President John F. Kennedy called change “the law of life.”
“Those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future,” Kennedy added.
This month is one in which La Providencia Guild of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, a support group that over the past 76 years has helped change the lives of countless children and their families, is experiencing change that will see its members continue their work well into the future.
The month began with guild members gathering at the Burbank Elks Lodge to witness the swearing in of the new officers who will lead them through this year. The month will end with the guild proudly cutting the ribbon on its newly remodeled thrift shop, which generates the lion’s share of funding that the group passes on to the pediatric medical facility.
On March 4, the guild’s presidential gavel was passed from Jill Kessler to Nancy Wiggins during the annual installation luncheon, which included status reports to the full membership from each of the committee chairwomen and a remembrance of longtime guild member and former President Doris Palmer, who died on Feb. 15.
Wiggins, whose presidential theme will be based on her belief that “possibilities are endless,” will be assisted in her work by her 2023-24 officers: First Vice President Ann O’Donnell-Gardner, Second Vice President Glenda Jones, Secretary Janice Schafer, Treasurer Carrie McCoy, and Teresa Garcia, who will handle the organization’s public relations.
Before past guild President Veronica Chavoor administered the oath of office to the newly seated officials, the assemblage welcomed the afternoon’s special guest, Bonnie McClure, who serves as CHLA’s chairwoman of associates and affiliates.
McClure thanked the guild members for all they have done over the years and for their continued work in funding the positions of Dr. Jennifer Raymond, who serves as the associates chair in endocrinology at CHLA, and Dr. Yuri Genyk, associates chair of transplant surgery.
Along with offering gratitude for the guild’s work, McClure also expressed excitement over the major changes the group took on this past year in renovating the thrift shop.
The Northwest District thrift shop has been closed for weeks as painting, new flooring and the configuration of a unique and more efficient layout is constructed.
“The changes we are making will improve the sight lines of the shop and incorporate a more functional design for both our customers and the guild volunteers who manage the shop,” said outgoing President Kessler.
The renovations are being done under the direction of Martin Vallejo, who is not only taking the lead on the project but will also design the shop’s window for the grand reopening that will take place in concert with the Burbank Chamber of Commerce on Friday, March 31.
According to Jones, who has played a vital role in the changes, the renovated shop located at 3301 W. Burbank Blvd. — at California Street — will reopen under a new name: Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Boutique.
In Jones’ capacity as the project’s chair, her team has included Wiggins, Chavoor, DeeDee Rowlands, Donna Sagona-Salant, Rebecca Granite-Johnson and Desi Galvez.
“We are very excited to have Martin Vallejo on board,” said Jones. “He is the art director for ‘The Jennifer Hudson Show,’ which is shot on the Warner Bros. lot, and is also an interior designer for Studio Radford. He has an extremely impressive resume and diverse experience that includes his work as a visual merchandiser and window designer for various prestigious retail locations in Beverly Hills.”
The Children’s Hospital Los Angeles thrift shop, established in 1947, offers a wide variety of gently used items ranging from seasonal items, clothing and jewelry to memorabilia, household goods and furniture.
Since the shop’s opening, it has become a staple for both Burbankers and those from surrounding communities who are on the search for great deals, treasures and unique finds for which the proceeds benefit CHLA.
David Laurell may be reached at email@example.com or (818) 563-1007.
First published in the March 18 print issue of the Burbank Leader.