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Community & Clubs: Think Christmas is over? Not in Serbia

January 14, 2014|By Jim de Boom
  • The Salata brothers, left to right, Paul, Tom and George hosted 140 guests for the Serbian Orthodox Christmas luncheon on Jan. 7.
The Salata brothers, left to right, Paul, Tom and George… (Jim de Boom )

The Tee Room at the Newport Beach Golf Course was packed with 140 family members and friends of the Salata brothers as they celebrated the Serbian Christmas on Jan. 7. Serbian Orthodox Christians, like the Salata brothers, celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7 because all of their religious holidays are by the old Julian calendar.

According to Tom Salata, many of the guests were "our neighbors, friends and church members." Yet a large number of the guests I recognized there were from the Commodores Club of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce and the Six O'Clockers of the Balboa Bay Club.

Among the guests were Sammy Lee, Olympic diver; Tom DeLong, namesake of the swimming pool at Foothill High School; Homer Bludau, retired Newport Beach city manager; Parker Kennedy, philanthropist and chairman of First American; Dan Rogers, former chief executive of Goodwill of Orange County, and his wife, Sheila; Bob Robins, president of Theodore Robins Ford, and his wife, Ginny; John Hall, former Los Angeles Times sports writer; Peter Schabarum, former supervisor for Los Angeles County; and Peter Buffa, former mayor of Costa Mesa.

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Traditional Serbian music was provided by the Samarzich Tamuritza group as well as the Don Peterson band, and magician John George entertained.

Hamid Taherian, general manager of the Tee Room, provided an excellent buffet that included tossed salad, pasta with meat sauce, pasta with seafood, prime rib, coffee and cake. In addition, we had Serbian dishes: sarma (cabbage rolls), podvarak (cooked sauerkraut), prebanacs (baked lima beans) and roasted suckling pig. It was an invitation not to be turned down.

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Lions honor members

Two members of the Harbor Mesa Lions Club were honored with Melvin Jones Fellowships at a recent event that coincided with the birthday of the founder of Lions Clubs International. Debbie Karlson received her first fellowship, and Ann McIlroy received her second.

This honor is given to Lions who go above and beyond in serving the community and "make the world a better place," which is the theme of the current District 4L4 governor, Sheila Casteel.

Melvin Jones established the first Lions club in 1917. The organization grew to become Lions Clubs International, the world's largest service organization. His motto was, "You can't get very far until you start doing something for somebody else."

The fellowship was established in 1973 and is the highest honor a member can receive.

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