA offers. The main one is the domestic violence program. It provides a shelter for victims and their children to help them move on to a life without violence after fleeing their abusers.

Last year, 38 women, one man and 28 children were helped at the emergency shelter. The domestic violence hotline received 786 calls for help, information and counseling and the service center assisted 330 families cope with the effects of living with abuse.

Mistress of ceremonies was Cater Lee, a veteran news producer and Emmy-winning broadcaster, who presented four women with the Heart & Excellence Awards.

Assistant City Manager Yasmin Beers became tearful as she told how she came to the United States with her parents from Iran in 1979. She was especially happy because her parents were in the audience, she said. Beers gives time to the Salvation Army, Glendale Healthy Kids, Soroptimist International, American Red Cross and Mark Keppel School’s Make Keppel Special.

Miryam Finkelberg talked about all the charities with which she volunteers, including the Learning Center at La Cañada Preparatory, Cabrini Literary Guild, Glendale Latino Assn. and the Arturo Sandoval Institute. She thanked her three sons and her husband for allowing her to give time to helping others.

Lou Rhodes said it was hard for her to believe she was being honored for doing things that bring her so much joy. She is involved in the Philanthropic Educational Foundation Chapter CJ, Soroptimist International, Glendale Beautiful and Glendale Police Foundation.

Lynn White-Shelby had at least two tables of guests cheering her on. She is president-elect of La Providencia Guild of Los Angeles Children’s Hospital and gives time to the Boys & Girls Club of Burbank & Greater East Valley, Verdugo Glen chapter of the American Business Women’s Assn. and Burbank Senior Citizens Board.

Receiving the Jane O’Connor Volunteer Service Awards were Candace Kim and Allison Zadravecz. Candace is a senior at Burbank High School and gives time to the Boys & Girls Club of Burbank, Key Club and Friends at Play, a facility that serves children with special needs.

Allison is a senior at Crescenta Valley High School. She earned her Girl Scouts Gold Award for planning a day camp for homeless children at Hope Gardens. She also gives time to Elizabeth House, American Cancer Society and Operation Gratitude.

Soroptimist present Accolades

Several names that appear in the aforementioned item pop up in this item about the Soroptimist International of Glendale and its Accolades Awards that also were presented in mid-March at Oakmont Country Club.

Along with the same members, Soroptimist and the YWCA share the common cause of empowering women and children.

President Paula Devine welcomed guests and mentioned that two of the award recipients receive funds raised by the annual “Bras for a Cause” event, which is planned for April 18 at the Oakmont Country Club.

This year’s theme is “Bras for a Cause Loves Fairy Tales” so designers should have fun with their bra-based creations. Reservation deadline is April 11 and can be made by contacting

Karyna Gonzalez received the Ruby Award during the Accolades luncheon. She is the domestic violence services manager at the Glendale YWCA. Gonzalez was nominated by Lisa Raggio, who said she began as a volunteer at the YWCA.

“Karyna is a true inspiring story of continuing to grow and progress and serve and has made a lovely difference at the YWCA,” Raggio said.

Gonzalez tearfully thanked her mom for instilling in her the importance of giving service to others.

“It’s for that reason I get up in the morning and give voice to those who don’t have one,” she said.

Elaine Morales received the Live Your Dream Award. She is a single mother with a 5-year-old son. She is a full-time student at Pasadena City College and plans to transfer to Cal Poly Pomona to obtain a bachelor’s degree in business. She also is the first runner-up for the region and will receive an additional grant.

Alexandra Izzard received the Violet Richardson Award, but was on spring break and unable to attend the luncheon. She is a junior at Crescenta Valley High School. She has donated time to the Girls on the Run L.A. since 2005, and serves as a junior coach at Verdugo Woodlands Elementary School.

Molly Snow, executive director of Girls on the Run L.A., received a $500 grant from Soroptimist.

“Whoever selected Allie for this award has excellent taste,” Snow said. “She is a spectacular young woman… We’ve just been lucky to be the beneficiary of her awesomeness.”

Lou Rhodes was in charge of the Accolades Program committee, while Cindy Miller chaired the Ruby Award, Miryam Finkelberg led the Live Your Dream Award and Jill Lewis guided the Violet Richardson Award.

Source: Glendale News-Press