Pasadena Community Foundation announces annual grant recipients

The Pasadena Community Foundation has announced its 2017 Yes, Virginia Fund grant recipients. Established in 1994, the Yes, Virginia Fund has raised money to support children at the holidays in the Pasadena area, and has awarded nearly $300,000 to local nonprofits in Pasadena that host holiday parties and purchase gifts for needy children.

The fund was named after the famous 1897 New York Sun editorial by editor Frank Church, who replied “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” to an 8-year-old girl named Virginia O’Hanlon who asked him if Santa existed. The PCF’s Yes, Virginia Committee hosted the 4th annual Classy and Sassy Boutique & Luncheon at the Altadena Town & Country Club to raise money for the fund and granted money to the following 12 organizations:

Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena, ChapCare, Door of Hope, Elizabeth House, Flintridge Center, Friends Outside in LA County, Harambee Ministries, Impact House, Pasadena Altadena Community Endowment Fund – LINKS Mentoring, Families Forward Learning Center, Professional Child Development Associates,  and Treasure Little Children.

Those wishing to donate to the PCF can visit pasadenacf.org/funds/friends-fellows-donation/.


Tobinworld kids receive early Christmas gifts

Christmas came early for the autistic and special needs youth at Glendale’s Tobinworld school, located at 920 E. Broadway, when a special toy drive and distribution was held on Dec. 13. Nearly 300 youth at the K-12 school received toys, games, puzzles, books, stuffed animals, clothing and gifts.

The drive was organized by Margie Vong and Patrick Caudle, owners of Pasadena Strength & Conditioning Gym in Pasadena. The Tobinwood school is in its 40th year, and is a nonprofit school providing specialized behavioral education and treatment to children and young adults who have been classified as severely emotionally disturbed, autistic or developmentally disabled.  .

Vong has a special reason for giving to children at Christmas, rooted in her own childhood memories of Christmas 1979 as the defining moment of her life. On that day, the then-4-year-old and her family of nine arrived at LAX along with 21 other family members and discovered the joy of Christmas when they were taken in by friendly monks. Thus, she has participated in toy drives and giveaways throughout her four years of owning Pasadena Strength & Conditioning Gym, located at 2176 E. Colorado Blvd.


Tournament of Roses Court joins Rose Queen in answering visitors’ questions during New Year’s weekend

Pasadena plays host to hundreds of thousands of visitors each year during New Year’s Eve weekend, prior to the powerhouse combo of the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game, both held on New Year’s Day. Those visitors will receive extra-special help from the Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau’s 34th Annual Visitor Hotline starting at 9 a.m. Dec. 29.

The 2018 Rose Queen, Isabella Marie Marez, and her Royal Court will cut the ribbon commemorating the start of the annual hotline. They will then briefly staff the phones, assisting incoming guests for the 129th Rose Parade and 104th Rose Bowl Game.

From Dec. 29-Jan. 1, the bureau will enlist local volunteers from the community to provide information about the parade, the game, all parade and game-day activities, accommodations, dining, directions and other holiday-related events.

Along with the 100th Rose Queen Isabella Marie Marez, the seven-member 2018 Royal Court includes Alexandra Marie Artura, Savannah Rose Bradley, Lauren Elizabeth Buehner, Georgia Jane Cervenka, Julianne Elise Laurenstein and Sydney Grace Pickering. n