THE CROWD:Military mothers raise flags and funds

August 05, 2006|By B.W. COOK

The third annual Military Mother's luncheon for Orange County military wives and mothers attracted more than 250 guests at the Anaheim Plaza Hotel.

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian joined forces with Share Our Selves of Costa Mesa to host the event, billed as "Madres Militares."

Rita Armendariz organized the emotional day, which included a touching surprise: One military mother enjoyed the gift of a lifetime as her son was secretly flown in for a reunion. The hotel ballroom was filled with tears and cheers.


Keynote speaker Brig. Gen. Gong shared his life journey from China to the U.S. and his very personal insight into the value of American citizenship.

Two outstanding local women, Arden Flamson and Catherine Thyen, were honored recently by Angelitos de Oro, a support wing of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Orange County.

Both Flamson and Thyen have served as presidents of Angelitos de Oro. Over the past 40 years, the small but very active group of women has raised $2.8 million, helping to create some 900 matches between citizens in the community and needy children.

Each year, the Angelitos ? in conjunction with South Coast Plaza ? sponsors a major holiday shipping event that is one of its big fundraisers of the year, the Angelitos Card ? volunteers are working on the shopping spree for 2006.

The card is sold to the public for a $50 donation to Angelitos, and then the card holder is entitled to a 20% discount on merchandise at more than 100 South Coast Plaza stores.

Attending the Angelitos luncheon at the Balboa Bay Club & Resort were Trish O'Donnell, Marilyn Wooten and Mary Anna Jeppe, the new president of the organization.

Also on hand was past President Brenda Currie, June Wian, Barbara Bowie, Sally Perlmutter, Kate Eastman and Jayne Lally.

TV spokesperson Stephanie Edwards was in town, joining local KOCE-TV anchor Ed Arnold in fronting a new local charity called WomanSage. A fundraising luncheon was held recently at Spa Gregories, Newport Beach, attracting 200 ladies from the Newport-Mesa community.

The new nonprofit is Orange County based and is devoted to assisting women facing mid-life issues. Actress Denise Nicholas appeared at the inaugural event, speaking about life's transitions and her personal journey that resulted in the writing of a novel.

Also on hand was WomanSage President Lisa Tatman of Costa Mesa, Betty Otte, Maryann Goodman, Cherrie Olson-Harness, Linda Scheck, Joan Williams, Sharon Fraser, Sue Parks and Costa Mesa's Lulu Wilson.

For more information on WomanSage, call (949) 222-4210 or log on to for future events.

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