Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Latest TWC News

I hope this finds you all well and enjoying the perfection of springtime in Topanga.  Sometimes I have to pinch myself to believe the beauty that surrounds all of us.  We're so very, very lucky.

There's lots happening right now so I'll give each item a header and make it easier for you all to follow.

Mother's Day:  Our cards are coming along nicely and the orders are trickling in.  If everyone could get their order in by this coming Sunday, that would be great.  A number of our members have ordered multiple cards for friends, moms, relatives, etc. and I want to extend special thanks to those who have been so very generous this Mother's Day.  By sending out an email to my friends all around the country, a goodly number of donations have also come our way so if you haven't done so, don't forget that this is the one time of year when we can sell this idea to friends.  Just send in your order and we'll get the cards out for you or you can pick them up from us and send them yourselves.  We hope to get at least one card order from each TWC member so please respond soon! We have some beautiful wildflower cards, and also the cow/calf, mare/foal and pair of hummingbirds in the nest pictures.  Specify what you'd like when you get in touch with us, as well as how you'd like the card signed and the recipient's name and address (if you're having us mail them).  Many thanks to Noelle Berman for the beautiful printing job she does for us; this year and last year.  What a gift that is.

Susan Lovell's Topanga Anthem Release Show:   Please check out this link for details/ticket purchase info, etc. of Susan's release show this coming Saturday, April 30th, 3 PM, at The Institute of Courage.  What a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon...beautiful music, beautiful setting and supporting TWC.  A win:win!

Fundraising from the Heart:  Catherine McClenahan is hosting a gathering in her beautiful home this coming Saturday, April 30th, from 11 AM to 1 PM where she will share with us all that she learned from the amazing Lynne Twist after attending her seminar in Santa Fe, NM.  Catherine was so inspired by Lynne that she would like to share with us all how asking for money for those in need can be an absolute honor and joy.  Janaki Welch knows Lynne well and will also share with us the inspiration that is Lynne.  If you want to be inspired, check out Lynne's website above or this link or this so you can get a good idea of how beautiful and dynamic a person Lynne is and please let Catherine know if you can attend: 310.455.7211

Saturday April 30th from 11 AM to 1 PM
1500 Will Geer Rd,
Topanga CA 90290
Marlene Frantz's (pre) Mother's Day Show and Sale on Saturday, May 7: Here's something that should be great fun and of some benefit to TWC.  Please gather at Marlene's beautiful home for a wonderful afternoon of art, community, conversation, wine and tea in honor of Motherhood and to!  Our very own Mother's Day cards and assorted card packets will also be for sale at this show. If you have trouble with the link for Marlene's show, please note that it is at her home:

Saturday, May 7th, 11 AM - 6 PM
2076 Hillside Drive in Topanga

Karen is looking for some help from TWC members at this event so if you can give an hour or two of your time between noon and 6 PM on May 7th, please drop Karen a line:

Friday, April 8, 2011

Today's Set-Up at Westwood: 4/8/11

Karen, Mary, Ildy & Pia headed over to Westwood Transitional Village this morning at 9 AM to set up a small two-bedroom, one bath apartment for a vet, his wife and two children, Darrin and Amber. It was a second floor unit and the two fellows who normally give us a hand hauling the stuff into the apartments were unable to help today so it was a lot of carrying and climbing to get all the items up to the 2nd floor. The fruit on the dining room table looks great and is from Ildy. That's always a nice addition to any set-up.

Karen reported that it went really well and quickly and they were all finished by 11:45.

Lisa had her twice monthly 'Open Bin' day today and we were surprised that it was sunny. Yay! We had two from Wendy Skolfield's husband who brought some great bags from Wendy's company and the other from TWC volunteer, Gabrielle Lamirand. It was especially good to see Gabrielle as she's mega-busy with Canyon Sages. If you don't know about the Sages and all the good programs they've started here in the Canyon for seniors or you know someone who may benefit from this program, drop her a line at
and she'll put you or your friend on the mailing list. We also had a couple of folks stop by and inquire about TWC. That's always good and I think by setting up our card table and working outside on sorting all the books, it kind of piqued folks' curiosity.

Here are some photos that better explain than my words what went on today.

And here's a picture of Lisa learning how to close the storage unit after her 'Open Bin''s tricky at the best of times!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Meeting Notes

Hi Everyone,

Here's an old idea but new for us. How about if I send you links to a new blog I've created for TWC so you can get all the updated info. You can leave comments in the blog or email Karen or me. This will be an easier way for us to send you photos and updates as opposed to an email which many of your accounts won't accept (if it's got pix in it). Bookmark this website so you can get back to it easily. Click on this link and then bookmark: Topanga Women's Circle Updates.

Topanga Women's Circle 4/5/11 Meeting Notes

We had a nice turn-out at last night’s meeting but missed many of our regulars. Because we chatted about a lot and also because of our upcoming annual Mother’s Day Fundraiser, I’m writing up the meeting notes that Janaki kindly took last night so you can all be in the loop. I’ll itemize each point discussed and if you have any questions, please give Karen (1929) or me (3850) a call or drop us an email.

Introduced New Member Pia Christenson: Pia is a neighbor who has moved to California from Denmark and is really looking forward to helping TWC. Last night was her first meeting, but she’s already got one set-up under her belt and is down at the storage unit as I type helping Karen and Mary pull items for an upcoming set-up on Friday. Welcome, Pia!

Open Bin with Lisa O’Laughlin: Lisa will have her third ‘Open Bin’ this coming Friday, April 8th from 10:30 to Noon. Thus far it’s been really successful and it seems to be handy for folks to drop in, perhaps after going to The Farmer’s Mkt. She will send out a reminder to all of you later on today.

Social Media and TWC: For those of you Facebook folks, I have found this to be a great way to spread the word about TWC and also to solicit donations. Last night before the meeting I posted a short note and a link to TWC on my page saying I was looking forward to the meeting. Five minutes later, the son of one of my friends in Washington, DC posted this: “I went to TWC’s website and made a (small) donation. Good luck with all you do.” Nice, huh? He’s only in his mid-20s and I thought it was so generous of him to do so. Another friend up in Sonoma saw the link a week or so ago and sent us a check for $100 and a note urging us to “Keep up the good work helping moms and kids.” How about putting a link on your FB page and encouraging your friends to contribute or order Mother’s Day cards?!

Meeting Donations: Karen sent out a reminder to our volunteers about bringing non-perishable food and other set-up donations to the meeting and boy did you ever. A big thank you to all of you who were so very generous last night. You brought LOADS!!! And a special thank you to Patty Colvig who couldn’t make the meeting due to work obligations but still popped over before we got started with her many donations.

Mother’s Day Card Fundraiser: At the end of this email, I’m going to post several photo choices for Mother’s Day cards. As before, we are asking for a $25 donation per card. There are two ways you can order cards. One is that you can purchase ‘x’ number of cards directly from us, giving TWC the $25 per card OR you can sell a card to a friend, collect their donation and they can then mail the card. Geraldine Flaxman has ordered 10 cards using her own photographs (she is a terrific photographer) so we will supply her with the stock, the insert and the two-sided sticky tabs to send out her own creations. Last night some folks placed their orders. Karen and I will print the cards and get them to you within the next two weeks and you can then mail them on. If people place an order with you online, they can also pay via our TWC website (the How You Can Help tab). You will be responsible for mailing their card off for them. This is a wonderfully easy way to raise monies for our charity and most of us who are still lucky enough to have our Moms in our lives know that they rarely want us to buy them anything. It's also a super way to honor friends or family members on this special day.

Catherine McClenahan and Lynn Twist: Catherine will be sending all of you an email inviting you to meeting at her house where she will share with us Lynn’s phenomenal approach to charitable fundraising. Janaki has also attended Lynn’s seminars and will be seeing her next week in San Francisco with another charity she is involved with, One Heart. Please try and attend. I promise you it will be a lively and inspiring gathering.

Grant from Zev Yaroslafsky: We got it!!!! $10,000. This is an amazing gift to our little group and will go an extraordinary distance in helping homeless families in Los Angeles.

Susan Lovell and The Topanga Canyon Band: TWC Member, Susan Lovell is having a release party of her first album, Topanga Anthem - Songs to the Canyon. Check out her website: Tickets are $35 and include the concert, wine, and hors d'oeuvres at Topanga’s very own Institute of Courage. Susan is making a generous contribution from ticket and album sales to Topanga Women's Circle so come join us Sunday, April 30th!

Trip to Brewery Storage Unit: Lizzie Kipner came to last night’s meeting (laden down with donations, I might add!) and when the call went out for someone to help get stuff to the downtown storage unit, she said she’d do it. Thanks, Lizzie. I’ll get back to you on the date and time. And I just got an email from Pia saying she'd like to help, too.

Topanga Elementary School: The 4th grade children at the school are studying the lives of women who have helped to build California. Their non-profit partner in this study is us, TWC! Their Service Objective is to support and honor current women who make a difference in our state and to that end, Karen and I will show our video and answer questions about TWC. We are then going to attend a school assembly two weeks later where we will briefly talk about the Topanga Women’s Circle. What a wonderful thing to teach the children of Topanga. Thanks for allowing TWC to be a part of this project.

E-Script: Isabel Freeman had a good idea and that is for us to gather more donations by getting involved in an E-Script program. She left some paperwork with us and we will further investigate this and discuss at an upcoming meeting.

Monthly Donations: Catherine McClenahan suggested setting up automatic monthly member donations. Please contact Karen or me if you are interested in this and we will help you get it established. No matter how small the donation, it will constitute an important part of our annual fundraising.

New Set-Up: And finally, there is another set-up this Friday, April 8th at Westwood Transitional Village for a Veteran and his wife and their two children, Darrin, a 12-year old boy and Amber a nine-year old girl. Please contact Karen if you would like to help. She will be meeting at the Container in Pine Tree Circle at 9 AM on Friday.

And finally, here are your Mother’s Day card choices:

This first pic is the photo we used for last year’s cards and which is being offered again this year. Taken on my patio in Topanga a year ago.

And here are Karen's fantastic photos, taken last year in Ireland. This first photo is of a Piebald Mare and her Foal.

And here's a fantastic picture of a Guernsey Cow and her Calf.

Hard to choose, I know!

The card insert will be on vellum, same as last year, and the overall effect is really quite lovely.

You can send friends a link to this blog and if they would like to order a card sent on their behalf to a mom or a friend, they can do it through you. We will put the card together for you and you can address and mail and collect money. They can pay online through our website ( or by sending a check to you made payable to Community Partners, fbo TWC.