Dusting Off My Dancing Shoes
A highly anticipated event – at least for me – is the annual Dancing with Diamonds gala that this year takes place on Friday, Feb. 8 at the Glendale Hilton (formerly the Red Lion, where I used to work, but that’s an article for another day).
The fundraiser is hosted by the Glendale Educational Foundation and celebrates the accomplishments of three graduates of the Glendale Unified School District.
This year, the Distinguished Achievement in the Arts award is being presented to Emmy Award winner Patrick McClenahan, Hoover High School class of 1976; the Distinguished Achievement in Science and Technology award is being given to university professor in the area of paleontology Dr. Donald Prothero, Glendale High School class of 1972; and for Distinguished Achievement in Health & Fitness, Paul Fejtek, Hoover High School class of 1988, is being recognized.
The Glendale Educational Foundation provides support – including financial support – to Glendale Unified School District students and staff in the areas of visual and performing arts, health and fitness, and science and technology. The current emphasis, Save the Music, will fund instrumental music programs in the elementary schools, and seeks to raise $500,000 this school year.
The Dancing with Diamonds event is special to me for a couple of reasons. The first time I attended was in February 2010. The weather was bleak with rain-heavy clouds just beginning to unleash their fury. That was the weekend of the great flood that carried utility poles and automobiles down Ocean View Boulevard. I remember talking to Mary O’Keefe as I was heading to the event as the rain was beginning to fall. She said she was going to wait up until the rain passed. She ended up not sleeping for almost 24 hours.
Another reason the Dancing with Diamonds event is special is because it’s a very heart warming affair. Hearing the accomplishments of the awardees is humbling and at the same time fills you with a sense of pride.
And in addition to the speeches, there is a wonderful reception, dinner and dancing.
You might not know it from looking at me now, but I used to be quite the dancer. Nothing pro, mind you, but I did grow up in the disco era and could often be found on the dance floor at the under 21 club, the Sugar Shack, out in the Valley during the ’70s. My boyfriend at the time and I also started our own mobile music company and would play functions around the southland. Ah, the memories of teaching a roomful of folks the Time Warp.
The Dancing with Diamonds event always has great music – the last couple of years featured the band Bob’s Yer Uncle and my feet are tapping at the memory. So don’t be surprised if you can’t immediately find me at my table at the Hilton on Friday night – I’ll most likely be on the dance floor.
And who knows? Maybe I’ll have the chance to do the Time Warp.