By Patty Schaller
Over 200 members of the Toluca Lake Chamber of Commerce and members of the community were entertained and enchanted under the stars Saturday night at “An Evening on the Lake” fundraiser.
The event was hosted by Vana and Robert Farina at their lakeside home, a magnificent 1939 Paul Williams design. The Farinas graciously opened their home and grounds for viewing and mini-tours while cocktails and appetizers were served on the front lawn.
The Chamber, which was formed in 1939, is “a group filled with people with huge hearts that do so much for L.A.,” said the city’s Honorary Mayor, Fritz Coleman. “It’s been my privilege to be a part of it for 20 years. Toluca Lake is a small town with a small frame of reference. It’s civic minded and lovely.”
Chamber President Steve Hampar of Hampar Properties said the mission of the organization is to promote and support business members through exposure like this and other events. “Our goal is to promote our members on our website, social media and print media, and conversely have an open dialogue with our members looking for their suggestions and ideas of how we can improve.”
Tammy Tarner, a Ramsey-Shilling Associate and the Chamber Membership Chair, said the organization’s mission is to do beautiful things for the community. For instance, the Chamber maintains the median on Riverside Drive.
“We have activities throughout the year,” Tarner said. “We bring the community together by sponsoring events such as mixers, the Holiday Open House, and The Pancake Breakfast to support Fire Station #86.”
She added that membership in the Chamber is economical, especially compared with neighboring communities. The Toluca Lake Chamber is unique in that it also allows residential membership.
“We are launching a new membership discount program,” she said. “Members will receive a card which they can present to community businesses to receive a discount. This program starts in January. See the website for more details.”
As guests were served a “surf and turf” dinner of steak and salmon, with the appropriate red and white wines on the table, Coleman, as master of ceremonies and comedian, entertained. Another performer was Dana Dewes, who sang songs picked especially for the evening.
The evening closed with assorted desserts and coffee and the presentation of the year’s awards. Generales & Generales Jewelers, family owned and run for 43 years, received the Business of the Year Award.
Attorney Byron Hayes Jr., who is also President of the Toluca Lake Property Owners Association, was honored with the Distinguished Service Award for his tireless efforts as a part of the Chamber for many years.
The 35-member Toluca Lake Garden Club received the Community Service Award for its efforts in everything from beautification of the Toluca Lake area to contributing to forest plantations to publishing a cookbook.
All in all, a magical “Evening on the Lake.”
For more information about the Chamber and upcoming community events you may visit TolucaLakeChamber.com.