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For All the Girls Who Loved Before

May 07, 1999

The I Remember Mama luncheon held Saturday at the Long Beach Westin hotel was a sentimental experience, not unlike the 1948 movie starring Irene Dunne after which it was named.

The event, sponsored by the Los Angeles and Orange County chapter of the Volunteers of America, was held to celebrate Mother's Day for 450 senior women, most from low-income and single households.

"Many of the seniors who we invite have outlived their relatives or do not live near them, and for them, Mother's Day is not always a celebration, but a lonely day," says Cal Winslow of the Volunteers of America. "This is our third year of putting on this luncheon, and it's geared toward [those who] don't get many opportunities to have an elegant meal."

In between the shrimp pasta and the chocolate mousse, a champagne toast was offered, and gift bags filled with nail polishes, night lights, candies and perfumes were passed around. Guests were entertained by the Society Swing Trio and young members of the International Peace Choir.

"We had a wonderful day," Winslow says. "Each of the honored ladies received carnation corsages and personalized Mother's Day cards made by the Boys and Girls Club of Long Beach.

"The kids, who are under the age of 10, made up their own cards. Some were cute, with messages and poems. The kids handed out the cards to the ladies, and you should have seen the smiles."

One hundred supporters paid $100 each to attend the luncheon, which was free to the seniors. "The event has become so much in demand that tickets are gone in a day," says Winslow, who adds that proceeds will fund a program that delivers meals to the elderly. "Our largest concentration of seniors is in Orange County. There's no shortage of people in need of those meals," he says.

Volunteers of America serves 135,000 clients a year in the Southland.

For more information, call (562) 599-6652.

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