Las Candelas Celebrates 65 Years of Helping Vulnerable Youth

Published : Wednesday, June 13, 2018 | 6:06 PM

Members of Las Candelas, a Montrose-based organization of women who have been providing volunteer service and financial assistance to youth in vulnerable situations in the Pasadena area for over 60 years, recently celebrated their 65th anniversary at the Oakmont Country Club in Glendale, as it welcomes this year a new board of directors.

Las Candelas was organized in 1953. The group’s beginning could be traced to several women from the Glendale area who banded together to support a friend with a daughter at Camarillo State Mental Hospital. They would accompany their friend when she visited the hospital, and since then have become aware of the plight of children residing in the institution.

The experience motivated them to act and help these “forgotten children,” some of whom have had no one to visit them. They started hosting holiday parties for the children of Camarillo, and even after the institution in 1997, Las Candelas continued to provide support for vulnerable children and young mental patients.

Today, Las Candelas members volunteer to spend time with children at Hillsides Education Center in Pasadena, Hathaway-Sycamores Family Service in Altadena, and Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services in Glendale. The group also provides financial support for youth-oriented programs at Ascencia and YWCA-Domestic Violence Shelter in Glendale, and Hillsides’ Youth Moving On.

Aside from the financial support, Las Candelas members provide monthly programs and year-end parties for Hillsides and Hathaway-Sycamores and serves meals to the homeless at Ascencia.

The organization raises funds by holding a biennial luncheon-fashion-show event. The next fashion show will be held on March 4, 2019.

This September, La Crescenta resident Nancy Stone is taking on the role of the club’s president. Other new officers installed include First Vice President Joan Campbell, Second Vice Presidents Rosina Maize and Karen Swan, Third Vice Presidents Lynne Naeve and Ann Jones, Fourth Vice Presidents Monica Sierra and Patricia Aleman, Fifth Vice Presidents Jeri Benton Clark and Margaret Cline, and Sixth Vice Presidents JC Byer and Pattie McCormick.

Also serving on next year’s board are Corresponding Secretary Diane Russell, Treasurer Ginny Simpson, Philanthropy Treasurer Patti Baker and Parliamentarian Ellyn Semler.

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