St. Mary’s Academy marks 125th anniversary with traditional tea

On Feb. 23, the alumnae and parent associations of St. Mary’s Academy in Inglewood co-hosted a tea party for more than 200 family members and friends. A time-honored tradition at the Inglewood all-girls’ high school since the early 1900s, the tea took on a special meaning this year with St. Mary’s celebrating its 125th anniversary.

On Jan. 7, 1889, the tea was called the “Grand Fete,” and was only for mothers and their daughters. In the ensuing years, alumnae have recalled, Archbishop John Cantwell attended those teas and ate petits fours. By the 1950s, the events became “Pink Teas,” with all decor being different shades of pink. Over the years, the teas expanded to include all family members.

This year the tea was back on campus, with garden trellises, lush flowers and draped chairs decorating the gym. A large silver tea set was displayed, while a student violinist played softly in the background. “It was really cool to see the gym so pretty. I could hardly recognize it,” said senior Olivia Avila.

“Hearing alums talk about how much St. Mary’s has meant to them was really inspiring,” she pointed out. “My favorite part of the afternoon was definitely talking to a lady who graduated in 1936. We are both ‘Gold Ties,’ which made us immediate friends. It was fun to bond over that.”

Manny Villarreal, director of development, said inviting alumnae will become a new tradition at the annual tea.

“The tea is not only an opportunity to celebrate the school’s history, but also a rally behind the future of St. Mary’s as it continues to help women become all of which they are capable,” said alumnae board member Toni Parham, who is the liaison to the parent association board. “One hundred and twenty five years, but one community.”

‘Forecast LA’ predicts economic growth for L.A.

Times are getting better, according to a report combining an economic forecast along with a survey of Angelenos and their elected leaders.

Called “Forecast LA,” the report is the result of a partnership between the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University and Beacon Economics, LLC. Researchers found evidence of economic growth at the Los Angeles as well as national level.

“Angelenos have a pretty strong sense of the economic realities facing our region, and they expect things to improve this year,” said Dr. Fernando Guerra, director of the center and professor of political science and Chicana/o studies at LMU.

“They still remember the negative effects of the recent downturn, of course,” he added, “and that may be why respondents in our survey say significant economic growth is still several years away.”

Forecast LA’s major findings include:

The economy of Los Angeles County will see steady but not stellar improvement over the next few years, with employment rising 2.5 percent.But housing continues to be a real concern. In fact, population growth is outstripping new construction. And eight out of ten people surveyed said home ownership remains out of reach for most residents.The forecast for overall U.S. economic growth will be more than 3 percent for 2014, which is a significant rise since before the “Great Recession.”Christopher Thornberg, one of the forecast’s lead authors and a founding partner of Beacon Economics, said, “The fundamentals have significantly improved, and the probability of another major shock hitting the system and disrupting this is not high enough to worry us.” 


Immaculate Heart of Mary School receives free medicine help

The urban parochial school received a donation of free prescription cards from the American Consultants Rx community service project. The project donates discount prescription cards to thousands of hospitals, churches, schools and other not-for-profits.

Charles Myrick, president of the group, recently announced the re-release of the free discount cards. Immaculate Heart of Mary School is one of the main recipients in the Los Angeles area. The cards are given out to low-income families and individuals who need help paying for prescription drugs.

‘Arts Crawl South Pasadena’

Alexandria House’s “Arts Crawl South Pasadena” will take place in front of Rosebuds and Rose Studs (1012 Mission St., South Pasadena), on March 8, 5-9 p.m. The happening, featuring an eclectic mix of art, food and drinks, benefits the mission of the Los Angeles shelter — to be a transitional house of hospitality for women and their children in need and a neighborhood center for education, advocacy and social action.