La Cañada Flintridge Orthopaedic Guild (LCFOG) will hold its annual fundraiser on Oct. 25 to benefit Orthopaedic Institute for Children (OIC). The Book and Author Luncheon will be held at Angeles National Golf Club, 9401 Foothill Blvd. in Sunland and will celebrate 59 years of caring and dedication to OIC, formerly known as Orthopaedic Hospital.
LCFOG supports OIC through its yearly luncheon and by volunteering at the facility on the downtown campus. Several members volunteer in It’s a Bargain thrift shop, others donate time in the downtown offices and many attend, supervise and help out at the holiday parties for children held during the year.
At the luncheon author John Kralik will share his inspirational tale. Born in Cleveland, Ohio he attended the University of Michigan with an eye on law school and became a partner in a law firm. At age 53 he found himself at a frightening low point in his life. His small law firm was failing. He was distanced from two of his children and afraid the same might happen with his third. He was overweight and his girlfriend had just broken up with him. His dreams of upholding idealistic legal practices and becoming a judge seemed out of reach. One New Year’s Day, Kralik recalled that he was on a walk and, upon introspection, realized his life might become more tolerable if he could learn to focus on what he did have to be grateful for instead of focusing on how much he did not have. Inspired by a thank you note he had received, he began to hand write thank you notes to people for their gifts or kindnesses. His life began to turn around. Now a judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court, he has written a memoir – “365 Thank Yous” – about how a simple act of changed his life.
Author and illustrator Frans Vischer is returning to the Book and Author Luncheon having spoken in 2014. He will share the latest adventures of “Fuddles,” the 16-pound pampered fat cat.
It seems Fuddles has a new playmate that could be a problem for the pampered one. Vischer grew up in Holland, playing soccor and drawing on rainy afternoons and, with his family, immigrated to the United States when he was 11. At a local junior college event he met the legendary cartoon director Chuck Jones. Vischer sent him one of his animated films and, based on Jones’ recommendation, was accepted at California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. Later employed by the Walt Disney Company, he worked on the films “The Princess and The Frog,” “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” “Cats Don’t Dance” and “The Road to El Dorado.” He is still a soccer fan and coaches his kids’ teams and plays pick-up games with friends.
Observing and sketching his kids and telling bedtime stories produced a wealth of ideas for new projects. He says he enjoys drawing as well as speaking, even at the same time. And he will do that at the Book and Author Luncheon. His drawing will later be auctioned off. Two of Vischer’s books will be sold at the luncheon.
Michael Sullivan, vice president and chief philanthropy officer of OIC, will introduce this year’s luncheon speaker As’ad Kashim, a 10-year-old boy from Nigeria. As’ad was born with cerebral palsy, a condition marked by impaired muscle coordination and other impairments. He could only squat like a baseball catcher and hobble about. His mother searched through many countries for someone who could help her son walk. A family member in the U.S. suggested OIC and the family began their “journey of faith” to America. His story is one not to be missed.
The Book and Author Luncheon is by invitation. Those who would like to be included on the list can contact Joan Cleven at (818) 249-4603 or Marianne Jennings at (818) 249-5443 and request an invitation be sent.