As part of their 75th anniversary celebration, members and guests of the Oakmont League spent a day in "Italy" even if it was a ballroom in the Glendale Hilton decorated with crepe paper touches of red, white and green — the colors of the Italian flag.
Last Thursday, some 250 audience members enjoyed "Bella Italia" filled with plenty of socializing, boutique buying, eating lunch and drooling at a fashion show of Robert Ellis fashions.
It was an all-day affair. The reception with opportunity ticket and boutique sales began at 10 a.m. Vendors will donate 20% of their fancy baubles to the Oakmont League Philanthropy Fund.
League president Chris Halajian welcomed her audience. Father Mike Javor of the Good Shepherd Church in Long Beach offered the invocation.
During the lunch of short ribs and polenta, master of ceremonies Stephen Ratliff kicked off a brief program. Ratliff is the handsome son of league member and event chairperson Nina Ratliff. He is also the owner of Ecco Salon in South Pasadena. His ebullience kept the show moving.
Special honorees and active members were presented by Michele Gile, Orange County reporter for KCAL9 and CBS2. First up was honoree Fran Buchanan. The Glendale Realtor was recognized for being an Oakmont member for 46 years. Chloe Ross was celebrated for her 30 years of membership. A posthumous award went to Linda Malmquist, who had been an active member for 28 years.
The opportunity prize drawing had audience members listening for their number to be called. League member Mary Margaret Smith snagged a Samsung 40-inch flat-screen TV.
Just as "dolce" (Italian for sweets) was served, the fashion show started as the svelte models sashayed down the runway. Italian music accompanied their high stepping. The talents of designer Robert Ellis were on display as each ensemble seemed to top the last. A favorite was a little number in red with cape and chapeau. The fashion show was produced by Carin Holmemas.
Expected proceeds of $40,000 are earmarked for league scholarships to area high schools and Glendale Community College.
A dinner on the eve of the 3Event celebrated its donors and table sponsors. An intimate group of some 40 generous supporters were treated to a sumptuous feast of Middle Eastern food. Served by white-jacketed waiters, each course was more delicious than the last.
Phoenicia restaurant was the venue for the festivities last Friday.
The 3Event committee member Elizabeth Mirzaian took photos of guests as they entered the restaurant. Mirzaian also posed for a snap along with Heal Within's owner Liza Boubari, her mother, Mary Boubari, and committee member Elizabeth Manasserian. Heal Within Healing Center will be the presenting company of the 3Event.
Glendale residents on hand for Liza's thank-you dinner included event committee members Edith Fuentes, GEM of Soroptimists of the Verdugos and Margo Bottcher, a one-year director of Glendale Soroptimists. Bottcher was accompanied by hubby, Bob Bottcher.
Macho La Crescenta resident Richard Rands showed his feminine side as a fan of next day's the 3Event, publicized as "A Day Dedicated to Women."
"Evoke-Embrace-Evolve" was the theme of Heal Within's second annual 3Event. Close to 200 women attended the day devoted to evoking passion, embracing femininity and evolving spirituality. These ambitious goals, available for a mere $135, were celebrated last Saturday at Burbank's Castaway restaurant.
The symposium was the brainchild of Liza Boubari, owner of the presenting company, Heal Within Healing Center in Glendale.
The day began with a hearty welcome by mistress of ceremonies Anush Hovsepyan-Gagua. This dynamo is a success coach and Los Angeles public relations director. Following her remarks was Boubari's introduction of the program's first activity — Tai Chi. Many of the women headed to the ballroom's terrace to follow the calming movements of Suzanne Lee, who is the owner of Montrose Martial Arts Center.
During the rest of the event, healing exercises, guided visualization and heal-talk exercises were sprinkled in between guest speakers and interviews.
A healing drum circle provided an appropriate finale to the day's journey to a "Heal-thy Mind, Body and Spirit."
RUTH SOWBY may be reached at email@example.com.