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A Foster Parent With a Far-Flung Family

July 03, 1987|David Larsen

For nearly half a century now, Meta Chandler of Glendale has been a foster parent to children the world over.

It started in 1939. Two years earlier, Foster Parents Plan, now based in Warwick, R.I., began a program to provide food, shelter and education for children suffering as a result of the Spanish Civil War. Since then, down through the decades, she has sponsored 13 foster children.

Although Chandler is shy about this kind of attention, the organization has given her the 1987 Lifetime Achievement Award. Why has she done this good work all these years? "Because the more you can add to understanding between people, the better," she answered.

The way it works is that a $22 monthly donation helps support such a child, always in a developing nation. Foster Parents Plan currently helps more than 308,000 children, according to spokesperson Farida Khan.

"Although I have gotten to meet most of the 13 by mail only, in 1983 I traveled to Colombia and met two of the former ones," Chandler said. "I also met one of my two present foster children, in Ecuador."

At present she also contributes on behalf of a 13-year-old boy in Guatemala.

And all things come full circle. The first child, in Spain in 1939, was named Maria Garcia. The present girl, now a 16-year-old in Ecuador, is named Maria Garcia.

She Has Heart of Goldberg

It figures that 88-year-old Carolyn Goldberg should visit Westside Hospital on Fairfax Avenue twice a week. After all, by her own account, her ailments include a heart condition, arthritis, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

After taking two buses from her Los Angeles home, Goldberg does indeed go to that hospital, showing up two mornings a week--to do volunteer work.

She can always be found on Tuesdays and Thursdays, doing filing work, running photocopy machines, helping departing patients into wheelchairs--her wise solution to otherwise occupying a hospital.

Muscling for Dollars

What is billed as the nation's only body-building fantasy camp made its West Coast debut Monday at the campus of Loyola Marymount University in Westchester.

The Pro Muscle Camp began the first of seven week-long sessions (fee of $625); the instructors included big-name weightlifters and athletes such as former Raiders tough guy Lyle Alzado.

The Roar of a Lioness

"Nothing so exciting has happened since my daughter's wedding last summer," was the reaction of Mrs. Martha Ortegon Acosta, principal at the Gardner Street Elementary School in Hollywood.

She was referring to the fact that last month, at the annual installation banquet of the Hollywood Lions Club, she was installed not only as that club's first woman member, but the first woman member in the district, which encompasses 50 of the organizations in Southern California. Many such clubs are similarly reacting to the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld a California anti-discrimination law.

Acosta told Cornelis Spruit, membership committee chairman, that many of the Hollywood Lions are graduates of the Gardner Street school.

An Essay With Muscles

"The Source of our Strength" was the title of an essay on the U.S. Constitution submitted by l7-year-old Anthony Kling, a junior at Harvard School in North Hollywood.

It was entered in a national contest sponsored by the U.S. Army Reserve and the Reserve Officers Assn., and was judged the winner over 6,850 other essays.

Kling flew to Washington last Friday to receive his award of a $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond and an engraved trophy, and later in the day met Vice President George Bush.

"One of the elements of the essay," Kling said before leaving Los Angeles, "was to envision ourselves as one of the delegates at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787."

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