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The Valley Line: Late spring is a great time for benefit parties

June 16, 2012|By Jane Napier Neely
  • Pam MacDonald, from left, Sheree Butts and Mary Anne Lantieri, all members of Los Altos Auxiliary, enjoy the wine tasting party.
Pam MacDonald, from left, Sheree Butts and Mary Anne Lantieri,… (Photo courtesy…)

Just in case you haven't been ticking off the days on the calendar, it is still spring. Perhaps that is why we have been experiencing “June gloom” off and on.

The summer solstice is on June 21. Just in case you are looking for something exciting to do and want to get out of town, there is a Solstice Day parade in Santa Barbara on Saturday, June 23.

I have been to this event several times and I've always enjoyed this colorful and fun parade of costumed people and even more multi-hued, quirky floats. It is a lively Santa Barbara original. I enjoy fantasy and always like to get into the spirit of things, so I've always worn a circle of flowers in my hair when attending the parade. It just seemed the right thing to do.


This is a good time to catch up on late-spring benefit parties, so here goes.

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More than 600 USC Trojan ladies and gentlemen, dressed in luncheon finery, turned out to raise funds for University of Southern California scholars at the Town and Gown of USC annual luncheon and fashion show.

La Cañadans Carol Mollett, Kandi Wopschall and Bernice Christensen were on the fundraising committee. Carol is the incoming president of this prestigious organization that was founded 108 years ago.

This year Town and Gown will offer more than 175 merit-based tuition scholarships — totaling close to $1.3 million — to deserving incoming freshmen and current undergraduate and graduate students.

Guests first gathered in the grand foyer of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to check in and to peruse silent-auction tables and boutiques. They were then led to the stairway by the USC “Spirit of Troy” marching band, conducted by Dr. Arthur C. Bartner.

These fine musicians were quite impressive as they stood on the mirrored stairs of the Eva and Marc Stern Grand Hall to urge Trojans to remember exactly why they were here — to raise funds for scholars.

As everyone was seated, Judy Pohlmann, current president of Town and Gown, stepped to the podium to introduce USC president C.L. “Max” Nikias, who in turn lauded Town and Gown for their work in raising funds for scholars. He also was very proud to introduce his wife, Niki — the “first lady” of USC.

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