Contemporary History Makers Gala Set for Nov. 10

Five extraordinary individuals will join the roster of Contemporary History Makers this fall as Pasadena Museum of History celebrates 2018 honorees John and Ginny Cushman, Judy Wilson, and Bill and Judy Opel at a Black Tie Gala Dinner at the California Club in Los Angeles on Saturday, Nov. 10.
Proceeds from the event benefit PMH’s educational programs.
The event begins at 6:30 p.m. with a cocktail reception and silent auction. Fine dining and the program portion of the evening being at 7:30 p.m. Bill and Carol Thomson are the event chairs.
Tickets start at $400; sponsorship opportunities are available. To request a patron packet or an invitation, call (626) 577-1660, ext. 19 or email development@pasadenahistory.org
About the 2018 honorees:
Each year the Museum honors select individuals, businesses or corporations whose civic passion, innovative design or charitable interests continue to shape Pasadena’s unique and rich heritage. The Contemporary History Maker Award was inaugurated in 2000; for a complete list of past honorees, visit the PMH website at pasadenahistory.org.
• John Cushman practiced law for 50 years, primarily in Pasadena. During this time, he was active in many nonprofit organizations, including Rotary, the PCC Foundation, Huntington Memorial Research Institutes, the Gooden Center, Police Foundation, the YMCA, Breakfast Forum, and the Twilight Club, serving as president/chair of each. He also served on the board of PMH’s predecessor, the Pasadena Historical Society Board and is retired as an honorary director of Pasadena Tournament of Roses.
• Ginny Cushman taught elementary school and was a part-time music teacher. In the volunteer sector, she has held multiple chairs with the Pasadena Junior Philharmonic. She served as Affiliates chair and member of the board of trustees of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, conference chair and president of Association of Major Symphony Orchestra Volunteers, president of the Alumni Association at Occidental College and member of the board of trustees, where she became the first woman chair. She is now chair emeritus.
• Judy Wilson was the assistant city manager of Pasadena, deputy executive director of the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission, executive officer of L.A. Metro, director of sanitation for the city of Los Angeles, and director of development for the Pasadena Community Foundation. She has been a member of the Junior League of Pasadena, president of the boards of Pasadena Museum of History and Mothers Club Family Learning Center, and a trustee at Descanso Gardens. Wilson is on the board of the Professional Child Development Associates and an active member of the San Marino League and the Pasadena Festival of Women Authors Committee.
• Dr. William (Bill) Opel is president emeritus of the Huntington Medical Research Institutes. He began his career with Pasadena Foundation for Medical Research working on pioneering studies growing human cells in tissue culture, assessing radiation effects on the nervous system for the USAF in preparation for manned space flight and participating in the first use of lasers in medicine. He subsequently worked to integrate separate Pasadena institutions working in medical research into the multifaceted campus at Huntington Memorial Hospital. He retired from HMRI in 2015 after 53 years of service, with 40 of those years as director and president.
• Judy Opel’s career has been as an educator, volunteer and helpmate for Bill in building HMRI’s programs and relationships with the community. She taught 4th grade in public and private schools and taught GED students at Los Angeles County’s Sybil Brand women’s jail. As a community volunteer, she has been active with the Arboretum and Girl Scouts. She played a critical role in widening community support and recruiting stellar new medical staff to HMRI.

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