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Pre-concert party for PAC K-12

Event: Cocktail party benefits outreach program

Posted: January 26, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: January 26, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Rita Garasi listens as Suzan Solomon, a trustee for the Newhall School Distrct board, reads from a certificate of recognition signed by Tom Torlakson, state superintendent of public instruction.

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A pre-concert cocktail party featured food inspired by Brazil — the adopted homeland of concert performer Dionne Warwick — and was also a special tribute to Rita Garasi.

The event, held before Warwick’s Jan.13 concert at the Santa Clarita Performing Art Center on the Valencia campus of College of the Canyons, benefited the Santa Clarita PAC K-12 Arts Education Outreach Program.

Hosted by Marshall G. and Shelley Hann, the event offered cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres. Guests mixed and mingled before being escorted to an adjacent room to meet Warwick and pose for photos with the star.

Rita Garasi, of Canyon Country, was surprised by Suzan Solomon with a certificate of recognition, signed by Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction for her work as chairwoman of the PAC K-12 Arts Education Outreach Program.

Chancellor/President of College of the Canyons Dianne Van Hook said the Dionne Warwick concert had special meaning for her.

“Dionne Warwick is the star my husband and I went to see when we eloped and went to Las Vegas 40 years ago,” she said. “It’s nostalgic that she should be here at the performing arts center.”

Van Hook thanked the Hann’s for hosting the event and the dramatic redesign of the PAC green room.

She presented the Hanns with a gift to thank them for their support.

Van Hook also told the crowd that many of things  residents of the Santa Clarita Valley take for granted are not done elsewhere.

“What we do here is not standard operating procedure elsewhere,” she said. “We get to do these things here because people come together around common interests and commitment and do that little bit extra that makes the extraordinary occur.”

Van Hook credited Garasi for her passion and dedication to the K-12 Arts Education Outreach Program.

“She understand the importance of arts education in the developmental growth of every child,” said Van Hook.

For more information about our Arts Education Outreach opportunities, contact the PAC K-12 Arts Education Outreach Program at (661) 362-3041 or


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