The 2017 Crunch Time Party!

Nearly 200 guests open their wallets in support of city float at War Memorial Building in South Pasadena.

PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com | Some of those on hand for the Crunch Time Party were, from left, Linda Miller, Michele Downing, Ted Shaw, Rob Williams and Sheila Pautsch.

It was billed as a “night of fellowship, good food and wallet lightening” by Gary Pia, the master of ceremonies for Friday night’s annual Crunch Time Party at the War Memorial Building.

PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com | City Treasurer Gary Pia served as emcee and auctioneer during Friday night’s Crunch Time Party.

Pia held a double role as emcee and event auctioneer, where he encouraged the nearly 200 in attendance to open their wallets in support of South Pasadena’s float entry – “Booster Club” – that will roll down Colorado Blvd. on Monday in the 129th Rose Parade.

“We all know why we are here,” Pia, South Pasadena’s city treasure, told the crowd as he later encouraged everyone to be part of the bidding during the live auction. “This is a tradition unlike many. We have had a floral entry in the Tournament of Roses Parade since 1893.”

Along with the live auction, which included everything from vacation getaways, Dodger tickets, to a party for 50, was a silent auction featuring an abundance of gifts, from a USC tailgate picnic basket to a $100 gift certificate from Shiro restaurant. There were also fine wines, photographs, golf specials, movie tickets and more.

PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com | Ted and Joan Shaw were among the guests at the Crunch Time Party.

Guests dined on fine cuisine from Little Lily’s Kitchen, featuring smokey tomato braised chicken, roasted root vegetables, sautéed winter greens, salad and bread pudding for dessert.

“This is always a nice, very fun event,” said South Pasadena Mayor Dr. Richard Schneider, before presenting the city’s prestigious Image Award to Barbara Eisenstein, the founder of the Friends of the Nature Park.

The award annually goes to someone special who has improved the image of South Pasadena beyond its borders.

“Barbara has worked tirelessly at the Nature Park,” Schneider told the dinner guests.

PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com | Image Award winner Barbara Eisenstein was a proud recipient of the high honor.

The park can be found in the 100 block of Pasadena Avenue near the York Street Bridge going into Highland Park. “We have preserved a lot of the natural plants and typography of the Arroyo,” explained Schneider. “Barbara has been instrumental in doing that.”

PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com | Image Award winner Barbara Eisenstein, right, addresses audience while South Pasadena Mayor Dr. Richard Schneider holds her award.
PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com | Enjoying the Crunch Time Party fun were Linda and Art Miller

Schneider praised Eisenstein and many volunteers for cleaning up “so much junk” that once occupied much of the park. “It was [at one time] used by the city as an unofficial dump. There were big pieces of concrete and asphalt, abandoned farm equipment. There were encampments with people living down there, box springs, chairs…everything you can imagine. It was a mess.”

Schneider credited Eisenstein and other volunteers for cleaning it up, noting that Barbara, a botanist, “has been a guiding force in improving the mix of plants that we have in making it a real nature park,” he said, noting that it is “a little jewel that we have in our city.”

The mayor stressed that improvements made at the park “wouldn’t have happened without a person like Barbara.”

After receiving the high honor Friday night, Eisenstein offered to give those in the audience a tour of the park. “It is a gem,” she said. “It is a beautiful place. I’m honored to get this [award] in particular because I’ve made so many friends doing this. It has been such a wonderful experience.”

PHOTO: Bill Glazier | Southpasadenan.com All smiles at the Crunch Time Party were Morgan Johnson, James Jontz and Courtney Dunlap.
PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com Nearly 200 guests gathered inside the War Memorial Building on Friday for Crunch Time
PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com Among those having fun at the Crunch Time Party were, from left, Coryln Saldana, Michele Downing and Sam Hernandes. They were high bidders in the live auction for a special surprise from Mark Langill of the Dodgers, a South Pasadena resident.
PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com Jan Adams and Marianna Adams were among those in the audience at the Crunch Time Party.
PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com Among those at Friday’s Crunch Time Party were, from left, Tom Daly, Ralph Frammorino and Brant Dunlap.
PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com Nearly 200 guests gathered inside the War Memorial Building on Friday for Crunch Time
PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com Checking in the guests were, from left, Mary Jane Juranek and Jeanne Lee Nicassio.
PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com Image Award winner Barbara Eisenstein was a proud recipient of the high honor.
PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com James Jontz, left, a longtime volunteer with the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Committee, is joined by SPTOR Crunch Time Party Chair Courtney Dunlap, and City Treasurer Gary Pia, the event emcee and auctioneer.
PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com City Clerk Evelyn Zneimer looks at the silent auction items at the Crunch Time Party.
PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com Peggy O’Leary and Brant Dunlap were all smiles at the Crunch Time Party.
PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com From left, Dan and Kathy Watson are joined by John Vandercook and Peggy O’Leary.
PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com Guest at the Crunch Time Party included, from left, Sheila Pautsch, Linda and Art Miller and Alan Vlacich.
PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com From left, Lin Vlacich, Susan and Scott Ziegler enjoyed the Crunch Time Party.

 

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