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Toluca Lake | Valley Focus

Bob Hope Helps Fete Charity Thrift Store

November 09, 1996|SYLVIA L. OLIANDE

Many of the nearly two dozen people waiting outside the new Discovery Shop resale store Friday were waiting to take advantage of the bargains inside, but others crowded around the door to catch a glimpse of "Mr. Toluca Lake"--comedian Bob Hope.

Hope and his wife, Dolores, were on hand to cut the ceremonial ribbon at the new upscale thrift store on Riverside Drive, the profits from which benefit the American Cancer Society.

"The American Cancer Society is pretty good," Hope said after cutting the ribbon. "The way they get together and do things, good things."

Brought in through a back entrance before the store's grand opening, the 93-year-old entertainer was greeted by the crowd with a chorus of "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow," led by 64-year-old Margot Stead, who told Hope she came all the way from England to see him.

"I didn't really, I've lived here for a while now," the new citizen and Toluca Lake resident said later. "I just wanted to see him. I grew up in England during the war and he meant so much to us all, entertaining the troops and all. Bob has always been in my heart."

But most of the others gathered were interested in finding bargains on clothing, jewelry or housewares, sold at less than half their original prices.

The 48 Discovery Shops in California, including a total of five in the San Fernando Valley, raised $7 million last year to fund cancer research, said Denise Noel, the Discovery Shops' state director.

Since the society opened its first shop in 1965 in San Fernando, the stores have only sold upscale items, much of which is donated by the public or part of estates bequeathed to the ACS. The inventory sometimes includes silver and china, Noel said.

"We wanted to open in upscale areas like this because this is where we can get the fine-quality merchandise," Noel said. "We can sell it for more, and it's much more appealing to the public."

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