ALF Drama to Perform ‘Willy Wonka KIDS’ Production

First published in the Nov. 4 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

The stage at Lanterman Auditorium erupted in song and dance as local students in grades 5-7 presented “Willy Wonka KIDS” on Friday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m.
This Assistance League of Flintridge’s fall drama presentation is a special adaptation of the classic Roald Dahl novel “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”
The audience will delight in the adventures of kind-hearted Charlie and four other children who find golden tickets and enter eccentric Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. What happened inside?
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ALF Cañada Auxiliary of Professionals Provides Meals to USC-VHH

Photo courtesy ALF
CAP member Astrid Soegaard receives lunches from a Penelope’s employee for front-line workers at USC-Verdugo Hills Hospital.

The Assistance League of Flintridge’s auxiliary, Cañada Auxiliary of Professionals (CAP), have provided meals to frontline workers at USC-Verdugo Hills Hospital on four occasions this year.
After having provided meals to USC-VHH in the spring of 2020, CAP member Astrid Soegaard suggested a second round of meals be provided. CAP membership unanimously supported this proposal.
The project was coordinated through the website Meal Train Plus, which was established to support COVID-19 front-line workers at USC-VHH.
Local businesses Penelope’s, Gelsinger’s and Stella’s were enthusiastic participants in the philanthropic project, providing lunches and dinners.
CAP members participate in five philanthropic programs: Scholarships, Cappy Bears, SPROUTS, and CAP Care PACs, and work with Assistance League of Flintridge in Operation School Bell. CAP philanthropies are supported by sales in the Bargain Box thrift shop, which includes toy sales.
To learn more about Cañada Auxiliary of Professionals, CAP philanthropic programs, social activities and membership, visit or call (818) 790-1328.

Marta Bertero O’Rourke | Obituary

Marta Bertero O’Rourke

Marta Bertero O’Rourke, 69, passed away at her home on March 19, 2021. Born August 7, 1951, the last of four daughters to Jules F. Bertero, MD, and Mary L. Bertero of Santa Maria, California, Marta grew up amidst the strawberry fields of the Central Valley. She attended St. Joseph’s High School before attending Lone Mountain College (now part of USF) in San Francisco.

During her junior year, she spent a fateful year abroad in Italy where she studied at Loyola University of Chicago, Rome Center. It was here that she met Pat O’Rourke, a Chicago native. This led to a long-distance romance when they returned to the states to complete college.

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ALF Helping Behind the Scene During Pandemic Closures

Photos courtesy ALF
Leslie Dick, Charlotte Raulli, Cari James, Keaton Comstock, Seema Kayali, ASB adviser Sarah Beattie and LCHS Principal Jim Cartnal are participating in a partnership between local schools and the Assistance League of Flintridge.

Assistance League of Flintridge members are carrying on with the following activities:
• ALF Operation School Bell has been busy. The OSB committee purchased backpacks, face masks, hand sanitizer, hygiene kits and school supplies and delivered them to 400 students through Friends In Deed, an organization that provides supportive services for homeless and at-risk neighbors. Through collaboration, ALF provided school clothing and supplies to another 600 students. OSB donated 50 new Chromebooks for the La Cañada Unified School District to use as loaners.
• ALFies in Action purchased 200 pairs of Blue Screen Blocker Glasses for local students. La Cañada High School student government members and advisers distributed the glasses in their parking lot on Nov. 17, observing strict protective protocols via a drive-up/drive-thru system. There were warm, happy faces discernible, even though masked.
• ALF instrumental music is underway. The program has been revamped and is totally online, offering new and unique opportunities for young musicians. Specific details and links are on the ALF website.
• ALF drama is coming. There is a tentative start date of Jan. 19 for fun online workshops with director Tristan Waldron. Keep checking the ALF website.
• The ALF Assisteens are active, too, working together Zooming and distributing assembled donations to help children, adults and families in need. The teens are corresponding with our local senior population, too.
As time continues to pass, ALF members also miss Bargain Box shoppers, and the conversations — about life, knick knacks, clothing and jewelry — shared together in the store. The Bargain Box is expected to reopen in early 2021. Many changes are being made at the Bargain Box to protect customers and friends. Safety for all is paramount.
ALF is also look forward to accepting clean, gently used donations. The ALF website,, will provide information regarding when the Bargain Box is able to accept donations again.
Monetary donations are also appreciated while the shop is closed. Checks made out to Assistance League of Flintridge may be mailed to ALF at 4607 Oakwood Ave., La Cañada Flintridge 91011. These donations will help the ALF members carry on with their good work.

Assistance League Extends Deadline for Hillgren Scholarship Applications

Photo courtesy Hillgren family
Mary Ellen Hillgreen, the namesake of the scholarship presented by Assistance League of Flintridge, is pictured with husband Warren, who served multiple terms as La Cañada Flintridge’s mayor.

Due to the disruption in usual routines caused by COVID-19, Assistance League of Flintridge has extended the deadline for submission of applications for the Mary Ellen Hillgren Scholarship to Friday, May 15. Two scholarships of $2,000 each are awarded annually to La Cañada High School seniors who will be attending a four year college or university in the fall.
In addition to the application, students are asked to submit a 300-word essay describing how their activities outside of school have helped build their character. Also, an unofficial transcript is requested. Applications are available at

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Assistance League Donates Chromebooks to LCUSD

The Assistance League of Flintridge (ALF) recently donated 50 Chromebook tablets to the La Cañada Unified School District. These are loaned to students to replace nonfunctioning ones that cannot be repaired, and are provided to students in need, according to an ALF spokesperson.
“While ALF donates Chromebooks to LCUSD on an ongoing basis, this particular large donation takes place at an especially critical time since students and teachers are depending on electronic communication to complete assignments,” an ALF statement said.
Chromebooks are used by students in grades 5 through 12.
Two other updates regarding how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting ALF:
• Bargain Box Thrift Shop has temporarily closed and donations cannot be accepted.
• ALF has “regretfully concluded that it will not be able to offer Summer School this year; it is only the second time in its 42-year history that it has not taken place,” according to a spokesperson.
For current information regarding Assistance League of Flintridge, its programs and membership, visit