Wednesday, January 17, 2018

January PAA Newsletter

For those of you who missed our annual meeting today, I’m sending these notes as our newsletter this month.  We had a lovely luncheon with about 50 members and three guests of members. In addition we had three invited guests:
            Debbie Burkholder, Director of Auxiliary Relations
             Malissa Magallanez, Auxiliaries Relations Associate
             And our guest speaker, Shawna Montoya, parent of an LPCH patient

I thanked our hostess at the University Club, Catherine McGilvray , our luncheon organizer Gerry Nelson and our reservations and nametags guru, Dallas Manning. Past presidents were also acknowledged and photographed. Members and guests heard a short summary from me as outgoing president, mostly reported below.

In 2017, we started the year with 162 members and ended with 153.  We were missing some board members all year but despite a reduced number of members and active board members, we did manage to raise enough to make $50,000 for our annual gift despite losing our lucrative American Girl project which has provided the bulk of our gift for several years. Last Spring was slow, as I was disappointed that we did not accomplish a literary based event last year although we spend a lot of time on it. 

In August, the second annual Summer Garden party was popular and a lot of fun. In Nancy L.’s beautiful back yard, we raised $11,900 from the auction of goods, services and events about twice what was made the first year. Many of the popular items like golf games, sports tickets, dinners, wine baskets and mountain cabins were donated by our own members. Now is the time to be thinking of what you can donate for next year’s auction. The proceeds from the Garden Party were given to “Talk, Read Sing.” the literacy program for the very young that was the designated annual charity for all of the auxiliaries.

Restaurants with Heart, started and chaired the first three months of 2017 by Marlene Bollhoffer, was revamped and continued another 7 months by Karen Stevens, Ginny Wilson and myself. It was expanded to three new locations and we introduced job sharing with six new hostesses. We also found a new and enthusiastic coordinator in Nancy Cameron to continue the program which earned a profit of about $11,700.  You can help out by signing up to be a hostess on a day you plan to come and eat. You can also  sign up with Karen Stevens online or by phone for the next RwH dinner at Sultana on January 29th  and 30th.

Our direct donation campaign where I mistakenly said that the requested  NICU recliners also rocked, earned about $6,000 much to my surprise and delight. We added enough from PAA general funds to complete the gift to the NICU.

 Thanks to Sharon Brugos, the Holiday Boutique at Allied Arts raised another $800 in December despite selling only cookbooks, totes, aprons and a few other items. 

A few members under Luisa Pliska’s guidance are continuing to sell cookbooks both by individual orders and to several commercial venues and are down to about the last 240 books. Dallas Manning and Nancy Bronstein and others made and delivered 112 totes to the hospital in December.  Gerry Nelson, her loyal students and other members made and donated 134 bears to the hospital in 2017 .
A huge part of our gift to the hospital comes from the multitude of handmade items by our marvelous Thora’s thimbles ladies and associates. Together they produced about 720 cough pillows, 248 owls and some 200 other items including respirator covers, bags for the Teen Van and Beads of Courage, and knitted blankets. Their collective time spent is over 700 hours. In addition, we have the wonderful seamstress who alone donates over 300 blankets to the NICU. If you would like to join the circle or stuff and sew at home, please see Ellen Smith. 

In addition to the many PAA projects we have several members who also work with the Affiliates, including Packard Pantry, Teen Van, Dec My Room, and Hearts and Hands. Each one of them could use more help.

Former president, Nancy Larsson, announced the upcoming March 4th event: a Fashion Show and Trunk Sale to be held at Allied Arts and in collaboration with AA Guild. She has a great committee of some “older” members and a number of young members , some of them former American Girl mothers, who are organizing this new event. Watch for your invitation coming soon!

I then introduced Mr. Brian Perrone, the Senior Vice President for Development and Administration of the Packard Foundation and ask him to receive our mock-up check for our 2017 cash donation of $50,000. He thanked us and spoke a few minutes about the new hospital and its state of the art design.  Debbie Burkholder also spoke about the value of volunteers and the many physical gifts that PAA produces. 

Then I presented our President Pro-tem for the first trimester of 2018. Currently serving as treasurer, Marilyn Anderson agreed to fill in as president when no one else did. Marilyn spoke briefly on her hopes for creative new ideas and events to start this year. She then introduced our speaker, Shawna Montoya, who told her a stunning account of her child who collapsed at school from an unknown heart defect, was airlifted to Packard,  treated for 3 weeks by a multitude of doctors, nurses and therapists and has made a miraculous and almost complete recovery. Her role as the mother of a severely sick child was fascinating and moving to hear. 

Afterwards, we enjoyed a lovely lunch at the University Club.
Sarah Beetem, 2017 President

Thursday, November 23, 2017

November News

It was great to see all those who came to our November membership meeting held at iTalico Restaurant last week.  We had 26 members which is about a dozen more than when we aren’t having lunch so I conclude that we all like to eat!  We voted on our gift to LPCH for 2017 which should end up at $45,000 if we continue to collect direct donations and dues. This will be presented ceremoniously to the Foundation at our January luncheon.

Monday morning I mailed each member an envelope with the 2018 dues notices and invitations to our membership luncheon on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at the University Club. You will mail two envelopes. The dues check with any changes in address or phone numbers is to be returned to Mary Koeppen and the luncheon reservation and check go to Dallas Manning. Thank you to Catherine McGilvray for the sponsorship at the University Club.

After socializing with a cup of coffee or tea beginning at 9:30 AM, we will have a meeting at 10:30, speaker at 11:30 and lunch at 12.  Our guest speaker will be Shawna  Montoya,  the mother of a small cardiac patient at LPCH.  Her child collapsed at school in Half Moon Bay, arrived at LPCH by helicopter and eventually received a pacemaker. It should be inspiring and informative.

As I mentioned briefly at our November meeting, our board has determined two areas where we might look for some new members. One is “empty nest” mothers who volunteered with their children who have now moved on to college and the second group is “recently retired” women who are used to being busy.  I’m hoping that some of you might invite a friend or neighbor to join us, and the January luncheon seems like a great place to start.  Your guest would hear about last year’s activities and next year’s plans as well as a personal experience of care at LPCH.  If we don’t want to continue to shrink in size perhaps we can all make an effort to include someone new.  If you need a ride to the University Club or can offer one, please contact Sarah.

On our website is a calendar that helps us to coordinate activities and is updated by our corresponding secretary, Mary Anne York. If the ladies who meet for lunch according to their former restaurant day shift (like Monday ladies) would let Mary Anne know of their dates, we could avoid having two activities at once.  Our membership meetings have moved around a bit this year as we try to find what works best for the most members.

Our direct donation drive for the NICU recliners has sparkled this week.  Malissa reported that as of Tuesday, November 21st we have had 31 donors totaling $5175.  Thank you all.  I would like to wind it up by the end of December but of course would never turn down a donation!

Remember to come and shop at the Holiday Boutique at Allied Arts on December 2nd from 10 to 4.  Sharon Brugos and a small team will be selling our cookbooks and some tote bags and few collector dolls that have been donated to us. Last year I saw some small decorated trees made by Allied Arts members and thought they would be a perfect gift for a housebound senior or neighbor. The trees will return this year and will benefit the “Talk, Read, Sing project.”

I am pleased to announce that Nancy Cameron will take on the coordinator position for Restaurants with Heart.  Karen Stevens will continue with Reservations and Accounting and Ginny Wilson with publicity. They will be helped by Audrey, Marlene, Luisa, Erika, Cathy M., Kathy S., and Marilyn.  In November, we held a meeting of all those interested in helping with the program. Nancy C. would like to hear from you if you have restaurants that you’d like to recommend.

RwH can use more hostesses (a one meal time shift obligation and not every month) so if you’d like to volunteer please tell Nancy C. I think that RwH will be in good hands for 2018.  We hope you will join us for lunch or dinner in the New Year.

As no one has come forward to serve as president in 2018, Nancy Larsson has gone with a “president pro tem” program by asking others to serve for a trimester.  Marilyn Anderson has graciously accepted to be Jan 17 to April 30th followed by Kathy Squellati for May to August.  Nancy still needs a third trimester coordinator.  Meanwhile we anticipate fewer meetings and more correspondence by newsletter so be sure to read it to see what is happening.

March will bring an exciting new event to PAA.  Nancy Larsson has a committee working to present a Fashion Show/ Trunk Sale and Tea on Sunday, March  4th at  Allied Arts. It’s a joint venture with AAG and looks to be a lot of fun.  

Happy Holidays to all. Please remember PAA/LPCH for end of the year donations. Please return your January lunch reservations and 2018 dues.  There will not be a December newsletter but we will see you all in January. 


Monday, October 30, 2017

October News

“What a beautiful garden”, was one of the many compliments heard at the annual membership tea held at the home of Marilyn Anderson October 17th. With about 45 to 50 members in attendance, we enjoyed tea or coffee and delicious finger foods designed by Mary Hicks and made by a committee of cooks. 

Grateful thanks to Marilyn and Arden Anderson for hosting us and to their granddaughter and three friends from the PAHS Madrigals group for the songs. Marilyn also did the decorations and centerpieces in black and sunflower yellow. Members of longstanding and former presidents were recognized and our check for the “Talk, Read, Sing” program that was the recipient of the Summer Garden Party was presented to Debbie Burkholder from the Foundation. The warm day and warmer friendships made a very pleasant afternoon. 

This week brought the Auxiliary tour of the new LPCH hospital on Tuesday.  PAA had a great turnout as many of us were curious to see the new facilities.  It’s really charming with lots of child friendly décor and accommodations.  I really like the interior courtyard garden done with native California plants, whimsical local animals and places to play for children that are able to get outside.

Next on the agenda is the Direct Donation Drive sponsored by the PAA Board.  As we’ve had fewer money producing activities this year, we’ve chosen an item from the Holiday Wish List and are hoping to catch some of you that we don’t see regularly. We’ve agreed to donate (as a part of our overall gift) two specialty rocker recliner chairs to the NICU nursery. These are designed for parents of tiny and fragile newborns to hold and gently rock their babies without endangering them. These babies are often attached to tubes and wires that require special handling. Holding babies close to the parents upper chest skin is called “Kangaroo Care” and is considered very beneficial to the smallest patients. 

 As we have several members who work in the NICU or sew for them, this seemed a good fit for PAA. The request will come in the mail next week and we on the board hope for a great response.  The code number on the card allows PAA to receive credit for any contributions.

Our next general meeting will be held on Monday, November 13th at 1 PM in the private room at iTalico Restaurant at 341 California Avenue in Palo Alto.  We’d love to have you come for lunch ($28 check or charge to PAA). If you wish to attend, please sign up for lunch at 12:00 on our website or call Sarah (number in the directory) by November 7th. This is also the location of our Restaurants with Heart dining out for November (lunch or dinner on November 13 and 14th) and the menu is now on line for you to see. 

It’s really important both for this meeting and for all Restaurants with Heart meals to get your reservation in on time.  Late registrations make it very hard for Karen and for the restaurants to accommodate us.  If we want to use popular places, we need to do a better job on reserving early.  If you would like to join us just for coffee only at the meeting time at one PM, please call Sarah. If you are coming for lunch, please respect the reservation deadline.  If you need a ride, please call Sarah. Again this is on a Monday, which seems to be slightly better for more members (and does not conflict with Thora’s Thimbles or Thanksgiving week). It is our last meeting for 2017 so we will vote on the slate and the annual gift. 

The board for 2018 is still missing a president. We’re trying very hard to reduce the number of required activities involved but need someone to be the captain.  Nancy L has some great activities in the works for 2018 and younger members to run them but all may flounder without a captain.  

Restaurants with Heart has gone through several changes this year.  If you have any time to help or ideas to offer, please join us for a meeting at 10 AM on November 7th at Cathy Murphy’s home (see directory). We’ll discuss 2018.

Don’t forget to shop for your favorite holiday things at the Boutique at Allied Arts on December 3rd. Last year they had small decorated trees, perfect for a friend in a nursing home or small apartment.  Sharon B will be in charge of our small table selling cookbooks and tote bags and will phone a few people to help,  but we can all go and shop there. We were always our best customers.  

A final note, the Foundation has announced that Dr. David Alexander, President and CEO of the Foundation will be leaving at the end of the year. He will be starting a new nonprofit organization to raise the priority of children’s health and well-being in our society.  During his ten years here he has been amazingly successful at fundraising for the new hospital. He has achieved many important milestones aimed at helping improve children’s health locally, nationally and globally. Thank you Dr. Alexander!

Happy Thanksgiving but I hope to see you on the 13th and wish you that in person.

Sarah Beetem

Saturday, September 2, 2017

End of Summer PAA Newsletter                                                     September 2, 2017

This has been a very busy as well as very hot last week of summer. Last Saturday was our Second Annual Summer Garden Party at the Larssons’.  We had 74 attendees; about a third of them members, one third relatives of members and a third invited friends. The food and drink were donated by several companies as were some of the auction items.   The silent auction with 43 items made a profit of about $10,000, a big boost to our income this year.  A huge thank you goes to all who contributed either by donating items, making a cash donation or bidding on treasures. 

Dr. Reshma Thadani, a Packard pediatrician, spoke briefly about the program that is the Association of Auxiliaries specific project of the year, “Talk, Read, Sing”. Our earnings from the Garden Party will benefit this early literacy program for 0 to 3 year olds.

We also had Restaurants with Heart this week.  We had a huge turnout for MacArthur Park, 117 diners over the two nights which gives us a profit of over $1800 for one month. MacArthur Park was new to us this year and I enjoyed it and hope you did, too.

At the end of September on the 25th and 26th we will return to Sakura2 Teppanyaki in Redwood City for both lunch and dinner, and in October we will return to CreoLa in San Carlos for dinners only on Tuesday the 24th and Wednesday the 25th.  If you could help out as a hostess, please let me know.

The most important upcoming date is our General Meeting to be held on MONDAY, September 18th at 1 PM at the Foundation office, third floor.  This shakeup of dates was designed to catch some of you who cannot come on Tuesdays but still wish to be actively involved. We will have a speaker from the Child Life Department so I’m hoping for a respectable turnout. Plan to come a few minutes early as there is currently construction on Hamilton Avenue.

At this next General Meeting, I’d like to discuss some of the ways we can help to keep Restaurants with Heart continuing, possible plans for a direct donation drive and a new doll related event that is in the planning stages, probably for November.

Other dates for your calendars:

Our Annual Membership Tea will be held Tuesday, October 17th at the Palo Alto home of our current treasurer, Marilyn Anderson.  Invitations will be mailed out in September. Please respond promptly.

The following week we are invited to tour the new hospital between 3 and 6 PM on Tuesday, October 24th. This tour is specifically for auxiliary members, but if you can’t make it, there are public tours the following weekend. Be sure to see the Waiting Room that the auxiliaries funded over five years.

It’s the same day as our October Restaurants with Heart so why not tour the hospital and then go on to dinner?

See you soon,

Sunday, July 30, 2017

July Newsletter

Dear Members,

After two vacations with various children and grandchildren I’m back at work on upcoming PAA events. We have a busy schedule for the second half of 2017.

The next event is the Second Annual Summer Garden Party which will be held on August 26th.  Last year we had about 60 people and enjoyed a beautiful warm summer evening in a lovely backyard.  We hope to duplicate and enlarge on the idea of a party with  food and drinks but dedicated to raising funds for the Association of Auxiliaries special project this year, “Talk, Read, Sing”.  Last year we raised about $6000 from the silent auction and we hope to do even better by increasing from 60 to 80 or more guests and also giving people the chance to make direct donations  (especially if you don’t need any more stuff.) We’ll even have a raffle for those who make a direct donation that night. Contact Sarah privately for more information.

If you need a ride or can offer another member a ride, please let me know. Some of our members don’t drive after dark.

The most popular auction items are vacation homes, sporting events, theater or dinner tickets and personal services. We would love to have more of these to offer as well as special beverages and unique items to add to our themed baskets. Good items in the auction help boost our attendance! I can take your donations until the 17th or even later but please let me know what’s coming. If you need to have anything picked up, please call me by the 17th. 

Another recent event this past week was the Restaurants with Heart Luncheon at the Blue Garden Café at Allied Arts. Despite some problems with delays and orders, we had a good turnout and the gardens were beautiful. Blue Garden gave us all of their walk-ins which helped make it a strong financial success for PAA, despite only serving lunch. Thanks to all who helped, especially Karen and Bob Stevens and Ginny Wilson.

In August on the 28th and 29th, we will visit MacArthur Park in Palo Alto for dinner only.  Please see our website for details. Did you know that the famous woman architect Julia Morgan designed the building which opened in 1918? Eating in an historical landmark is enough for me to want to come, let alone the wonderful menu including BBQ and Mud Pie.

Of course, the Restaurants with Heart project can always use more help. Let me know if you are willing to be a hostess or to coordinate a month or do one of the smaller jobs needed each month.

Mark your calendars for our next general meeting on MONDAY, September 18th at the Foundation office at 1 PM. We decided to try a Monday to allow some of those who always are busy on Tuesdays to join us.  We’ll see if it works.  We plan to have a speaker but remember to bring toiletries, and new or used books for children if you can.

Also save the date for our tour of the new hospital on Tuesday, October 24th. More information will be available at our September meeting. 

Other auxiliaries are busy, too but Charter has had to close due to road construction so don’t take them contributions at the moment.

I hope to see many of you in August on the 26th or at RWH on the 28th or 29th and many in September on the 18th also.

Sarah Beetem
PAA President

Friday, June 16, 2017

June 2017 Newsletter

Dear Members,

Rather than the usual June gloom, I woke today to a beautiful sunny morning and hope that you did, too. Our back garden has blossomed with the petunias, lavenders and gladiolas all in majestic purples.

Our June general membership meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday, June 20th and I’m hoping to see all of you in attendance.  We will meet at the Woodside Village Church, 3154 Woodside Road at 1 PM.  We have a member’s daughter, Melissa Anderson, speaking about working with parents of diabetic children at LPCH as well as some brainstorming groups on our various activities and the regular business meeting.

Parking is easy in the school lot across the road so we don’t have to worry about downtown time limits.  Our hostess Erika Crowley reminds us to bring toiletries for the Teen Van and vases for Random Acts of Flowers. In addition, we’d like to see items for the summer garden party auction.  Last year, we combined smaller items into theme baskets so a new item of nearly any sort is welcomed. Some we used last year were wine goblets, fancy plates, kitchen linens and tools, pet treats, new garden tools, favorite wines and so on.  The biggest selling items were vacation homes and event tickets. We also love services, hair salons, nails or massages.  If you later find items to donate, I could pick them up but this is our only general meeting before the party on August 26th.

Our next event after Tuesday is the Restaurants with Heart lunches and dinners at Italico, a new Italian restaurant on California Avenue in Palo Alto on Monday and Tuesday, June 26th and 27th. That’s next week, so if you haven’t made your reservation yet please do so online today or see Karen at the meeting.  Karen Stevens and I have put in many hours getting three new restaurants set up for this summer, rewriting the pamphlet that we give to them and finding hostesses to help out.  Ginny Wilson has done new flyer designs and sent out emails to members and patrons.  In July we will visit the Blue Garden Café in Allied Arts, Menlo Park for lunch only on July 24 and 25 and in August we will go to MacArthur Park in Palo Alto for dinners on August 28 and 29 so mark your calendars now. We’d love to have a good turnout to show our new restaurants that we value their help in raising funds for LPCH. In the fall we will return to three favorites from prior years.

We have had several changes to our roster. Two members resigned, Katie Liniger and Emily Lim-Lucas, both have young daughters with whom they do other charitable activities.  Two members have died recently, Malkah Carothers and Carol Holmes. Memorial donations from PAA will be sent to LPCH.

From other auxiliaries: Charter‘s rummage sales continue bi-weekly on July 7 and 8 and July 21 and 22 (Big Sale and Christmas in July!). Donations are welcomed on Tuesdays and Saturdays except July 4.  Allied Arts will host a Children’s Garden Tour on Wednesday July 19th for 7 to 12 year olds. Please see for more information.

See you on Tuesday,

Sarah Beetem


Saturday, May 20, 2017

May Newsletter

Dear Members:

Spring is flying by faster than I can keep up with. I’ve been working with Karen Stevens and others to get Restaurants with Heart back on its feet.  We are delighted to be offering lunch or dinner at Kabul Afghan Cuisine in San Carlos next Monday and Tuesday and hope that you have all signed up or will very soon. It’s a week earlier than usual due to Memorial Day.  Karen handles the reservations or you can see the menu and make reservations on our website if you do it today. It’s a fun and colorful place to eat and easily accessible from 101.

Our next general meeting will be held Tuesday, June 20th at 1 PM at the Woodside Village Church in Woodside. We hope to see a good turnout of members and Erika has promised that parking is easier than at the Foundation so please call a friend to come with you and come.

We need everyone’s help to arrange and carry out PAA plans and activities for the rest of this year. In an effort to make PAA more workable, we have cut back on the number of meetings but that means that members need to make a greater effort to attend the ones we have. We had a fascinating speaker in March but only 1/10 of our members came to hear her.  If you would like to come but need a ride, please call me.

Our second annual garden party will be held August 26th and we are looking for donations for the auction. If you have items, please bring them to the June meeting. Remember that we can combine items; for example some lovely wine goblets paired with a bottle or two make a fun basket. For a popular gift, ask your favorite shop or service for a gift certificate.
Are you using Amazon Smile when you order from Amazon? We get a small percentage of every order. Just go through Amazon Smile (your regular account will be there and designate Palo Alsot Auxiliary for Children Inc . as your charity. Every bit helps!

There was a recent article with pictures in the Mercury News about the progress of the LPCH hospital. You can see it at

News from other auxiliaries include Charter Sales on May 19 /20 and June 2/3 and the Game Day sponsored by  San Mateo-Burlingame on June 14th.

Please watch for more news of the summer Restaurants with Heart as we hope to have some new venues.

See you on June 20th or sooner.