The weekend of 9.10.11 offered chance for residents to learn more about their community, get some great deals and lend a hand.
By Maddy PUMILIA
The residents of 91011 found plenty to celebrate the weekend of 9.10.11, with a party at Memorial Park on Friday and open houses on Saturday.
“It was great,” 9.10.11 coordinator Todd Andrews said. “All weekend long, people were telling me how great Friday was and how it continued [into] the next day.”
About 400 people attended Memorial Park festivities on Friday for a night of music. The La Cañada High School band the Untouchables started the evening off, followed by La Cañada’s own light rock band Misplaced Priorities, and finally The Trip played rock music until 9:30 a.m. For the hungry, there were also food trucks, and Andrews called their presence “successful.” People sometimes had to wait 45 minutes for food, which allowed them to mingle and talk.
On Saturday, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Descanso Gardens, Verdugo Hills Hospital, Crescenta-Cañada Family YMCA, La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association, Lanterman House, Assistance League of Flintridge, the La Cañada Thursday Club and the Flintridge Riding Club hosted open houses.
At Verdugo Hills Hospital (VHH), locals could see all of the latest hospital technology. There were eight booths where different hospital personnel explained the purpose of each technology.
“We decided to showcase the latest achievements and the new qualities the hospital is displaying,” said Paul Celuch, vice president of VHH Human Resources and Support Services.
One of the displays was the hospital’s Computer on Wheels. The computer has a finger sensor that prevents unauthorized users from gaining access. A doctor can view a patient’s chart digitally by scanning a bar code on the patient’s wristband.
Another demonstration was a machine that taught people how to maintain their balance to minimize the risk of falling. It was similar to the Wii Fit game where a person tries to balance his or her weight in order to hit a target.
Another popular open house was Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
“JPL is just incredible,” Andrews said. JPL opened all of its space exhibits at von Karman Visitor Center from 10 a.m. until noon.
At the Crescenta-Cañada YMCA, the welcome mat was out.
“We’re opening the facility to all 91011 residents [for free] who aren’t members,” YMCA Membership Coordinator Jackie Shaumyan said. “We want people in this neighborhood to know they can come here. We’re part of this community.”
The YMCA hadn’t seen much traffic in the morning, but expected more later in the day.
Visitors to the La Cañada Women’s Club received not only a tour but free cookies and brownies. “We want to show people around the club to show them what a beautiful clubhouse we have,” said member Gail Merchant. The club is known for distributing college scholarships.
“[My favorite part of being a member of the club] is to just get to know women of all ages … all stages of life. It’s nice to do that … the great community feel,” Merchant said.
The La Cañada Women’s Jr. Club was also at the Thursday Club. The club works primarily with children’s charities. They meet at the Thursday Club, 4440 Woodleigh Lane, on the third Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m.
In addition to open houses, residents also had the opportunity to volunteer at organizations throughout the city. More than 50 people volunteered for trail maintenance with the La Cañada Flintridge Trails Council from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Saturday. Other volunteer opportunities were at La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association and along Foothill Boulevard folks took part in lavender trimming with La Cañada Valley Beautiful.
There was also a ceramic bowl decoration for the Empty Bowls project at the Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge. On Nov. 12, people will buy the bowls and fill them with soup donated by local restaurants. The proceeds go to ECPAC Friends in Deed Food Pantry, Bailey Human Care Center at Tujunga UMC and Christians Concerned for Burma. For more information, visit www.cvemptybowls.org.
“I’m happy I’m doing something to help other people,” said 8-year-old Amelia Seropian who was at the Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge.
Andrews reported that the turnout at the open houses and the volunteer work surpassed what was expected.
As a memento of the special weekend, at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday residents had the option of bringing their mail to get a special postmark. People lined up from 9 a.m. until after noon to get their mail hand stamped. The postmark had the 9.10.11 logo on the right and a circle that said “La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011” and a smaller circle that said “9.10.11 Celebration.” Station.”