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Soroptimists honor 50-year member

Soroptimist International of Glendale set up shop at the Hilton Glendale for its spirited luncheon installation of its board of directors on Thursday. Glendale City Councilwoman Laura Friedman extended greetings from the city.

Incoming President Liz Mirzaian has chosen the theme for the year "Soroptimist — a Symphony of Service" to inspire her, her nine-member board and the entire club. Mirzaian, always committed to volunteerism, is also the director of volunteer and senior resources at Glendale Adventist Medical Center.

The highlight of the luncheon was the presentation of the 50-year Sorotimist pin by immediate past president Sandy Doughty to soon-to-be-centenarian Genevieve Sultenfuss, in recognition of her 50 years of service to the club. Sultenfuss is a past Soroptimist president and a member since 1961. Daughter Julie Shermer was by her side. Sultenfuss will be 100 years old in August.

The Soroptimist Laurel Society membership pin was presented to Lisa McMurray by last year's Laurel Society honoree Kathy Lefkovits for her service to the club. Lefkovits created the concept for the Sorotimist's largest, annual fundraiser "Bras for a Cause."

Three grants of $4,500 each were presented to the three Glendale Hospitals—Glendale Adventist Medical Center, Glendale Memorial Hospital and Verdugo Hills Hospital.

Soroptimist International members are concerned with effecting change to improve the quality of life for women and girls.

The Glendale Rose Float Assn. decided to raise funds for its Tournament of Roses parade float in a unique way. Association members presented a six-course dinner that was originally prepared in honor of Princess of Monaco abroad the yacht Tracinda Jean, moored in the Monaco harbor in 1971. On Thursday and Saturday association members did themselves proud with the six-course dinners and wine tasting. Executive Chef Jerry Salthouse, the original chef on the Tracinda Jean, recreated his 1971 dinner.

This year's setting for both evenings was the Glendale Elks Lodge. The dinners were limited to 30 supporters each, who paid $125 for the opportunity. Contributors also were given 2010 memberships in the Glendale Rose Float Assn. and invitations to the Rose float reception and viewing in December.

Saturday's dinner and wine tasting of five wines lasted a generous three hours. Appetizers of Dolmas Avagolemona and Coquille St. Jacques, were followed by an entree of filet of beef. A dessert of Grapes Monaco was drenched in Grand Marnier. Glendale residents with full stomachs included association President Gerry Ackerman; charter member George McCullough; Barry Ross, whose father is Chef Salthouse, and Ross's wife Candy Peak Ross. The couple took a look at a drawing of Glendale's Rose float with its theme, "Building Dreams, Friendships and Memories."

Expected proceeds of $7,000 will benefit the association.

The Americana once again welcomed the latest craze in fancy food at bargain prices. Gourmet food trucks were front and center for "A Street Feast and Street Sale" on June 15. Basketball fans needn't worry — flat screens and giant amps were set up throughout the Green to broadcast the game between the Lakers and the Celtics. The Lakers' win drew cheers from the crowd that was more interested in the championship hoops than in eating and shopping.

But those with their foodie favorites in mind weren't disappointed. Food trucks with catchy names such as "The Flying Pig" and "Manila Machine" lined Americana streets. The Jewel City Diner set up their grills in the middle of the Green and sold sliders for $2, chips for $1 and soda and water for $1.50.

Jamba Juice also got into the act with portable trays full of smoothies carried by Jenn Dowty and "banana man" Bernard Sales. Four-year-old Farrah Mackenzie chose the mango, while Dad Andy Mackenzie was still deciding. They had just seen "Shrek Forever After" at the Americana's Pacific Theatres.

Some eschewed the long lines at the trucks in favor of Americana restaurants. Glendale resident Victoria Sahakyan was found at Pinkberry's, enjoying chocolate yogurt.

Free parking was also thrown for good measure, provided an Americana ad was flashed.

As if those Soroptimist gals weren't busy enough this week, they had more to offer. On Saturday, they rolled out the red carpet for the Los Angeles premiere of "Body and Sold"— a staged reading of a once-taboo subject, human trafficking. The documentary-like production, based on interviewers with trafficked survivors, was held in the Glendale Community College Auditorium.

A panel discussion led by Glendale City Councilwoman Laura Friedman followed the reading. After the discussion, the audience of more than 150 supporters was invited to a wine-and-cheese reception in the lobby. Those still talking about the emotional reading included Soroptimist members and show producers Jill Lewis and Sandy Schultz; members Olive Warner; Lynne Raggio and daughter Lisa Raggio; Paula Devine, chairwoman of the Glendale Commission on the Status of Women (an event sponsor) and Devine's husband Art Devine, who manned the registration desk earlier in the evening.

All net proceeds from the $25 tickets will be distributed to local trafficking and domestic violence agencies.

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