Wednesday, November 25, 2015

November 2015 Newsletter

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Palo Alto Auxiliary year is coming to a close, and we have a lot to be thankful for!

The Membership Tea was a wonderful afternoon of friendship, memories, celebration and wonderful treats! Thanks to Mary Hicks, Stephanie Beach and their amazing committee!

Restaurants With Heart’s year is now successfully complete… with $13,000 profit and many satisfied diners! Thanks to the hard work and perseverance of chairperson Marlene Bollhoffer and her committee, this was another great year! RwH restaurateurs are lining up to take a tour of the hospital this Spring. Always wonderful to see where one’s donations go.

The American Girl Fashion Show was a success! We have to admit that we had our doubts along the way…our ticket sales were at our lowest, our souvenir sales dented by having the American Girl Store in our backyard, BUT we made the most dollars per patron of any of our previous eleven years…adding the Doll Hair Salon (Thank You Paul Mitchell Salon!), Walk the Runway and pumping up the “glam” of our raffle prizes helped dramatically. Including unsold merchandise, our profit will be about $35,000.

Due to the generosity of our members, all 45 of the girls from Operation Care and Comfort (children of current active military or Gold Star Families) were able to attend! Thank you!

We are planning to hold a Doll Fair in early spring to help sell the remaining souvenirs. It will be open to vendors of all varieties of dolls and doll accessories, not just American Girl. Perhaps it will also be a venue for private individuals to sell those dolls that are gathering dust in closets, attics and basements! This idea is a work in progress. If you are interested in helping to plan or volunteer, please let me know! If you would like to buy souvenirs, please visit our website or contact Cathy Murphy,

We are also thankful for the 10 new members who have joined PAA in the past months! Alicia Baker, Cindy Dumesney, Sabrina Garcia, Nora Guera, Kristin Iribarren, Melissa Kertz, Katie Liniger, Kristin Meier, Nirmala Patri and Katie Shea. All wonderful additions to our group!

The Christmas Boutique at Allied Arts Guild, Menlo Park will be held on Saturday December 5 from 10 am to 3 pm. Talented PAA seamstresses, crafters and artists will be selling handmade items. A wonderful way to buy lovely gifts, get in the holiday spirit and support LPCH! If you would be able to help with sales at the event, please contact Sharon Brugos.

Bears & Books.  This year 275 bears and 100 books have been donated to LPCH An additional 50 bears went to the Ronald McDonald House of Stanford. Centerpieces of our books and bears will be featured at the upcoming Association of Auxiliaries luncheon. A wonderful way to get the word out!

The Thora’s Thimbles group has been busy (when are they not!) producing   comfort items for the little patients at the hospital…cough pillows, ER owls, blankets, tote bags, respirator covers…a long and wonderful list! Angels all.

Earlier this month PAA members Ellen Smith and Nancy Scaff became aware of a girl who visited the Teen Van for the first time…she was homeless, she had nothing, not even underwear! Ellen and Nancy stepped in immediately to help.  The Teen Van team treats the medical, social and mental health needs of kids who are in foster care, the children of the working poor ($15/hr doesn’t even pay for a studio apartment in our valley), homeless or runaways from abusive family relationships.

While younger children may get presents from programs such as Toys for Tots, teens may be left out. If you are interested in donating during this season, the Teen Van will use the funds to give out Target gift cards and movie ticket vouchers to their patients…we could call it, the Secret Nana Project ….

If you are interested, please send your checks to PAA c/o June Schiller, 863 Garland Dr, Palo Alto 94303

Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving

Upcoming events

December 5, 2015 10 am to 3 pm, Holiday Boutique, 
Allied Arts Guild , 70 Arbor Rd., Menlo Park

January 20, 2016 Annual Membership Meeting & Lunch, 9:30 am – 2pm, 
University Club, 3277 Miranda Ave, Palo Alto

January 25 & 26, Restaurants with Heart, Sultana, Menlo Park

Friday, October 16, 2015

October Newsletter

October Newsletter

As we get ready for our Membership Tea, it has come to my attention that we will be celebrating volunteers with 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50 and 55 years of service! That’s dedication! Let’s keep the tradition alive!

This past month has brought us 9 new members.  All have daughters who will be modeling for us at the American Girl Fashion Show and Tea on November 7 & 8.  Alicia Baker, Cindy Dumesny, Nora Guerra, Melissa Kertz, Katie Liniger, Kristin Iribarren, Kristin Meier, Nirmala Patni, and Katie Shea. We look forward to working with these enthusiastic women on this project and others throughout the year.

Attached is a flyer for American Girl. Please send this along to your friends, family and hairdressers! We made an analysis of last year’s ticket buyers, and less than 5% came from the traditional (and very expensive) invitations with stamps. So, we are relying on emails to former guests, model sales, flyers, FaceBook, and word of mouth.

We will again be donating American Girl tickets to Operation Care and Comfort. These are the children of active service personnel. If you wish to contribute, please bring your checks to the Membership Tea or mail them to me. (I’m in the book!) Each ticket is $35. 100% of these Operation Care and Comfort tickets are tax deductable.

Last month’s Fancy Nancy Tea was a success! As this was our first year, we learned a lot! I now can balance a banana on my head å la Fancy Nancy… we also learned that little girls love a photo booth with fun props! Our Thora’s Thimbles volunteers sold handmade wares as well. All told, we made a profit of nearly $7000 that will be donated to the Family Assistance Fund at LPCH.

September’s Restaurants with Heart days generated nearly $1200. And this month promises to be a winner as well…October 27 & 28 dinners at the lovely Creola, San Carlos.  RwH Chair Marlene Bollhoffer is planning a tour of the Hospital in early Spring 2016 for the owners and managers of the wonderful restaurants that do so much for us and the Hospital. Heartwarming for all to see where their efforts go.

The Holidays are fast approaching, and that means that we will be back at the fabled Allied Arts Guild, Menlo Park for the Christmas Market on Saturday, December 5th, 10 am to 3 pm. The artistry, craftsmanship and reasonable prices are always a draw. If you have never been…don’t miss it! Decorations, stocking stuffers, baby gifts, hostess gifts…. Amazing! If you are interested in working a shift at our booth, please contact Sharon Brugos

We lost four former members recently. Our condolences to those of you who have had the pleasure of working with Mildred Chin , Henrietta “Hank” Ferry, Patricia “Pat”  Patterson and Jan Temple.  

The other Auxiliaries are also holding many fundraising events in the coming weeks and months. I’m attaching the Association of Auxiliaries’ Newsletter

Looking forward to seeing you soon…at the Tea, Creola, American Girl, The Holiday Boutique at Allied Arts….it is PAA’s Busy Season!

Oct 20                                             Annual Membership Tea Party, Los Altos
Oct 27 & 28                                    Restaurants with Heart, Creola, San Carlos, dinner                                                                  
Nov 7 & 8                                       American Girl Fashion Show
Nov 17                                            Membership lunch meeting, location TBA
Dec 5                                               Holiday Boutique, Allied Arts, Menlo Park
Jan 20                                              Annual Membership Meeting, University Club

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

End of Summer Newsletter

Where did those “lazy, hazy, crazy days of Summer” go!!!!
While we haven’t had a meeting since June, things have been hopping right along!
We have enjoyed our monthly Restaurants with Heart meals..…each one as tasty as the last! This 28th and 29th of September, RwH will be at Sakura2 in Redwood City. (Flyer attached) It’s a fun Teppanyaki style meal with the built-in entertainment of a chef throwing knives while making volcanoes from vegetables!
The Fancy Nancy Tea Party committee has been busily creating this new event, to be held on Saturday September 19, Christ Episcopal Church. Los Altos. It will be loads of fun with a free “face painting station” (fancy temporary butterfly transfers) and a photo booth where children can “bling up” with tiaras, beads, chapeaux, opera glasses etc. and pose for a “fancy” memory.  Our Thora’s Thimbles volunteers have been busily making dresses, aprons, doll assessories and faux feather boas (made with soft fleece rather than scratchy feathers!) to sell. The Reading Bug is again setting up shop in the church’s Fireside Room and will donate a portion of their proceeds to us.
And that is just for “starters”! The main event is when the Fancy Nancy illustrator, Robin Preiss Glasser gives a fun presentation while the little ones and their mums / grandmums dine on our tea goodies.
We are happy to be well passed the break-even point, as staging a new event is always a little unnerving. We have relied solely on word of mouth, local newspapers, shops, studios, newsletters and Facebook (Palo Alto Auxiliary for LPCH) to spread the word. Please continue to pass this information along…our target ages are 3 to 7.
Mark your calendars for November 7 & 8. This year’s American Girl Doll of the Year is a baker who loves all things French!
The American Girl Fashion Show committee is back up and running. We will hold an Open Casting Call at the American Girl Store at Stanford on September 12, and a casting call for returnees on September 20. Remember, PAA Member children and grandchildren are free; non-members pay $75 per model. The clothes are size 6x and 10 only. This year we are planning to have more models, as we have found that models are our main source of ticket sales. We will up the ante with a fabulous American Girl prize to the girl who refers the most ticket sales.
With Karen Steven’s help, we have begun our American Girl marketing campaign with a blast email to our former patrons. Our website  reflects our current projects (Thank you, Bob Stevens!) We are also on Facebook both under American Girl Fashion Show Palo Alto and Palo Alto Auxiliary for LPCH…check us out!!!
Our upcoming Membership Meeting, 1 pm Tuesday September 15, at Lucie Stern Community Center Palo Alto, will be a workshop. We will be working on projects for Fancy Nancy, American Girl and Thora’s Thimbles.  Please bring sharp sewing scissors if you have them!
During the summer, many of our members have honored Deborah Potash’s memory and her years of service to PAA. Deborah’s own Monday Girls combined with our BearGrams program to share their appreciation of her life and service. A fitting tribute. to a very giving woman.

Sept 12                                    American Girl Casting Call, Stanford Shopping Center
Sept 15                                    Membership Meeting, Lucie Stern, PA
Sept 19                                     Fancy Nancy Tea Party, Christ Episcopal, Los Altos
Sept 20                                    Returning models’ Casting Call, Woodland SC, Los Altos
Sept 27                                    Mandatory American Girl model /parent meeting TBA
Sept 28 & 29                                    RwH @ Sakura 2 in Redwood City
Oct 20                                                Annual Membership Tea Party, Los Altos
Nov 7 & 8                                    American Girl Fashion Show
Dec 5                                                Holiday Boutique, Allied Arts, Menlo Park

Summer Newsletter

Summer Newsletter
Where did the “lazy” go in “Those lazy, crazy days of summer”?  PAA is on a roll!
Dates to mark down
July 27 & 28 Restaurants With Heart at Divino Ristorante, Belmont
September 15, 1 pm working Membership Meeting at Lucie Stern, Palo Alto
September 19, Fancy Nancy Tea Party 11 am & 2 pm
November 7 & 8,  American Girl Fashion Show and Tea 
Dec 5                        Holiday Boutique, Allied Arts, Menlo Park

Fancy Nancy is off and running! We have booked the Episcopal Church, confirmed with Harper-Row the illustrator’s appearance and goodie bag freebies, lined up the Reading Bug to sell their wares (with a portion of the proceeds going our way) and had our first committee meeting (Boas de rigeur!)
If you are interested in helping with the planning, please contact me!
Restaurants With Heart …this month fine Italian food, and next month great Greek! Opa! On University Ave in Palo Alto will be luring us in with the temptation of the Adriatic…dates to follow soon.
The RwH crew is always on the prowl for new restaurants to add to the rotation and for new members to help out. If good food is your passion…this is for you! Contact Marlene at
September 15 Membership Meeting This will again be a working meeting.! We will be snipping, stuffing and assembling for the upcoming Fancy Nancy and American Girl events. All hands on deck!
Endowment News The Auxiliaries and Endowment Wall in Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford will be updated. The plan is to complete the updates by the end of the summer so they want to make sure that all our members know that if they include the Auxiliaries Endowment in their estate plan by the end of August then their names would be included on the donor wall.  Unfortunately, we update this wall infrequently so we just wanted to give our members this information. (see attachment)
Have a Fabulous Summer!…and I will look forward to seeing you at one of our meetings, events or meals!

May Newsletter

We should designate May, Restaurants With Heart Month! So much is going on!
Chairman Marlene Bollhoffer reported that the April RwH event at Kabul, Afghan Cuisine netted us over $1200. The California Pizza Kitchen promotion of early May has yet to post profits, but we hear great things!
The next event at P F Chang’s, Stanford shopping Center, will be at combination RwH AND Membership Meeting…Two Bangs for our Buck! May 19 at noon. Debbie Buckholder, Director of Auxiliary Relations will be our guest. This is a great way to meet her! If you haven’t sent in your RSVP, please click the link below. (Make sure to mention PAA) If you are the spur of the moment type, walk-ins are accommodated! Any questions, please email Ginny Wilson at
Calling all foodies! If you would like to help Marlene identify restaurants to partake in our Restaurants With Heart program, she would love to talk to you! All it takes is a love of good food and a little moxie…Marlene will teach you the rest! Please call Marlene to chat, 650 591 0637.
We are actively moving forward with the expansion of the wildly successful BearGram project.  Gerry Nelson and I will be meeting in June, and with the help of the Foundation hope to have the new CareGram? (name to be determined later) ready for roll out by the end of Summer.
American Girl 2015 is already nearly $3000 in the plus column, as we sold much of our excess 2014 souvenirs to another philanthropic organization in Sacramento. American Girl committee meetings will start up again in force after school lets out. If you are interested in taking a leadership role, please contact me!
Packard Pantry would love more volunteers. If you have a morning a month to spare, please contact Luisa Pliska (  Those of you living in the San Carlos area will find great satisfaction in working with the Second Harvest Food Bank to organize the goods to be delivered to deserving Packard families. And those living farther South can be the ones to sort and distribute at the Hospital!
Teen Van toiletry packing members will be meeting tomorrow with Dr Seth Ammerman and his assistant Rosa Maldanado to better understand their needs and how we can grow this wonderful project. We will take photos to share!
Fancy Nancy planning is moving forward, but as with all new events…not galloping! Coordinating the venue, illustrator and Reading Bug is taking time. But, heck…Good things come to those who wait, right?
All you Amazon shoppers! Here is an easy way to donate to PAA!
The Quarterly Association of Auxiliaries meeting was held yesterday. We voted to distribute the annual payout from the Auxiliaries Endowment ($846,029) to The Teen Van Endowment ($200, 000) Bereavement and Family Guidance Endowment  ($200,000) the Victoria Applegate Endowment for Family Assistance ($250,00) and $50,000 to a pilot program to distribute a pain-avoidance device called the Buzzy. Looks like a ladybug or bee that can be strapped on a child’s body “between the pain and the brain” to divert the “owie’ from registering! I hope to have one to show at a future meeting!
Membership Meeting, 12 noon, May 19 at PF Chang (May’s Restaurants with Heart restaurant!), Stanford Shopping Center, introducing Debbie Burkholder, the new Director of Auxiliary Relations.
June Membership Meeting, 1 pm June 9, The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health400 Hamilton Avenue, Suite 340 | Palo Alto, CA 94301 in the Board Room (Please note this is a week earlier than our usual meeting time. Parking is not available in the Foundation garage unless with Handicap status.
November 7-8 American Girl Fashion Show

April 2015 Newsletter

Spring has sprung! Let’s harness some of this energy to our new and existing PAA projects!
Some PAA dates to mark on your calendars:
April 27 & 28 Restaurants With Heart at Kabul Afghan Restaurant, San Carlos, lunch & dinner.  (See attached)
Membership Meeting, 12 noon, May 19 at PF Chang (May’s Restaurants with Heart restaurant!), Stanford Shopping Center, introducing Debbie Burkholder, the new Director of Auxiliaries. Menu choices and reservation info will be sent later.
November 7-8 American Girl Fashion Show
This month sees the well-deserved  “retirement” of Victoria Applegate, after 38 years of dedication to the Children’s Hospital. We gave her a gift certificate to Arte Restaurant in Palo Alto and a succulent garden in a planter (easy-care for her new lifestyle) as a token of our sincere gratitude. And now we will be welcoming Debbie Burkholder, the new Director of Auxiliaries to our May Membership meeting at PF Chang. We look forward to a long and rewarding relationship!
Last month’s Membership Meeting was a working one. We helped the Thora’s Thimbles crew by sorting donated fabric, cutting felt eyes, respirator covers, etc. And we got to see the fun finished products!
We are actively moving forward with the expansion of the wildly successful BearGram project.  Gerry Nelson, along with her Kids For Packard, has recently delivered books, bears, Easter baskets and cards. Growing the project to include other comfort items (such as ChemoDucks,, Dialysis Bears,  ….) will require a new card. Anyone have graphic arts skills to lend? It would be much appreciated!!
American Girl 2015 has begun! This year’s Girl of the Year is Grace, a baking enthusiast who loves all things Parisienne…should be fun to decorate!
Packard Pantry is in need of more volunteers. If you have a morning a month to spare, please contact Luisa Pliska (
I have been in contact with Lauren at The Reading Bug bookshop regarding a potential new event, The Fancy Nancy Tea Party. (Love that name!) The illustrator is willing to fly up (on her own nickel) to act as presenter, Harper & Row will donate door prizes, the play venue U-me ( in Menlo Park is offering their premises if we pay a few of their employees to help (insurance reasons) and the Reading Bug will donate a percent of their sales to us also. The illustrator will be in touch soon regarding her availability.  I’m hoping for late summer or September.  Fancy Nancy is geared toward 3 to 8 year olds…a nice adjunct to our American Girl audience (5 to 12 year olds). Now, I need to work on a BOY event!!  Please contact me if you are interested in helping to develop this Fancy Nancy Tea Party.
Looking forward to a great month! Nan

Monday, March 16, 2015

Wishing all of you Happy Springtime! Since March came in “like a lamb”, we are enjoying all the early blossoms!
Some PAA dates to mark on your calendars:
March 17 Membership Meeting, 1 pm at Lucie Stern Community Center, Palo Alto
March 23-24 Restaurants With Heart at Quinto Sol, Redwood City (attachment)
November 7-8 American Girl Fashion Show
This past Monday’s Association of Auxiliaries Annual Meeting and Luncheon was well attended by PAA members. We found it inspiring to hear all of the wonderful accomplishments of our 1000-member organization this past year.
·      $5,052,500 total financial impact from the Auxiliaries (Auxiliary gifts, member gifts, payouts from endowment funds)
·      2035 cough pillows, blankets, quilts, stuffed animals, christening gowns
·      8062 pounds of food distributed through Packard Pantry
·      1244 toiletry kits and backpacks to the Teen Van
Architect Robin Guenther walked us through the plans for the new hospital. One goal is to continue the “outdoors brought in to the patients” feeling by designing gardens, walkways and window boxes of greenery viewable from just about every perspective. The building will a leader in energy and water conservation, as well as being comforting and entertaining to the young patients and their families.
On the medical front, we learned from Dr. Marlene Rabinovitch of the advances made at Stanford to help those newborns, babies and children with Pulmonary Hypertension. Great strides have been accomplished in the last 40 years, and Stanford is working to continue that trend.
And lastly we gave Victoria Applegate a warm send-off. After 38 years of dedication, she is taking her well-deserved  “retirement”. (First order of business is a trip to Italy with her husband!). To honor her, the Auxiliaries have begun funding a perpetual endowment to the hospital in her name. We will miss her!
Just last week some of our newer members took a tour of the hospital. We were lucky to have Dr. Dan Bernstein, Pediatric Cardiologist give us a tour of the center.  We visited the hospital school and the Forever Young (Rec) room as well. We all walked away grateful for the healthy children in our lives and renewed in our desire to help those families who are less fortunate.
This month’s Membership Meeting will be Tuesday March 17, 1 pm at the Lucie Stern Community Center in Palo Alto. The Thora’s Thimbles volunteers will be sharing with us their creations and showing us how those of us non-sewers can help out.  If you are able to come, we will use your talents to help sort a large donation of fabric that will be used by the Thora’s Thimbles volunteers to make cough pillows, emergency room owls, respirator covers, tote bags and, and, and…Bring your scissors if you would like to help by cutting out owl eyes etc.!
At the meeting we will also discuss the success of Beargrams, Restaurants With Heart, the Holiday Boutique, Cookbooks and The American Girl Fashion Show. As well as plans for the future. Hope to see you there!

And now…back to the garden! I’m expecting March to “roar” out with lots of rain!!

Friday, January 30, 2015

January Newsletter


Dear Members,

Happy New Year! Our new year has started with a bang! Both of us have welcomed new grandchildren this month as well as welcoming many new members and new plans for 2015!

First of all upcoming events: While February will not have a general meeting, we do have a board meeting with the new board on Monday, February 9th, a meeting of Thora’s Thimbles on the 10th and Restaurants with Heart for lunch or dinner  on February 23rd and 24th at Divino Restaurant in Belmont. Nancy has also organized a hospital tour for our newest members so that they can see what it is that we are helping.

We had a lovely luncheon and annual meeting last week on the 22nd. For those of you who couldn’t make it, here are some highlights:

Our gift of $70,000 was presented to LPCH via our guest, Dr. Jody Winzelberg, Administrative Director for Program Growth and Innovation, who spoke briefly about the new hospital and some of the amazing statistics involved in building such a major structure.  The current building will become a maternity pavilion.  She also explained about other areas where Packard or Stanford Children’s are operating. 

Treasurer June Schiller presented our financial position as strong but no longer plans to give away more that we earn as has happened the last few years. Those members who included donations with their dues have been sent thank you notes. Eighty-five members have paid their dues for 2015, have you??

VP Stephanie Beach presented project leaders to give short annual reports on their projects (in alphabetical order): American Girl Fashion Show chair Nancy Larsson told that despite competition from the new store, the events earned about $30,000 with about 80% of the previous year’s attendees. Charging the models a fee (except for members’ children) worked well and helped to make them more responsible. About 25 new members have come in via this project.

Nancy Bronstein reported that the Holiday Boutique organized by Sharon Brugos, was a big success raising about $2,100. Some extra items were available to buy at the luncheon. Nancy thanked those who made the lovely items (and we should thank both Sharon and Nancy who made a lot of them as well as Cathy Murphy and her daughter Sharon Wilson).

Bears and Books under Gerry Nelson had a fantastic year donating 56 books and 256 bears some of which will be delivered each month for patient celebrations.  Some 212 bears were trapped by students at St. Charles School. This project is now in hibernation until spring.

Although Luisa Pliska was unable to attend the luncheon, Stephanie reported that  Cookbooks brought  income of $2,847 from wholesale and retail sales.

Marlene Bollhoffer reported that the Restaurants with Heart project  had made an annual profit of about $13,000 at ten monthly events in 2014. She thanked those who have helped during the past year: Ginny Wilson, Karen Stevens, Audrey Polster, Erika Crowley, Luisa Pliska and Stephanie Beach. Marlene has already found restaurants for most of 2015. A different restaurant is chosen each month and the variety is delicious. Divino in Belmont is the choice for February.  Half of each meal price is a donation to LPCH. This project can grow both by our members going out to eat but also by sharing it with your friends and neighbors.  Why not host a friends’ night out or ladies’ luncheon at a RwH venue? Our website has all the information each month at

Thora’s Thimbles was presented by Ellen Smith. Fourteen members participated last year in sewing cough pillows, and owls for little surgical and emergency room patients. Members are encouraged to help at home if not able to attend the monthly Tuesday morning meetings.  You can cut out or stuff as well as sew.

Dallas Manning delivered 100 Tote Bags to LPCH in December and has a good start on some for next year. She thanked Nancy Bronstein and Erika Crowley for helping. If you like to sew at home, you can pick up kits and help make the holidays special for little patients.

Deborah Potash presented a new project she’s working on to make a historical record book of PAA. If you have memories to relate or materials to include, please contact her.

Sarah Beetem thanked those who worked behind the scenes on both projects and member events. Those not already mentioned above include: webmaster Bob Stevens, dues collector Mary Koeppen, photographer Erika Crowley, tea impresario Mary Hicks, and ticket maestro David Squellati.

Then new board members were introduced: Cathy Murphy as Recording Secretary and Mary Anne York as Corresponding Secretary.  Sarah will semi-retire to become Past President/ Parliamentarian, others remaining on the board are Nancy Larsson, President; Stephanie Beach, VP; June Schiller, Treasurer;  and Dallas Manning as Social Chairman. Those leaving were thanked and presented with an orchid plant.

Honored guest included Victoria Applegate, Director of Auxiliaries Relations and her assistant Eve Shaw. Victoria has announced that she will retire in April.

That pretty much covers the annual meeting, next month we’ll concentrate on new ideas and happenings in 2015!

Sarah Beetem and Nancy Larsson