Spotlight on Angela Movassaghi

Each month we spotlight a volunteer, staff member, docent, donor, or sponsor of Virginia Robinson Gardens (VRG) — those that have made an impact on the organization. We want to let you know about these wonderful people and corporations that give so much to the Virginia Robinson Gardens and to the community, and what they do that is so impactful.

This month, we spotlight Angela Movassaghi, a Friend of Robinson Gardens Board Member. A very dedicated member, Angela is always there to help in any way, especially during Garden Tour and the Gala, her two favorite events.

We asked her these three questions:

1.  How did you first learn about VRG, and what inspired you to become a Friend?

I first learned about VRG in the spring of 2000 through Lynda Fadel at a birthday party for one of our boys’ classmates at Turning Point School. Lynda mentioned the Garden Tour as the best kept secret in town and suggested attending the event. She assured all of the ladies in the room of an unforgettable afternoon. Another mom that had been listening as well, suggested we should give it a try and go. Well, let me tell you, Lynda was right. Both Ellie Salamat and I had a fabulous time visiting the beautiful gardens on the Tour in the morning, followed by a delicious lunch on the Great Lawn at the VRG estate. With a glass of Champagne at hand and a bowl of strawberries, Ellie and I decided we had to join this organization that presented the most incredible display of flower arrangements and decor in every room of this house and its gardens.

Ellie and I were sponsored by Lynda Fadel and past President Kathy Toppino, and little by little, more of our friends from Turning Point School began to join VRG as members.

  1. What’s your role – How do you contribute to VRG?

I was invited to join the board afterwards, and immediately given the task to organize the Children’s Holiday Party. In keeping with the tradition of Mrs. Robinson, which for years had donated to two children’s organizations, Maryvale Child Care Services in Rosemead, California  and Hathaway Children and Family Services in Sylmar, I began to plan my first event. While Maryvale facility was for only young girls, Hathaway, on the other hand, was at the time only for boys. Luckily for me, there were many devoted board members that reached out, explaining how an event such as this gets organized. I will always be grateful to Leslie Kavanaugh and Claudia Deutsch for their guidance and support. Both ladies became my mentors and dear friends. Our committee was responsible for soliciting donations and sponsors for our Holiday event which turned out to be one of the most rewarding assignments I have had the privilege to be a part of.

By the second time I was asked to co-chair the Children’s Holiday Party, I had become acquainted with the staff of both childrens’ facilities, and wanted to do more than just a party. The revenue the committee solicited and received that year far exceeded our expectations. With the board’s approval, we purchased bicycles, helmets, and knee pads for the girls, while the boys received televisions, VCRs, and a library of assorted movies to be shared. The gifts were delivered during the Easter holiday, which were received with joy and laughter by the kids.

Over the years, I have also co-chaired the Garden Tour as well as the Gala. Both events are very different — both spectacular. The first one is open to the public, while our Gala is for members and their guests only, a more intimate affair.

  1. Can you share a favorite VRG memory with us?

My favorite memory definitely has to be spending time listening to Ivo Hadjiev, Mrs. Robinson’s majordomo. Ivo was a gentleman of a bygone era, a well-educated and philosophical man. One could spend hours with Ivo where he would share stories about meeting the many Hollywood greats from the Golden Age, as well as dignitaries and socialites. Ivo cared deeply about keeping the memory and legacy of Mrs. Robinson alive. He was very protective, devoted, and committed to the job he had been given all the way to the very end.

I have seen the Virginia Robinson Gardens grow under the leadership of the Board of Directors. I am proud to be a member of this great organization, and for the friendships I have been so fortunate to develop through the years.


2 Responses

  1. Diana Doyle
    | Reply

    Bravo Angela!!

  2. Stacy Klines
    | Reply

    Ivo was very loved and definitely missed.

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