Affinity Group Events

The Affinity Group puts on fundraiser and awareness events to raise money for Operation Teddy Bear® each year.

They Came, They Saw, They Accessorized

Spring Bling Jewelry & Accessories Sale

The members of our Affinity Group spent National Volunteer Week preparing for and hosting the Spring Bling Jewelry and Accessories Sale. This fantastic FUNdraiser featured a treasure trove of earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, watches, scarves and handbags. Community members joined us throughout the afternoon to schmooze, shop and bid on silent auction items, with proceeds benefitting Operation Teddy Bear. We are extremely grateful to the ladies of Affinity Group for all they have done and continue to do to support the Volunteer Center!

Kids For Kids' Unique, Artistic & Creative Success

Kids for Kids Fundraiser

On a Sunday afternoon during the recent heat wave, a cool breeze ran through the back yard of Dr. Michele and Paula Del Vicario. Guests mingled on the lawn, enjoying music by Palos Verdes High School students, as a small army of colorful goats were on parade for all to enjoy. It was the perfect afternoon to celebrate the success of the Affinity Group's unique fundraiser, Kids For Kids, raising more than $20,000 for Operation Teddy Bear!

This project was the brilliant idea of co-chair Sharon Ryan, who headed up the endeavor with her daughter and co-chair, Jennifer Ryan Marshall. We are so thankful for their hard work in coordinating all the details of the project, including the 23 painted or otherwise artistically-created resin goat statues, each one a masterpiece completely unique and different from the next.

Our immense gratitude goes to our friends and neighbors at Destination: Art and the Torrance Artists' Guild for spearheading the goat-art process for a majority of the "kids!" David Wolfram, president of both groups, worked hard to help Sharon and Jennifer recruit many of the artists from their participating members and coordinate related details. We encourage you to visit Destination: Art - a nonprofit gallery in Downtown Torrance - and discover all the wonderful local talent they feature on a regular basis!

A big thank you to the members of the Affinity Group committee - Dianne BozlerVirginia ButlerAnne DestabelleFrancine GambleDe De HicksJoyce KochanowskiJacky Mason and Cherri Olson - who helped Sharon and Jennifer line up the program's sponsors and attended to all the details for this culminating reception with live and silent auctions. The live auction featured five of the "kid" creations, a stay at Terranea Resort, and a child's rocking chair hand-painted by one of the artists, while the silent auction featured more unique artwork. Special thanks to Dave Diestal, a friend of the Affinity Group, who served as auctioneer complete with witty repartee.

The afternoon featured remarks by the Volunteer Center's President/CEO Sara Myers and the Affinity Group's President, De De Hicks. Both spoke about the impact of Operation Teddy Bear, and De De also thanked the afternoon's hosts, Dr. Michele and Paula Del Vicario, along with everyone else who made the fundraiser a success.

We encourage you to visit the special website created for the fundraiser to see all 23 "kids" and learn about the artists who created them. The website also acknowledges the fundraiser's generous sponsors and everyone who made this fundraiser a success! 

Community Volunteer Awards Luncheon

The Affinity Group honored Jean Adelsman, Ann Buxton and Joyce Kochanowski for their outstanding contributions to the community at a luncheon on Thursday, June 21, 2017 at the Palos Verdes Golf Club, benefiting the Volunteer Center's Operation Teddy Bear® (click here to read more about the honorees).
The luncheon also featured a performance by singer Jeralyn Glass. Ms. Glass has sung leading roles in many of the finest opera houses and concert halls of Europe, America and the Far East. She began her career on Broadway as the youngest cast member in the 25th anniversary revival of My Fair Lady, and has also performed regionally and on national tours.



Jean Adelsman, Ann Buxton
and Joyce Kochanowski

About the Honorees

Jean Adelsman is a longtime community volunteer who is a past chair of the board of the Volunteer Center and currently chairs the Food for Kids program. She is a former president of the Torrance Cultural Arts Foundation board and has been active in the past on the H.E.L.P., RSVP and Community Helpline boards. She is also a member of Affinity.

Ann Buxton has been a key supporter of the Palos Verdes Art Center and its support group, The Circle. She is past president of that group and is currently president of the Center board. She has also chaired the successful Homes Tours for both PVAC and Neighborhood Church. She and her husband David have hosted two Affinity Legends fund raisers at their beautiful home.

Joyce Kochanowski has volunteered for many community organizations. She is past president of Las Primeras and currently president of Las Vecinas, support groups of the Assistance League. She has been Treasurer of Toberman auxiliary and currently is treasurer for both The Associates of PVAC and the Affinity Group. She is also a volunteer for H.E.L.P. and adds sunshine wherever she volunteers.

"Legends In Our Time"

“Legends In Our Time” events honor volunteers chosen as "Legends" for their outstanding contribution to the community. Past honorees have included:

2016 Donald Crocker William Ailor Richard Moe Robert Medawar
2015 De De Hicks
2014 Jackie Crowley Mary Scott Shirley Starke-Wallace Teresa Sun
2013 Janet Smith Anita Javitt Jane Jones Dorothy Lay
2012 Mary Curtin Stephanie Enright Joan Moe Mary Jane Schoenheider
2011 Yvonne Bogdanovich Anne Destabelle Marylyn Ginsburg-Klaus Sue Soldoff
2010 Pam Barrett Janel Baszile Ginny Bleier Rosemary Humphrey
2009 Shirley Borks Jacqueline M. Glass Maude Landon Harlyne Norris
2008 Glenous Absmeier Keri Gilbert Meredith Grenier Diana Martin
2007 Barbara Dye Arline Grotz Sharon Ryan Sue Seager
2006 Monica McFaden Debbie Richardson Susie Beall Rowena Schaber