Sunday, December 4, 2016

December 2016 Newsletter

December 2016 Newsletter
We just wrapped up the year with a very successful Holiday Boutique at Allied Arts. Our amazingly creative and productive members sold $1700 of handmade creations. A great way to kick off the Season!
The accounting is nearly done and American Girl 2016 garnered over $25,000 in profits. Over cappuccinos last Monday the fertile minds of the AGFS committee bandied about all manner of ideas for the future of PAA fundraising. It will be an exciting 2017!
Throughout the year Restaurants With Heart brought in over $13,500! Our cookbook sales were $1200 and the Garden Party netted more than $6500!
We will be donating our 2016 gift to the Hospital on December 10. If you are thinking of personally donating this year, please send your contribution to my address, 1253 Richardson Ave. Los Altos CA 94024 by this Friday December 9th for it to be counted in this year’s gift.
I wish you all ….
Happy Holidays and a 2017 filled with good cheer!
And, I hope to see you at the Annual Lunch on January 18th...we have a lot to celebrate!

Dates to mark down
January 18, 2017 Annual Meeting and Lunch, University Club, Palo Alto

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

November 2016 Newsletter

November 2016 Newsletter
American Girl this year was a bitter-sweet success. While we had fewer patrons than in the past, our guests were rewarded with a more gracious dining and viewing experience than ever before. (And our wonderful volunteers were not forced to work at the breakneck speed of past shows!)  The models and the young commentators were wonderful. The raffles, souvenir sales, hair salon for dolls and girls, walk the runway...all added greatly to our proceeds. The table linens and sweet treats were well as 60 tickets for the Operation Care and Comfort Girls, thanks to you, our generous members! Fewer patrons, but fewer expenses.
We will have the final tally by the Membership Meeting this Tuesday.  If you'd like to get the news first, come to the meeting! Please rsvp to me. We will be serving wraps from Galata Bistro, so we'll need your order!
The Holiday Boutique at Allied Arts will be on December 3 this year. This time around we are calling on all to make a few ornaments to sell! We will have a few trees laden with our creations…now’s the time to start scrolling through Pinterest!

Dates to mark down
November 15  1 pm Membership Meeting at 400 Hamilton Ave, PA, Ste #340
December 3 Holiday Boutique @ Allied Arts, Menlo Park 10 am to 3 pm
January 18, 2017 Annual Meeting and Lunch, University Club, Palo Alto
These past 13 years of the American Girl Fashion Show and Tea have been amazing. I want to thank all of you who have helped us on this journey.
We started out as a naive group with more optimism than experience. The stories we have re-told over the last few days still make me break out in a cold sweat...the failed lemon bars, using  a bolt cutter after the cleaners locked us out,  model no-shows, the desperate calls to friends from book group to swim group to help out everywhere from stage management to dishwashing.
I’m glad to say that things (and profits) went up and up through the next 12 years. And along the way I have had the pleasure to witness the amazing dedication of our volunteers and to watch “our” girls grow from grade-schoolers through college!   I have made so many enduring friendships. And I know that the future of volunteerism is strong in both the “model mother” generation and their wonderful daughters.
Thank you All!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

October 2016 Newsletter

October  2016 Newsletter
October means...Our Annual Membership Tea! We have many wonderful anniversaries to celebrate, friends to meet and some lovely tea goodies to nibble. If you haven’t rsvp’d to Dallas Manning I look forward to seeing you all again.

Dates to mark down
October 18  3 pm Membership Tea, 1253 Richardson Ave, Los Altos
October 25 & 26 Restaurants With Heart, dinners at Creola in San Carlos
November 2   6 pm Hospital Tour and dinner
November 11 & 12  American Girl Fashion Show and Tea
November 15  Membership Meeting (time and location tba)
December 3 Holiday Boutique @ Allied Arts, Menlo Park 10 am to 3 pm
Over 30 Vintage Gals met for lunch on perhaps the hottest day of the year! It was a great time of reminiscing, re-connecting and learning about different ways to benefit the hospital. This group has decided to reconvene every April and September for special Restaurant with Heart lunches. Fun with old friends AND benefiting the Hospital...can’t go wrong!  
The Teen Van turned 20 recently with cake and balloons. PAA member Cindy Dumesney and I got a tour and some wonderful time with Dr. Seth Ammerman. This is an amazing program with a mission that resonates with all...and maybe a special tug for members like Cindy who have teens of their own. We are planning to use some of the amazing “children helping children” energy to do some fundraising.
American Girl commentators & models, Saint Charles students with Kids for Packard, Notre Dame Belmont students, National Charity League girls and now Teens helping the Teen Van. A lot to love with these kids!
American Girl is moving right along! We will be taking advantage of the school holiday of Veteran’s Day of having the event be on Friday Nov. 11 and Saturday Nov. 12.  In years past a Friday holiday show has been very popular.
June Schiller will be contacting you soon to volunteer for this great fundraiser. A shift of a few hours in the dining hall or the kitchen is invaluable.
We are again offering tickets to Operation Care and Comfort for the daughters of service members. At this writing we have offered 20 tickets. Not only did those fill in minutes, there is a waiting list of 59 girls! If you have the desire to donate to any amount, please either send your checks to me (Nancy Larsson, 1253 Richardson Ave, Los Altos, CA 94024) payable to PAA or bring to the Membership Tea.
Restaurants With Heart Please join us on Monday, October 25 or Tuesday, October 26, at Creola New Orleans Bistro in San Carlos for dinner. Visit the Restaurants with Heart page at, to make your reservations. 

We have arranged a Tour & Dinner at the Hospital for November 2 at 6 pm. This is  wonderful opportunity to see our efforts in action. And a great way to share with your spouse the reason why you spend so much time working on PAA projects! Please rsvp to me by Halloween. Dinner is $30 per person.

The Holiday Boutique at Allied Arts will be on December 3 this year. This time around we are calling on all to make a few ornaments to sell! We will have a few trees laden with our creations…now’s the time to start scrolling through Pinterest!

I look forward to seeing you at any or all of these events!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

September 2016 Newsletter

September 2016 Newsletter
Where did the “lazy” go in “Those lazy, crazy days of summer”?  PAA certainly did not take the summer off…
The Cocktails in the Garden this past month was a great success!  In summing up the event Sarah Beetem (Silent Auction whiz) wrote:

At the Garden Cocktail Party the tip jar at the bar, many kind donations,  and the silent auction combined to made a profit of about $5,400 for LPCH.

We sold 27 of the 30 items to the highest bidder. Included were a French apartment, mountain homes, theater tickets, works of art, baskets of food, wine, baby blankets, and hobby supplies. About half our purchasers were guests of members, so we were delighted to see some new faces.

Nearly everything at the party was donated, with the food and wine a gift from our vice-president Haydee Navarro-Marshall’s husband at the Watson-Marshall Group at Coldwell Banker.  The delicious and hearty appetizers were prepared and presented by caterer Florencia Mejia from South San Francisco . The Larsson and York families donated beverages.

With both bocce ball and a putting green, guests had fun things to do as well as mingle with a very nice mixed age crowd.

The Japanese anenome bloomed just in time to decorate the perennials bed. And the warm evening was perfect for being outdoors.

Dates to mark down

September 20, 1 pm working Membership Meeting at Foundation Office,400 Hamilton Ave #340, Palo Alto (NOunderground parking available, street parking OK as our meeting will not last longer than 2 hours)
September 26, Vintage Gals lunch, 1253 Richardson Ave, Los Altos 11 am onward
September 26 & 27 Restaurants With Heart at Bistro Galata, Menlo Park
October 18  3 pm Membership Tea, 1253 Richardson Ave, Los Altos
November 2   6 pm Hospital Tour and dinner 
November 11 & 12  American Girl Fashion Show and Tea
November 15  Membership Meeting (time and location tba) 
December 3 Holiday Boutique @ Allied Arts, Menlo Park 10 am to 3 pm 

The September20, Membership Meeting will again be a working meeting! We will be snipping and assembling paper flowers for the upcoming and American Girl Fashion Show’s rainforest theme. All hands on deck! 

American Girl is up and rolling! Our theme this year is the rainforest. We will be taking advantage of the school holiday of Veteran’s Day of having the event be on Friday Nov. 11 and Saturday Nov. 12.  In years past a Friday holiday show has been very popular. 

June Schiller will be contacting you soon to volunteer for this great fundraiser. A shift of a few hours in the dining hall or the kitchen is invaluable.

Restaurants With Heart  Please join us on Monday, September 26 or Tuesday, September 27, at Galata Bistro Mediterranean Grill, 827 Santa Cruz Ave., Menlo Park, our newest RWH restaurant, for some fresh and healthy Mediterranean fare.Visit the Restaurants with Heart page at www.paloaltoauxiliary.comto make your reservations. 

If you consider yourself a Vintage Gal, and have not contacted me yet, please do!

The Holiday Boutique at Allied Arts will be on December 3 this year. This time around we are calling on all to make a few ornaments to sell! We will have a few trees laden with our creations…now’s the time to start scrolling through Pinterest! 

A commemorative brick will be placed at the new hospital soon in our honor. Here’s the rub…just 2 lines of 23 characters each. What should we write? Put your thinking caps on…there will be a contest!

Inspiring words from David Alexander, President & CEO Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health,

I'm thrilled to share this exciting news with you! Thanks to you, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford was recognized in U.S. News & World Report's 2016-17 Best Children's Hospitals Honor Roll as one of the top 10 children's hospitals in the nation and the highest-ranking hospital in Northern California. Our hospital was recognized in all 10 pediatric specialties, including three programs in the top 10 nationally.

This is an exceptional achievement, especially considering we are the youngest children's hospital to make the Honor Roll. Since we opened our doors 25 years ago, our spectacular clinical and administrative leaders, amazing caregivers, and your generosity has made LPCH truly extraordinary. This honor is a testament to your commitment to provide the best care for children expectant mothers.

We are so grateful for your support and hope you will join us in celebrating. 
Thank you for all that you do.”

I hope you had a Fabulous Summer!…and I look forward to seeing you at one of our meetings, events or meals!

to me

Monday, August 1, 2016

July 2016 Newsletter


I hope you are all having a wonderful summer

While PAA traditionally has no board or membership meetings in July or August, that doesn’t mean we’re just reading novels in the shade!

We have already had a few American Girl meetings and will have a “full” committee meeting on July 25, 10:00 am at my house. Even though a number of our members are still on holiday, headway is being made on our tropical themed event scheduled for November 11 and 12. (If you are interested in helping with the planning…please let me know. All are welcome!)

We are also happily planning our upcoming Palo Alto Auxiliary Backyard Cocktail party on August 13th.
An evite went out a couple of weeks ago. (If you did not receive one, please email Haydee Marshall @ ) 

We have some amazing items that will be in our Silent Auction! Here are just some to tempt you…

A week’s stay in a cabin at beautiful Lake Tahoe
A week in an apartment on the French Riviera where Provence beckens…
A VIP Table for 10 at the American Girl Fashion Show!
An American Girl Doll for that special birthday
Little girl dresses with matching doll dresses
Cases of wine and champagne 
A golf outing in Saratoga, 
Tickets at Theatreworks,  
Gift baskets with themes such as Expectant Mother, Italian Cuisine, French Desserts, Gardening, Dog Treats… and more!!!

Please join us…feel free to bring your “date” and a friend of two, (or come solo and find friends at the event!) and see what adventures await you at the Silent Auction table, the bocce court or the dart board!

July’s Restaurants with Heart will be lunch and dinner Monday, July 25 and Tuesday, July 26, at Galata Bistro Mediterranean Grill, 827 Santa Cruz Ave., Menlo Park. This is our newest RWH restaurant, serving fresh and healthy Mediterranean fare. Attached is the flyer.

If enjoying yummy food and helping LPCH are important in your life…please consider helping out on the RwH committee. Marlene is taking a well-deserved break, and we have some big shoes to fill! Contact me!

Vintage Girls…now that’s a term we haven’t heard in a while! I wanted to resurrect a yearly meeting of our members with 25 years or more of service. I sent out an email to those with start dates before 1991 asking for any interest…and got a resounding “Yes!”. (If you have over 25 years and didn’t get an email, please let me know!)  The lunch meeting will be at my house in Los Altos on September 26 from 11 am onward. Jean Gorman of the LPFCH’s Endowment will speak after everyone has had time to eat and catch up. She wants to update us on the wonderful work being done at the Hospital with our gifts. It is amazing what PAA and her members have been able to accomplish with our donations over the past 25 plus (Vintage) years!

There were a few Vintage women who are not in the area for the 26th, so we will just have to do it again in the Spring!

The Thora’s Thimbles group, along with other "crafty" PAA volunteers don’t take summers off. A continual stream of blankets, pillows, stuffed animals and more flow to the Hospital to give comfort to the young patients there.

So….Restaurants with Heart, Backyard Cocktail Party and Silent Auction, Vintage Girls, Thora’s Thimbles and planning for American Girl…seems like a pretty productive Summer to me!

Take care,

PS And if you do have any good novels to recommend, I’d love to hear from you!

Friday, May 6, 2016

May Newsletter

PAA is getting social!

The biggest “take-away” from our last Membership Meeting was that our members missed the camaraderie of the past. So, we are dusting off our party clothes and getting into the planning!

In a lively discussion, the members came up with a backyard Summer Cocktail Party. It would be both social and raise money for the Hospital! The idea is to have small bites, drinks, music, lots of tables and chairs, spouses, friends, … a silent auction, a “tip jar”…

The venue is set, my place in Los Altos, the date to be determined shortly. You will be getting an invite soon. Start thinking of what you might like to add to the silent auction…dinners at your club?, nights at a cabin/summer place/ time share?, wine from your cellar (that’s where I’ll be heading), a service you can offer? creative!

A great way to have fun and raise money for the Hospital!

Our next Membership Meeting will be held after lunch at Divino Restaurant, Belmont on May 24. Those interested in a fabulous, authentic Italian lunch will meet earlier at noon. Please go to the PAA website, click the Divino information section.  You can sign up online, pay online, or wait to pay when you attend.  If you prefer to make your reservation by phone, call the PAA number, 364-2588 ext 4 or Karen Stevens @ 327-6809. (flyer attached)


I went on the Nursing Excellence Simulation Center tour held in April and it was amazing. They do great work there creating critical medical scenarios that nurses may encounter daily or rarely. Using the 2 dummies they have, they make these scenarios a powerful learning experience. The dummies are sadly out of date, so our focus this year is to fund updated ones and the technology to get this positive training to as many nurses as possible.

Another tour is scheduled for 4 PM, May 20 at The Center For Nursing Excellence, 4700 Bohannon Dr., Menlo Park. RSVP to Eve Shaw

Packard Pantry is continuing this month with Erika Crowley and others filling in for Luisa while she recuperates. Luisa had successful heart surgery this past Monday. She is already out of ICU and charming her way into the hearts of the medical staff! She would appreciate emails and cards, but no visitors. She has plans to be “back at work” soon. Can’t keep a good dynamo down!

Thora’s Thimbles continues to deliver a multitude of comfort items to the Hospital and their patients…from the small comfort of a “lovey” to hold in times of stress to the enormity of the time and care given to the creation of a gurney cover. The thanks PAA gets in your name is tear-worthy.

If you are handy with a needle, please think about joining them! Contact Ellen Smith

American Girl committee work has begun. This year’s newest doll will be launched in July…..Melody an African-American girl from 60’s Detroit.

We will begin casting calls for models at The American Girl Store later in the summer. All gearing up for our Rainforest inspired shows set for Friday, November 11 and Saturday, November 12 at Christ Episcopal Church, Los Altos.

In 2017 Mattel (the parent company of American Girl) will change how fashion shows are run. We are one of the few charities under the current system to be able to continue! All shows will be run in conjunction with an American Girl Store and the funds donated to that store’s charity. Well, we are fortunate that our local store has LPCH as their charity and that they will need and do want our help. This may turn out to be a big win for us, as they have a huge database of likely customers while we have always struggled to find cheap ways to reach potential patrons. But that is all in the distant future! (We have this year’s show to run!)


Teen Van News One of our newer members, Cindy Dumesney and her teen-age daughter, Sophia helped pack toiletry kits at Allied Arts recently. Sophia and her friends had collected appropriate items to add to the kits. What a wonderful way for teens to help each other! The Dumesneys are anxious to do more and invite other teen/mum combos to join!  (They even got a mention at the Association of Auxiliaries Board Meeting!)

Many members of Palo Alto Auxiliary have had concerns about teen mental health issues and lack of facilities in our area.  The hospital reported back to us and is working to improve this, focusing on mental health issues for children and adolescents. I want to share some articles. 

Teen Psychiatric Facility could Open at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View. Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford is mentioned. Mountain View Voice,  4/12/16

Schools Target Asian Parental Expectations. Rona Hu, MD, clinical associate professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Steven Sust, MD, co-chief fellow, Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences (child and adolescent psychiatry), Amia Nash,  Stanford Health 4 All intern (Stanford Prevention Research Center) SJ Mercury, 4/9/16

Jane Andrews, a Monday Cook who has been with PAA since 1987, had a stroke last month. She is still living at home with the help of care. She just turned 95 in April!

I look forward to seeing you all soon….either at Divino’s, the Summer Cocktail Party, or a committee meeting…or all of the above!


Friday, April 15, 2016

Spring is in full bloom in our valley! The energy and vibrancy displayed in gardens and hillsides is invigorating! I hope to channel some of that energy toward our PAA projects!

Our April Membership Meeting will be next Tuesday, April 19 at 11:15 to 1:15 the Foundation office, 400 Hamilton Ave, Suite 340, Palo Alto.

We will provide tea, coffee and soft drinks and feel free to bring a sack lunch to eat while we meet. Or, make a date to have a late lunch or afternoon tea with some friends!

We will make certain that the meeting does not last longer than 2 hours, as that will not garner a parking ticket for street parking. There are parking garages in the vicinity that allow 3 hours or more.  The garage under the office is no longer open to us. If you require handicap parking, please let me know.

We’ve begun work on the American Girl Fashion Show already! This year’s theme is The Rainforest. A new doll is also being introduced: Melody, a 9 year-old African American living in Civil Rights Era Detroit. Trying to weave those concepts together will be a challenge! Our intrepid AG2016 team is up to it.

Our next American Girl planning meeting will be at 10 am on Thursday May 5 at my place. If you are interested in joining our group, please drop me a line!

This year we are holding the event on Friday November 11 and Saturday the 12th. In the past when Veteran’s Day has landed on a Friday we have had a great turn out. Fingers crossed!

Restaurants With Heart will be at Kabul in San Carlos on Monday, April 25 and Tuesday, April 26 for lunches and dinners.  Enjoy the delicious, authentic Afghan cuisine while supporting the Hospital! Visit the Restaurants with Heart page on our website, to make reservations. Share the flyer with friends and family!

We are looking for volunteers to help with the Restaurants With Heart program. If you would like to scout out new restaurants to add to the calendar, please contact Marlene Bollhoffer at 650-591-0637.

If you are interested in brainstorming for new fundraising events, I’d love to chat with you!

To help with the Tote Bags, please contact Dallas

Comfort items made by Thora’s Thimbles, Ellen Despite needing more volunteers to help sew with Thora's Thimbles, the group has produced a huge number of items in the first three months of 2016 including: 170 cough pillows, 37 owls for the emergency room, 19 Beads of Courage bags, 27 toiletry bags for the teen van, 1 large pillow and 3 blankets. Why not join this group, which meets on the second Tuesday morning of the month?

Some PAA dates to mark on your calendars:

April 19 Membership Meeting, 11:15 to 1:15 the LPFCH office, 400 Hamilton Ave, Suite 340, P. A.
April 25-26 Restaurants With Heart at Kabul, San Carlos (attachment)
April 20 and May 20, Tours of the Center For Nursing Excellence Simulation Center
May 24 Membership Meeting at Divino Restaurant, Belmont (a RwH lunch at noon with meeting to follow at 1 pm)
November 11-12 American Girl Fashion Show

Looking forward to seeing you soon,