St. Vincent Meals on Wheels wraps up year

| January 3, 2019 | 0 Comments
MOW PARTY HOSTESS Nancy Babka, at left of Santa, with guests Kirsten Hansen and Allen Shay.

St. Vincent Meals on Wheels (MOW) has served homebound seniors in Los Angeles since 1977, when a registered dietician and Daughter of Charity, Sister Alice Marie Quinn, founded the organization by serving a single pot of stew to 83 seniors in a church basement. Quinn, affectionately known as Sister SAM, or just SAM, was the assistant dietary director at St. Vincent Medical Center at Third and Alvarado.

CUISINE A ROULETTES welcomed supporters to the room at the end of a festive Wilshire Country Club hallway.

Sister Alice Marie had become aware that many poor, elderly people living near the hospital were not eating regularly or properly, and that affected their physical, mental and emotional well-being. Today, through the organization she founded, there is a large, professional kitchen on property near the hospital, and more than 1,900 local people, generally elderly and frail, are served by a staff of about 80 and more than 300 volunteers who deliver meals across Los Angeles.

ST. NICK greeted Mike and Kathy Gless at the Cuisine a Roulettes event.

A significant part of MOW’s success comes from local participants in the support group, Cuisine à Roulettes, which was founded by Nelly Llanos Kilroy and other area women, including Hancock Park’s Daryl Twerdahl. She is MOW’s executive director of development, and she also stepped in as interim executive director following Sister Alice Marie’s death in 2017.

New executive director

At events this past holiday season, community members and MOW supporters got to meet the new executive director, Veronica Dover, who comes to St. Vincent Meals on Wheels from Riverside County, where she was a nonprofit management executive with the Family Service Association, a provider of services to families in need since 1953.

ST. VINCENT Meals on Wheels’ new executive director, Veronica Dover, greets Sister Margaret McDonnell.

Holiday Party

One opportunity for Ms. Dover to meet stalwart supporters was the Cuisine à Roulettes holiday party held at the festively decorated Wilshire Country Club last month. Hosts for the party were Nancy Babka and Carla Garrett, who made sure that Ms. Dover, now a Windsor Square resident, and all the other guests, really enjoyed the holiday spirit. Babka had a piano player playing holiday tunes, a cheery Santa chatting up the guests, delicious food and lots of bubbly to savor. Doing so were loads of locals including Kathy and Mike Gless, Ginger and Bill Lincoln, Kirsten Hansen with Allen Shay, Carl Anderson, and a number of nuns including Sister Margaret McDonnell.

FESTIVE supporters of MOW included, from left, Carl Anderson and Ginger and Bill Lincoln.

Petrossian Caviar

The happy holiday MOW “thank you” event came on the heels of a successful fundraiser generously underwritten by Petrossian Caviar. As he has in previous years, Petrossian manager Christopher Klapp closed the Robertson Boulevard caviar emporium and restaurant just for MOW supporters, including Terri and Michael Kaplan, Jessica and Garth Pappas, Gabriella Poczo, and Beverly and Stuart Denenberg. The latter couple, art gallery owners, had beautiful prints on display, with all sales proceeds going to the MOW cause. Mr. and Mrs. Pappas, by the way, originally met through Meals on Wheels! In addition to all ticket revenue paid by the bighearted attendees, three large format bottles of wine were auctioned off and sold to generous bidders whose big bottle bids provided another $2,875 to help feed seniors. The entire evening resulted in big benefits to the homebound for the coming year.

SUPPORTERS at the benefit for Meals on Wheels at Petrossian included Michael and Terri Kaplan, with Jim Twerdahl (center).

PETROSSIAN HOST Christopher Klapp, at right, with art auction organizers Beverly and Stuart Denenberg (second and fourth from left), Jessica and Garth Pappas, who met through St. Vincent Meals on Wheels (in rear), and Gabriella Poczo (next to Klapp).
CAVIAR tasting at Petrossian.

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