By Ruth Sowby
Guests at the Dancing with Diamonds gala rocked the night away on Friday at the Glendale Educational Foundation’s annual ball. Representing the diamond theme, two half-carat diamond rings were given to drawing winners, who purchased champagne flutes for a chance to win.
But the three Hope Diamond awardees, all having graduated from a Glendale high school, were the most sparkling diamonds of the evening.
At the Glendale Hilton, some 400 guests gathered to honor Hoover High School 1938 graduate Paul R. Ignatius, Crescenta Valley High School 1974 graduate Ron DePompa and Hoover High School 2003 graduate Shant Sahakian.
Eric Hamilton, foundation vice president and master of ceremonies, welcomed his audience and introduced Foundation President Lynn Miyamoto, who began her remarks by announcing that the foundation has contributed $3 million to Glendale Schools.
“Save the Music” is the foundation’s primary project for 2014. Members hope to raise $150,000 to place musical instruments in every Glendale elementary school. The ball’s proceeds are earmarked for the project.
Also taking part in the evening’s program were Dick Sheehan, superintendent of Glendale Unified School District, and Nayiri Nahabedian, school board president.
The high point of the night came when the three honorees were presented Hope Diamond awards by Odette Kahwajian, chairperson of the Diamond Awards Committee.
Ignatius is a retired secretary of the U.S. Navy, serving from 1967 to 1969. He was also president of the Washington Post. The news that one of the next two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers will be named the “USS Paul Ignatius” brought a standing ovation.
DePompa recently retired after working in the Glendale Police Department for 36 years, most recently as police chief. He attended Glendale Community College, where he teaches criminal justice. Retirement will give DePompa more time for his family and coaching girls in Junior Olympic fast-pitch softball.
Youngest honoree Sahakian founded Sedna Solutions at age 14. Today, Sedna Solutions is a leading marketing and design firm. His clients include several Glendale businesses.
The program came to an end with the drawing for the diamonds, courtesy of Kahwajian’s Orphan Jewel. The two lucky winners of the vintage-inspired diamond rings were Pasadena resident Stephanie Pescatore and Glendale community volunteer Miryam Finkelberg.
Kudos must be given to Susan Hunt, executive director of the foundation, who spent much more time behind the scenes than in front, never taking credit for an evening that went off without a hitch.
Source: Glendale News-Press