Tag Archives: Event

Penn Club of San Diego Goes South of the Border for Street Eats

By B. Bea Rajsombath, C’99, club president

There are a lot of great things about living in sunny San Diego, including over 70 miles of beautiful coastline, the nice Mediterranean climate, pockets of diverse neighborhoods with their own vibe, mountains or beaches within miles of each other, great restaurants and bars, its proximity to Tijuana, and so much more.

The Penn Club of San Diego works on creating events and activities that feature the neighborhood gems and life in San Diego; events any of our alumni can appreciate, whether they recently moved here or are returning natives.

In November 2013, the Club joined Turista Libre for a wine tour in Valle de Guadalupe. Based on that successful and fun adventure, we had requests to organize another event south of the border. As Turista Libre (TL) focuses on organizing tours highlighting the local aspects of Tijuana and surrounding areas, we worked with them to deliver another event for our alumni. Passports in hand on March 22, Penn alumni and friends met up with TL at San Ysidro, the last US stop before reaching Mexico, about 15 miles south of San Diego. We were joined by a few other TL guests to walk across the border to board a small school bus operated by TL to start our adventure tour: TJ Street Eats.

Penn Alumni and friends

Penn Alumni and friends

We started our day with a birria taco from a busy food truck stationed on a non-descript street by a Staples. It was simple, yet bursting with flavor. A cheese quesadilla was offered to our vegetarian guests. The tacos were so delicious most of us wanted more, but we were advised by TL to limit ourselves to the one because we had a number of stops to make. A few of us couldn’t hold out though and had to try a second taco.

A birria taco

A birria taco

Our second stop was at Kokopelli’s food truck, for black Harder ceviche de lenguado tostada. Our vegetarian guests feasted on grilled Portobello mushroom tacos. At this point, more guests were losing their willpower to hold off on just one item and explored some other offerings from Kokopelli’s. A few also ventured to try a seemingly, innocent pink-colored salsa…and suffered through the burning from a habanero-beet mixture. TL also offered up some Tecate beer for refreshments before we headed to our third stop.

A tostada

A tostada

Before we reached Tio Pepe, a wonderful bottle of tequila was shared. Some of us are still searching for the bottle on this side of the border. Tio Pepe is a neighborhood gem with plastic tables and chairs, friendly staff and a bustling lunch crowd. I would love to go back…if I can find my way there! Here, we sat down to enjoy Guadalajara-style torta ahogadas, a few rounds of Corona and some ventured off to order additional tacos. I don’t know where they found room.

Torta Ahogada

Torta Ahogada

After indulging ourselves, we still had two more stops! The next was at Tepoznieves, an artisan ice cream parlor with more than 100 flavors. Unfortunately, I was too busy sampling the flavors and enjoying my selection of three small scoops to capture any photos to share. On the way to our last stop, another bottle of tequila was brought you to be shared. Finally, we made it to Baja Craft Beers for a sampling of house brews. We essentially had the place to ourselves so early in the afternoon. The brewery had great space and a long list of local and international beers available.

Baja Craft Brewery

Baja Craft Brewery

Alas, our great little adventure came to an end by 5pm and TL returned us to the border to make our way back across to the US. We definitely enjoyed our TJ Street Eats tour and working with Turista Libre again. We already have requests to repeat both the wine tour and the TJ Street eats.

The Penn Club of San Diego and Turista Libre

The Penn Club of San Diego and Turista Libre

These are just a few of the activities and events the Penn Club of San Diego organizes for local alumni in the greater San Diego area. If you are interested in learning about these and other events, please contact us via email, join our email listserv, like our Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter.

Our next event is a yPenn Happy Hour on July 10th. We hope to see you there!

 

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Seattle Alumni Put on Aprons for an Evening to Help Alleviate Poverty

By: Haley Shapley, C’06

Thanks to a little help from the Penn Club of Seattle, at least one person will be able to transition from the streets to a job in the hospitality industry.

It was all part of Guest Chef Night at FareStart, a culinary job training and placement program for homeless individuals in Seattle. Since 1992, FareStart has provided opportunities for nearly 7,000 people to transform their lives, while also serving more than 6 million meals to disadvantaged men, women, and children.

The tables are set for FareStart's Guest Chef Night, with Penn Alumni Club of Seattle members as guest servers.

The tables are set for FareStart’s Guest Chef Night, with Penn Alumni Club of Seattle members as guest servers.

Each Thursday evening, prominent guest chefs come to work with the students as part of their 16-week food-service program. The three-course meal is served by volunteers, which is where Penn alumni came in.

Chef Sam Hassan explains the evening's menu.

Chef Sam Hassan explains the evening’s menu.

Although none in the group had any restaurant experience to speak of, on April 24 we got a crash course in the art of serving, learning the importance of checking back within two bites, refilling waters regularly (and not touching the rim of the glass!), and how to properly carry a tray. Chef Sam Hassan of Maple Falls Cafe provided a tasting of the Mandioca Frita, NW by SE Pasta, and Mango Raspberry Cobbler beforehand so that we’d be able to answer questions about the ingredients when guests inquired (Just what is yuca? Ask us; we know!).

The featured servers tonight - the Penn Club of Seattle!

The featured servers tonight – the Penn Club of Seattle!

Penn Alumni getting trained

Penn Alumni getting trained

Six hours, countless pitchers of water, and a few cramped fingers later, we’d served 169 diners, raising a total of $7,116 for FareStart’s training programs, including donations of $181 and tips of $1,327. All in all, it’s more than enough to give one student safe housing, the full 16-week culinary program, and comprehensive wrap-around services.

It's a full house.

It’s a full house.

The program has a 90 percent job placement rate within three months for students after graduation, and each Guest Chef Night includes a graduation ceremony with those who’ve completed the 16-week program successfully. On our night, we watched two grads get ready to move on to the next stage of their lives, including Tina, who didn’t miss a single day. “It’s made me stay focused instead of every day wondering what’s going to happen,” she said.

Rupi Sureshkumar, Maria Seredina, and David Blum watch the graduation festivities.

Rupi Sureshkumar, Maria Seredina, and David Blum watch the graduation festivities.

Bob, who moved to Seattle in July with a big plan that fell apart, was equally grateful. “I thank this program; it really rescued me,” he said. “I learned a lot and I appreciate it. This program is ingenious to solve the problem of homelessness and poverty.”

Bellies full of delectable ingredients like shaved Parmigiano, smoked fish, and Chantilly cream, we scattered into the night back to our respective homes — energized by the experience and humbled by the fact that we made a contribution, however small, to the students being able to have homes to return to as well.

Penn alumni enjoy a hard-earned meal at the end of the evening.

Penn alumni enjoy a hard-earned meal at the end of the evening.

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Penn Serves LA: Holidays are a Time for Giving

By Jane Gutman, CW’73, PAR’14, PAR’16

Holidays are a time for giving, and also for giving back. Fourteen years ago a man named Tom Bagamane and his sister decided to pack forty grocery bags and hand them out to homeless people they saw near home and work. The weekend of December 12 – 15, 2013, volunteers with The Giving Spirit headed to all parts of Los Angeles and handed full duffle bags to 2,600 homeless people. The bags were not dropped off in parks or near shelters, rather The Giving Spirit volunteers found isolated people and interacted with them in the process of handing over a bag filled with fresh and canned food, socks, hats, rain gear, toiletries and the like, along with an industrial strength blanket.

Giving Spirit group Dec.13.2013

On the Friday night of that weekend, over fifty Penn Serves LA volunteers of all ages congregated at a church in West LA to help to make greeting cards and pack Tupperware and ziplocks with necessities for The Giving Spirit’s bags. As Mr. Bagamane told the Penn crowd, The Giving Spirit knows it cannot cure homelessness, but it hopes to make the holidays and the coldest part of winter just a little easier for “our friends living on the street.” He asked the Penn alumni how it would feel to never hear your name spoken or to line up with your kids just to have a roof over your head for a few hours.

Giving Spirit 1 Dec.13.2013

Giving Spirit 2 Dec.13.2013

The Penn group pitched in for a few hours – some hauling heavy boxes, some joining the assembly lines, some binding blankets. It was a cold night, but we had lots of company and warm food provided by local restaurants…and we were reminded yet again how very lucky we are not to live in a tent or a box on the street. After a fulfilling and collegial evening, our Penn alumni headed back to their cars and homes, and over the Penn shirts they had donned many wore The Giving Spirit t-shirt emblazoned with, “GIVE HOPE LOVE”…and that’s what the holidays are all about!

Giving Spirit 4 Dec.13.2013

Giving Spirit 3 Dec.13.2013

All alumni, Penn parents, families and their children are invited to the next Penn Serves LA event on Sunday, February 23, 2014, from 4:00 – 7:00 pm at One to One Outreach. Back by popular demand, we will return to assemble and deliver boxes of food to the low income, food-insecure of South Central Los Angeles. Children over 8 years are invited to attend. Bring a bit of joy and relief to those in need with us. Click here to sign up for this event.

About Penn Serves LA – Started in 2012, Penn Serves offers a way for direct community service for local Penn alumni and their children to serve Los Angeles’ most needy populations. We partner with established nonprofits and grassroots organizations for one-time volunteer opportunities. So far, we’ve served meals to the homeless, delivered food to low income families, planned activities with immigrant children, and so much more. Please contact us if you’d like to help at a future event via email at pennservesla@gmail.com or visit our website.

Read about our past events:

November, 2013 – Sending Holiday Warmth to our Troops

August and September, 2013 – Serving the Environment and LA Leadership Academy

May, 2013 – One on One Outreach

March, 2013 – Habitat for Humanity

January, 2013 – Inner City Arts

September, 2012 – The Midnight Mission

June, 2012 – Turning Point Shelter

 

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First September with the Penn Club of Northern California

By Beth Topor, W’80, and Jenny Zhan, C’10, W’10

NorCal First Sept_0865

The Penn Club of Northern California welcomed the Class of 2013 to the Bay area with what else – a wine tasting! This First September celebration was held on Saturday, September 7, at DogPatch Wine Works, the newest winery to open in San Francisco. The crowd of just under 100 wine tasters included undergraduate and graduate school alumni with more than half of the attendees from the Class of 2013! We enjoyed seeing classmates reunite, not knowing each had been fortunate to land in San Francisco. It was great occasion for Quakers to mingle, nosh and sample wines; white and red, but alas no blue.

NorCal First Sept_0878-1

Tom Eliaz, ENG’02, president of the Penn Club, welcomed the new alumni to the area with a toast, and encouraged all to get involved with local Penn activities which include interviewing high school students and volunteering with the Club. Tom introduced the Club Board members and Interviewing Chairs who were enjoying the tasting but also ready to answer questions about how all alumni can become West Coast Ambassadors for Penn.

Tom concluded by inviting all Northern California alumni to “Time to Shine” on Thursday October 10th, hosted by Penn President Amy Gutmann. This reception will be followed by a YPenn happy hour for our young alumni classes 2004 – 2013. Over 400 alumni registered to attend.

NorCal First Sept_0853

Each year, Penn Alumni Clubs around the world host First September events to welcome the most recent graduating class and alumni new to the area. Be sure to join your local domestic or international club and learn more about their upcoming events.

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Penn Cares with the Penn Club of Northern California – Habitat for Humanity

By Betty Huang, ENG’12, GEN’12, and Jenny Zhan, C’10, W’10

Donning hard hats at 8:30AM on a chilly and grey Saturday morning, volunteers from the Penn Club of Northern California joined in on ground-breaking work with Habitat for Humanity of Greater San Francisco. The work was more physically challenging than usual because we were doing foundation work, that is, a lot of shoveling, waterproofing, wheelbarrowing, and moving dirt around. Despite the difficulties, it was very gratifying getting in on a project from the very beginning: Habitat had just received permits for a 28-unit single family development named Habitat Terrace, an ambitious project in the Oceanview neighborhood and the organization’s largest development yet in San Francisco.

NoCal Penn Cares 2 - 1

We are proud to contribute to Habitat’s mission to provide a helping hand to families in need of improved living conditions. The homes that we helped lay the foundations for will be sold to families at no profit and financed with 0% interest mortgages. In addition, new owners will put 500 hours of work into their own homes. It will take over 100,000 volunteer hours to finish this Habitat Terrace development in the next 2 years, and the Penn Club of Northern California is looking forward to seeing the project through. Thank you to all our volunteers on August 17th, and if you live in the area, please join us in serving our community!

NorCal Penn Cares 2 - 2

NorCal Penn Cares 2 - 3

NorCal Penn Cares 2 - 4

Read about our experience helping at the San Francisco Food Bank here.

Read about Penn Serves LA helping at Habitat for Humanity here.

The Penn Softball team volunteered at Habitat for Humanity in New Jersey last year – here’s the link to a story and video about their experience.

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Penn Cares with the Penn Club of Northern California

By Betty Huang, ENG’12, GEN’12, and Jenny Zhan, C’10, W’10

On Saturday, June 15th, we held our inaugural Penn Club of Northern California community service event with eight Penn alumni at the San Francisco Food Bank warehouse in the Potrero Hill neighborhood. The San Francisco Food Bank delivers 100,000 meals worth of food every day to senior and families in need, and relies on volunteers year-round to help package and distribute the resources. Our Penn Cares volunteers spent three hours that Saturday afternoon manning the apple juice table – that is, we were responsible for filling each food donation box with two bottles of apple juice. Packed additionally with cereal, canned fruit, and other pantry staples, these boxes would go out to the 11,000 low-income seniors in San Francisco, where approximately one in four seniors live at the risk of hunger.

NorCal Penn Cares 1

We were blown away by the efficiency of the Food Bank staff in directing all the volunteers, for many of whom this was a first-time experience at the warehouse. We all gathered around an assembly line in an orderly fashion, and worked at such a rapid pace that we had to constantly switch positions because our arms would get sore (lifting bottles of apple juices was quite a workout)! Nevertheless, everybody had a great time, and our three-hour shift passed by quickly as we all chatted away while multi-tasking on the packaging. Volunteers like us work in shifts to provide the Food Bank with the equivalent manpower of 70 full-time workers – this in turn allows the Food Bank to save on salaries and turn 96% of all donations directly to their programs. At the end of our shift, we were asked to guess how many food boxes we had packaged – we were all astonished to hear that together with the other volunteers, we had packed exactly 1,377 boxes in three hours, helping 1,377 seniors for one entire month – It was such an instant gratification knowing that each box we packed would go to one senior and alleviate some of his or her food security-related stress for the next month!

NorCal Penn Cares 2

If you live in the San Francisco area, we encourage you to join the Penn Club of Northern California, and sign up for their free email newsletter to be notified of other Penn Cares events. www.ncpennclub.com

NorCal Penn Cares 3

NorCal Penn Cares 4

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Happy 307th Birthday Ben Franklin!

Ben Franklin

By Kiera Reilly, C’93  @KieraReilly

Every year, Penn Alumni clubs around the world gather to celebrate Penn’s founder, Ben Franklin. Many clubs celebrate on Ben’s birthday, January 17th, but others celebrate throughout the month of January.

The Penn Alumni Regional Clubs website lists all of these celebrations. There is still time to raise a toast to Ben in Baltimore (Jan. 31st), Seattle (Jan. 27th) and Westchester and Rockland Counties, NY (Jan. 31st).

The Penn Club of Portland (Oregon) gathered on January 17th to raise a toast. Here’s how they notified members:

Benjamin Franklin visited Ireland in 1771 and was invited to sit with the members of the Irish Parliament rather than in the gallery with other visitors. He was the first American to be given this honor. While touring Ireland, he was moved by the level of poverty he observed. Since Ireland’s economy was governed by the same trade regulations and laws of Britain that governed America, Franklin feared that America could suffer the same effects should Britain’s colonial rule continue. So, we are honoring this event on Benjamin Franklin’s 307th birthday on Thursday, January 17th, at where else?

Kells Irish Brew Pub

210 NW 21st Avenue

Portland

Join in celebrating Ben Franklin’s 307th birthday with Penn alums and friends. Beer lovers have long claimed that Franklin’s love of beer led him to say: “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Wine lovers and Walter Isaacson know that the actual quote was: “Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine, a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.” The good news is that both will be available (along with a happy-hour menu until 6:30pm) to continue the proof.

Look for friends, smiling faces and/or small Penn flag.

RSVPs, while not required, are always appreciated.

Club president John Vosmek, C’61, said, “We never had more than 10 at one time – people came and went, but it was all fun.”

Here’s a toast to dear old Ben!

The Penn Club of Portland celebrates Ben Franklin on January 17, 2013.

The Penn Club of Portland celebrates Ben Franklin on January 17, 2013.

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Healthy Cities: Healthy Women Los Angeles

Author: Kiera Reilly, C’93  @KieraReilly

This week, I attended the Penn Nursing sponsored conference Healthy Cities: Healthy Women in Los Angeles. This is the fourth conference in this series of day-long discussions about the health of urban women (conferences on this topic were previously held in Philadelphia, New York and Miami).

Afaf Meleis, PhD, DrPS(hon), FAAN, Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing at Penn, visited Los Angeles in January and energized a group of Penn alumnae, parents and friends to organize a conference that addressed the needs of women in Los Angeles. Meeting monthly, this fantastic group of volunteers, led by conference chair Julie Beren Platt, C’79, PAR’05, PAR’08, PAR’12, amazed me with their enthusiasm, dedication and can-do attitude – and action! Their efforts led to a packed ballroom at the Loews Hollywood Hotel on Wednesday, where local residents heard from experts about problems and solutions facing women in urban environments, and specifically Los Angeles.

Attenees check-in at the registration desk at the Loews Hollywood Hotel

Attenees check-in at the registration desk at the Loews Hollywood Hotel

Instead of summarizing the day, I’ll instead include this link to a blog post at The Family Savvy written by one of the conference attendees. In short, there are many challenges facing women, and the many speakers at the event represented city and county officials, non-profit leaders and academics. All shared their experiences, expertise and thoughts about how we can help women be healthy and care for their families in urban environments.

Local organizations in the Community Impact Area provided attendees information on their services and ways to get involved.

Local organizations in the Community Impact Area provided attendees information on their services and ways to get involved.

Johnathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, MBA, WG’77, Director and Health Officer, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, opens the conference.

Johnathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, MBA, WG’77, Director and Health Officer, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, opens the conference.

All the speakers were interesting, informed, and inspiring. Sue Dunlap, the CEO of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, encouraged everyone to be “outspoken nurses,” and advocate for women’s health. Dean Afaf Meleis addressed the group from the future – 2022 – and talked about all the advancements made since we met here ten years prior. The last speaker, Dr. Robert K. Ross, C’76, M’80, G’92, President and CEO, The California Endowment, brought the room to a standstill when he read a poem from a survivor of incest. The poem was heartbreaking, but he shared that this young woman was now working to help others in similar situations. He said that women are the cohort that will help solve the sexual abuse and trafficking problem and charged us to help.

Penn Nursing’s Healthy Cities: Healthy Women conference is next going to Washington, DC, and London. If you live in one of those cities, I encourage you to get involved with the conference planning, to attend and encourage your friends, neighbors and fellow citizens to participate.

Follow Penn Urban Women’s Health on Facebook or Twitter for more updates.

Thank you to the organizing committee:

Nancy Bergmann, C’89

Lisa Block Cohen, C’85, PAR’15

Gaby Cosgrove, C’91

Carolyn Enenstein, C’95

Jory Goldman Feldman, PAR’15

Terri Cox Glassen, Nu’91

Laurie Burrows Grad, CW’66, PAR’91

Jane Gutman, CW’73, PAR’14, PAR’16

Beth Kean, ENG’89

Jodi Kirkbride, PAR’13

Gloria Lee, C’97, G’98, WG’07

Deborah Marrow, CW’70, GR’78

Ashley Damron Mohan, W’98

Donna Shralow Nadel, C’82, PAR’13, PAR’15

Julie Beren Platt, C’79, PAR’05, PAR’08, PAR’12 – Conference Chair

Pamela Petre Reis, CW’70

Kathryn Tong, WG’07

Lynn Wagmeister, PAR’13

Denise Green Winner, W’83

Melissa Wu, C’98

Thank you to the conference sponsors:

Keynote Sponsors:

Dean Kehler, W’79, and Elizabeth Kehler

Panel Sponsor:

 UCLA School of Nursing

 Gift bag donations:

The Planning Committee stocks gift bags before the conference.

The Planning Committee stocks gift bags before the conference.

Cigna

Fallas

Luna Bars

Neuro Drinks

OPI

Optum

Penn Nursing Science

Perky Jerky

Snak Club

Tempted Apparel

Volunteers distribute the bags to conference attendees.

Volunteers distribute the bags to conference attendees.

These organizations were showcased in our

Community Impact Area – engage with them and get involved!

American Red Cross

CAST LA (Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking)

CompuMed

Girls and Gangs

Girls on the Run of LA

Impact Personal Safety

Inner-City Arts

Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles

L.A. Family Housing

Minds Matter LA

Planned Parenthood Los Angeles

Providence Little Company of Mary, Community Health Department

Rape Treatment Center

Union Station Homeless Services

YWCA Santa Monica/Westside

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A Toast to Penn in Northern California

By Kiera Reilly, C’93  @KieraReilly

Schlein grapes.
Photo by Helaine Kaplan Prentice, CW’71, PAR’07, and Blair Prentice, PAR’07.

A few weekends ago, I traveled one bright sunny Saturday afternoon to the wine country north of San Francisco. There, the Penn Club of Northern California hosted a wine tasting made possible by the generosity of Phil “Spike” Schlein, C’57.

Penn Club of Northern California board members Phil Crosby, C’92, his daughter Shannon, and Beth Topor, W’80, welcome alumni and friends to Schlein Vineyards.
Photo by Kiera Reilly.

Spike opened his family vineyards and gardens in Oakville, Napa Valley, for touring and a wine tasting. The Schlein family (Spike’s children Kathy, C’83, and Ted, C’86, are also alumni) honored the club with a similar event three years ago, and were happy to welcome local alumni again.

The Schlein vineyards.
Photo by Kiera Reilly

Spike helped facilitate the wine tasting, and shared his story of becoming a winemaker, and the history of the vineyards that he’s owned for over thirty years. Everyone enjoyed the garden setting and delicious lunch buffet. Beth Topor, W’80, vice president of membership and communications for the club, shared information about upcoming events, and club co-president Tom Eliaz, ENG’02, encouraged alumni to share their ideas for future events and to get involved with activity planning. Alexandra Feinson, C’11, undergraduate admissions counselor for Northern California, attended and spoke to the group about Penn admissions. After lunch, Spike led everyone through a tour of the vineyards.

Photo by Kiera Reilly.

Photo by Kiera Reilly.

Alumni enjoying lunch and conversation.
Photo by Helaine Kaplan Prentice, CW’71, PAR’07, and Blair Prentice, PAR’07.

Club board member Phil Crosby, C’92, and his daughters Kate and Shannon give away Penn goodies.
Photo by Kiera Reilly.

The Penn Club of Northern California thanks Phil Schlein for opening up his winery and all the alumni who attended and contributed to our Club Book Scholarship Program. They raised $1,855 and with Phil’s generosity providing the food and beverages, 100% of the proceeds goes to scholarships for local Penn students! We also thank Arthur and Lindsay, two of their past scholarship recipients who spoke on the value of your donations. If you were unable to attend the event and would like to contribute to scholarships, click here, every dollar helps!

Phil “Spike” Schlein, C’57, toasts the group and Penn.
Photo by Helaine Kaplan Prentice, CW’71, PAR’07, and Blair Prentice, PAR’07.

Photo by Helaine Kaplan Prentice, CW’71, PAR’07, and Blair Prentice, PAR’07.

Phil “Spike” Schlein, C’57, leads a tour of his vineyards.
Photo by Helaine Kaplan Prencie, CW’71, PAR’07, and Blair Prentice, PAR’07.

Enjoying the vineyards.
Photo by Helaine Kaplan Prentice, CW’71, PAR’07, and Blair Prentice, PAR’07.

What a treat to enjoy a relaxing afternoon in a beautiful setting and enjoy the conversation of fellow alumni.

Here’s a toast to Penn! And a toast to Phil Schlein!

Hurrah, Hurrah!

Penn Club of Northern California board members thank Phil Schlein for hosting the club.
L-R: Phil Crosby, C’92, Beth Topor, W’80, Phil Schlein, C’57, Carine Blanchet, C’92, Tom Eliaz, ENG’02.
Photo by Kiera Reilly.

Click here to join the Penn Club of Northern California, sign up for their email newsletter and get involved with the club. You can also find the club on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter @NCPennClub.

For more information on Schlein Vineyards, click here.

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Penn Serves LA

Author:  Kiera Reilly, C’93  (@KieraReilly)

Penn Serves LA’s first event at the Turning Point Shelter in Santa Monica, CA.

On Saturday June 9, Penn Serves LA hosted its first successful volunteer event. More than 20 Penn alumni and friends were on hand to serve dinner with dignity to the 55 residents of Turning Point Shelter in Santa Monica. Volunteers brought chicken, salad, dessert, decorations and more to prepare this memorable meal.

“We are thrilled that first event exceeded our expectations of interest from Los Angeles Penn alumni and their families,” shares Jane Gutman, CW’73, PAR’14, PAR’16, a founding member of the Penn Serves LA Committee. Jane, along with Denise Winner, W’83, Leanne Huebner, W’90, Aileen Level, C’99, GSEd’00, and others, have been putting their various nonprofit experiences and connections together to get Penn Serves LA together and running.

Penn alumni helping in the kitchen.

Making lunches for the Turning Point residents.

In these difficult economic times, many succumb to homelessness due to job loss and these shelters are key to getting them back on their feet. According the Institute for the Study of Homelessness and Poverty at the Weingart Center, an estimated 254,000 men, women and children experience homelessness in Los Angeles County during some part of the year and approximately 82,000 people are homeless on any given night. Interestingly, 32% of LA’s homeless have bachelors’ degrees (compared to 45% of the overall population) and 41% have worked in the previous year.

PennClubLA’s Snehit Neenakri, GEN’09, and Jane Gutman, CW’73, PAR’ 14, PAR’16.

The Penn Serves LA goal is to volunteer our services as Penn alumni, parents and family to contribute to needy nonprofits in our community. Penn Serves LA is regularly scheduling service events whereby Quakers can proudly work together to service the Los Angeles community.   We are working in partnership with PennClubLA, Wharton Club of Southern California, and the Southern California Regional Advisory Board.

Serving food from the kitchen.

The next Penn Serves LA event is September 22 The group will serve lunch at The Midnight Mission. More details will be available soon, and the event will be promoted via emails and through the local Penn and Wharton clubs.

The Penn Serves LA committee is seeking more LA-based alumni, parents and students to support our initiative. If you have interest in learning more, or in joining us on September 22, please contact pennserves@gmail.com.

All photos (c) Kiera Reilly.

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