The Valley Line: A fun and profitable night for Five Acres

Fundraiser hauls in nearly $150,000 to support Altadena nonprofit.

June 22, 2011|By Jane Napier Neely
  • Carole Swemline (from left), Dr. Ricki Robinson and Star deRose enjoy the Five Acres benefit on June 11 at the San Gabriel Country Club. (Photo courtesy of Five Acres)
Carole Swemline (from left), Dr. Ricki Robinson and Star…

Bob and Gregg Smith graciously accepted the accolades given to them when they were honored for their generosity and support of Five Acres and their efforts to prevent child abuse and neglect. Five Acres serves more than 4,500 children and their family members every year.

The benefit, held June 11 at the San Gabriel Country Club, raised nearly $150,000 for the 123-year-old Altadena-based agency.

Lorraine Reaume and Cathy Weber were the chairs of the fun and lively party, which was themed, “Eastside Boardwalk.”

The invitation read, “Slip back in time to Atlantic City at the dawn of Prohibition, where you can sip on bubbly and enjoy an open bar, carnival games, a premium silent auction and an exclusive wine wall presented by redwhite+bluezz.”

Many of the guests got into the ambience of the evening by wearing garb from the 1920s. Some of the ladies wore beaded “flapper” dresses with pearls cascading to their hemlines. Others added pretty feathered cloche hats to complete their ensembles. Fedora hats were popular with the men, as were spats.


As guests entered the garden party, they were served champagne cocktails. Boardwalk carnival games saw a lot of action, especially the “Strong Man High Striker” game, as players tried to ring the bell to show how strong they were. Not only the men tested their strength, but the ladies, too. Another popular attraction was a horse-race game.

As people chatted and sipped their cocktails, they nibbled on hors d'oeuvres as well as carnival favorites such as kettle corn, parmesan popcorn and cotton candy.

I had a nice chat with La Cañadans Carole Swemline and Dr. Ricki Robinson. Carole, a past La Cañada Junior Women’s Club president, talked about how the club has chosen Five Acres to receive philanthropy money.

Ricki, who has cared for La Canada’s youngsters for years as a pediatrician as co-director of Descanso Medical Center for Development and Learning and who is a professor at USC School of Medicine, was telling me about her newly published book, “Autism Solutions – How to Create a Healthy and Meaningful Life for Your Child.”

When the dinner gong sounded, guests were seated at beautifully decorated tables that were set up on the first green of the historic country club.

Lorraine and Kathy welcomed the 220 guests, as well as board chair Tom Haralambos and Bob Ketch, executive director and CEO, respectively, of Five Acres.

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