Church Leaders, Educators Discuss Youth Challenges

Photo courtesy Todd Reynolds
Among those who attended a recent summit of church and educational leaders are (front row, from left) Wendy Sinnette, Kip Glazer, Rosemary Johnston, D.J. Severin, Tanya Wilson, Sister Celeste Botello, Allison Clay, Father Christopher Iwancio, Will Moffitt, Lucinda Guarino and the Rev. Chuck Osburn. Back: Connie Knight, Peter Bachmann, Ian McFeat, Katie Phillips-Rector, David Gill, Jim Cartnal, the Rev. Anthony Keller, Rick Callister, Kyle Sears, Andrew Shaw, Eddie Mariel, the Rev. Msgr. Antonio Cacciapuoti and the Rev. Jeff Hoffmeyer.

Church leaders in La Cañada Flintridge recently invited educational leaders to lunch at La Cañada Presbyterian Church. The purpose was to better understand the challenges facing today’s youth and to identify some ways the local churches can be more helpful to students and their families.
Principals, headmasters, counselors and disciplinarians shared many of the most acute and many of the most pervasive challenges their students are facing in their learning experience. The collective wisdom of these educational leaders proved valuable to church leaders and will help them reshape their efforts with young people and their families going forward.
Representatives from La Cañada Unified School District, St. Francis High School, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, Flintridge Preparatory School and the Community Prevention Council had unique perspectives and shared some common challenges — stress, anxiety and depression were common, as were various destructive coping mechanisms (substance abuse, technology and social media abuse, and self-isolation).
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Joyful Hearts Chorus Fills Villa Gardens With Holiday Spirit

From left to right: Villa Gardens independent living resident Phil Graf, Summer House resident Juliene Gustafson and volunteer Sue Gibson
From left to right: Villa Gardens independent living resident Phil Graf, Summer House resident Juliene Gustafson and volunteer Sue Gibson

The Joyful Hearts chorus, comprised of residents living at Summer House, the memory care neighborhood at Front Porch Villa Gardens Retirement Community in Pasadena and their volunteer “buddies” who sing along, shown here entertaining fellow residents, friends, family and staff at a holiday concert on December 13, 2017. Holiday favorites included “Silent Night,” “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” among others. Joining the Joyful Hearts were members of the Los Angeles Young Ambassadors, a local youth choir.

LCFEF Honors Local Volunteers at March 3 Gala

Photo courtesy La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation
Vicki and Brad Schwartz, flanked by their children Matthew and Jenna, will be honored with the Spirit of Outstanding Service Award at the 27th annual LCFEF Gala in March.

The La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation (LCFEF), a nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to raising money to support the local public schools, will honor local residents Brad and Vicki Schwartz with the prestigious Spirit of Outstanding Service Award at the 27th annual LCFEF Gala on March 3.
Brad and Vicki are longtime supporters of LCF schools — not only with their volunteering of time, but through generous donations and their willingness to engage others in the support of our public school system. Brad and his wife Vicki have lived in LCF for about 30 years and have raised two children, Matthew and Jenna, who attended LCUSD schools K-12.
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LCPC Parent Education Celebrates at Christmas Party

La Cañada Presbyterian Church Parent Education members at a recent Christmas party include (in alphabetical order) Ashley Barrett, Amanda Baughman, Anne Bierling, Hillary Clayburgh, Jana De Gange, Katie Enney, Heather Ehrhart, Betsy Farhat, Rebekah Garcia, Lynne Graves, Jina Khachik, Kathy Kovalcik, Maggie Mason, Charlotte Miller, Darby Pearson, Nicole Ravana, Jan Roberts, Angela Shepherd-Isagholian, Ashley Smith, Paige Thatcher, Tracy Tobias, Carol Van Citters, Jana Van Dyck, Meg Wade and Sloan Walsh.

In the holiday spirit of mixing business with pleasure, the La Cañada Presbyterian Church Parent Education board, ministry support team and staff met at the La Cañada Flintridge home of Ashley Barrett for a year-end Christmas party and joint board/staff meeting.
The evening was filled with good food, fellowship, reflection, planning and prayer in anticipation of the wonderful year ahead.
LCPC Parent Education will host an open house Tuesday through Friday, Jan. 23-26. Parents of children ages infant to 18 may attend a free trial class. In addition to the 14 classes currently running, two new offerings include New Babies and Spiritual Parenting classes. The New Babies class (for babies born 8/1/2017 through early January 2018) will begin the week of Wednesday Jan. 24 from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and will be taught by experienced teacher and mother of seven Nanette Brown. Spiritual Parenting is a six-week evening class offered on Wednesday beginning Jan. 10 and will be facilitated by Paige Dunbar. The purpose of the class is to assist parents in understanding how to incorporate God into their parenting.
LCPC Parent Education’s upcoming fundraiser on Feb. 24 is called “Keep Calm and Bowl On.” It will celebrate Parent Ed’s 39-year legacy and raise money for ongoing programming.
To sign up or try out a free class, visit or call (818) 790-6708, ext. 205. Classes meet weekly September through May and attract approximately 400 participants from 20 cities. La Cañada Presbyterian Church is located at 626 Foothill in La Cañada Flintridge.

LCHS Artists on Display at Library

Photo courtesy Jamie Lewsadder
La Cañada High School art student Trinity Bearden stands beside a drawing that’s among the artwork displayed this month at the La Cañada Public Library.

In conjunction with the Verdugo Hills Arts Association, La Cañada High School 7-12 visual arts classes opened an art show last week at the La Cañada Public Library. The show runs the month of December during regular library hours. Work from eight to 10 students from each of the 7-12 art classes is represented.

Fibromyalgia/Arthritis Support Group Nov. 15

The November monthly meeting of the Fibromyalgia/Arthritis Support Group will take place Wednesday, Nov. 15, from 1-2:15 p.m. The meeting is held at La Cañada Presbyterian Church in the library located next to the sanctuary. People wanting personal and social support, and education in lifestyle management of these difficult medical issues, are welcome.
The support group is led by Dianne Whiting and Katie Phillips-Rector, both of whom have extensive experience working with these medical conditions.
The regular meeting for this group is the fourth Wednesday of every month. However, due to the holidays, the dates for November and December are different. The time and place will remain the same. The following Wednesdays have been scheduled for these meetings: Nov. 15 and Dec. 13.
There is no fee or sign-up for this program and all are welcome to join us. Please email Katie ( or Dianne ( with questions.

Blind Children’s Center Fall Golf Classic Nov. 13

The Blind Children’s Center will host its annual Fall Golf Classic at San Gabriel Country Club on Monday, Nov. 13. Sponsored by the Los Angeles Trial Lawyers’ Charities and hosted by the LAPD Centurions Football team, all proceeds from the tournament will directly support the programs and services at the Blind Children’s Center in Los Angeles. This year’s Fall Golf Classic is chaired by La Cañada Flintridge resident and former board President Greg Grande alongside board member Det. Marc Rojas of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Founded in 1938, the center serves approximately 100 students each year, many from the Pasadena and San Gabriel region, with additional support services to more than 500 family members. Funded entirely by individuals, private foundations and corporate sponsors, all services are provided for free.
The event will begin with morning registration at 8 a.m., followed by 18 holes on the newly renovated San Gabriel course. Afterward, guests can take part in a silent auction and cocktail hour, leading to a gala luncheon celebrating the winners and honoring distinguished guests from the LAPD for their many years of support. The evening will culminate with a live auction featuring one-of-a-kind items, such as last year’s officer-guided helicopter ride over the city, which fetched nearly $8,000.
Tickets are still available: $350 for a full day of golf, food and entertainment; $1,300 per foursome; and $50 to attend the gala luncheon and award ceremony. To reserve, contact Laurie Headley at (323) 664-2153, ext. 2342, or via email at For more information, visit

Local Violinist Set for November Concerts

Violinist Jeanine Wynton, class of 1993 graduate of La Cañada High School and winner of the Les Tupper Award, will return to Pasadena to solo with the Crown City Orchestra on Saturday, Nov. 18, at the Altadena Community Church, 943 E. Altadena Drive, and Sunday, Nov. 19 at the First Baptist Church of Pasadena located at 75 N. Marengo. Both concerts will be at 2 p.m. and are free to the public.
The orchestra will perform Concerto No. 5 in A major for violin by Mozart and “Mozartiana” Suite 34 by Tchaikovsky.
Wynton and cellist Grace Anderson will also be performing at the Second Sunday Concert series sponsored by the Pasadena Public Library and the Tuesday Musicale of Pasadena at the Donald Wright Auditorium, Pasadena Central Library, 285 E. Walnut St., Pasadena on Sunday, Nov. 12 at 2:30 p.m.
Their program will be Sonata in D Major by Boccherini, Duo for Violin and Cello Op.7 by Kodaly and “Passacaglia” by Handel.

Villa de Vida Offers Hope, Housing for Disabled

Photo courtesy Villa de Vida
La Cañada Flintridge residents and Villa de Vida Chairman Dr. Edward “Ted” Merchant, with his family, Betsy, daughter Mollie and son Matt, are shown at a 2015 Villa de Vida fundraiser.

For Pasadena-based nonprofit Villa de Vida and families of those with developmental disorders, hope that springs eternal really can come true.
It began as a question posed by a group of concerned parents from La Cañada Flintridge: What would happen to their children with developmental disabilities when they reach adulthood? What would happen when they, the parents, are no longer able to care for them? The group residences the parents had seen, while few and hard to find, were restrictive, solitary or lonely places that just didn’t fit the happy homes they dreamed of for their children.
Now, over the course of some five years, that discussion has turned into the viable nonprofit organization that has secured exclusive negotiating rights to build a 54-unit residential project for adults with developmental disabilities.
It’s taken a combination of luck, perseverance and an unexplained generosity, say two of the group’s founders, Denise Longo and Dr. Edward “Ted” Merchant, who began the nonprofit over neighborhood coffee talks in La Cañada Flintridge.
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Lighted Window Preschool Hosts Sensory Integration

Lighted Window Preschool is hosting a parent talk series about sensory integration and how it can impact behavior on Sept. 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the preschool.
The discussion, led by occupational therapist Jamie Chaves, will address what sensory integration is and how it can impact emotional regulation and development.
“Sensory information pervades our lives; how our clothes feel, what the air smells like, what the radio is playing, how we navigate a busy room, how we sit upright in a chair, what our food tastes like, how bright the sun seems … to name a few. How do our brains make sense of this constant bombardment of information?” LWP said in its statement. “Discovering the answers to these questions will open a world of understanding for your child and his/her behaviors so you can support your child in the best way possible.”
The discussion costs $20 to the general public, $10 to LWP alumni and is free to LWP families. Tickets may be purchased at LWP is located at 1200 Foothill Blvd.