La Reina class of ’84: Life-long bonds support a classmate

Ideas, like friendship, faith and goodness are hard to explain. How does one do justice to them?

Sometimes a single story can do it best. The La Reina High School Class of 1984 and what they are doing for their classmate, Barbie Kilbourne Larson, is just such a story. As Stephanie Saunders Halverson, who has spearheaded the class’ outreach to Barbie says, “Barbie's story is heartbreaking and beautiful all at the same time, and totally covered in God's mercy and grace.”

Barbie is facing her third bout of cancer in five years. After her first round of chemo, Stephanie had a meal sent from a local restaurant and called Barbie that night to see how she was doing. Stephanie noticed that Barbie laughed a lot when the two reminisced about their high school years at La Reina. When their conversation ended, Barbie said, “Thanks for the therapy.”

Then Stephanie came up with the idea of “The La Reina Girls’ Dinner Club.” In Stephanie’s words to her classmates: “What I am wondering is if we could create a ‘La Reina Girls’ Dinner Club’ for Barbie: providing dinner and a story. Each one of us could take a different week. As far as the meals, you could donate directly to Talbert Foundation on Barbie's page or you could send a little care package (always fun to open treats) with a gift card for takeout.

“It doesn’t have to be a lot, just symbolic of our love for her, telling her, ‘We are with you in this.’ You can put a short note in the mail to her reminiscing about La Reina days to put a smile on her face…. So if you are in and would like to love on Barbie and her family, please sign up for a week.”

Thus began an outpouring of love and care packages and La Reina stories from all over the country — and as word spread, more classmates signed up. More than half of her classmates have responded with some sort of outreach.

In the words of Erin Carraway: “This really is a breathtaking example of the bond we all developed more than 30 years ago.”

Or in the words of Susan Sunde Laschi: “Look at us, still bonded by La Reina. I wouldn't trade our time there together for anything. Both of my daughters go to La Reina and I can only hope that 30 years after they leave, they'll still have LR ‘sisters’ like I have with all of you.”

So this is what it means to be a La Reina alumna: It means you will never walk alone; you will be “loved on” and cared about forever, and that the values of compassion and kindness and service to others endure.

Betsy Potts is director of Alumnae Relations at La Reina High School, Thousand Oaks.



Voices

Jean Beliveau, RIP

REV. RONALD ROLHEISER, OMI

Jean Beliveau was more than an athlete, though certainly he was a one-in-a-million athlete. The record of his achievements almost defies belief. He played in the National Hockey League for 20 seasons and retired with 10 championship rings. 

 

The Holy Father visits the Holy Land

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December 20, 2014

  • Saturday, December 20

    St. Margaret's Center Christmas Program, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Morningside High School (Cafeteria), 10500 S. Yukon Ave, Inglewood. St. Margaret's Center, Inglewood School District, Doorking, Inc., and Centinela Hospital Medical Staff invite you to join them as they create a holiday wonderland with Christmas surprises for more than 1,000 poverty-level children and their parents. (310) 672-2208. Click here for more information.

    Christmas Shop at Holy Grounds, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m., St. Monica Catholic Community, 725 California Ave., Santa Monica. (310) 566-1500.

    Dancing Festival of Lessons and Carols, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Holy Spirit Retreat House, 4316 Lanai Rd., Encino. A concert by Valyermo Dancers & Co., choreographed by John West. $15. Contact Sr. Deborah for more info, (818) 784-4515.

    Christmas Dinner Dance, 6 p.m., Knights of Columbus Hall, 21433 Strathern St, Canoga Park. Tickets, $28. (818) 371-0473.

    Las Posadas, 7 p.m., Parish Hall, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 600 W Mariposa St, Altadena. Posadas means “the inns” or “the shelters” in Spanish. A religious and social celebration, Las Posadas commemorates Joseph and Mary’s journey to Bethlehem and their search for shelter prior to the birth of Christ. We invite you to join us in a one-day celebration of this tradition. (626) 794-2046.

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