Pat Anderson named "La Cañadan of the Year"

La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce president Pat Anderson, left, talks about store-front parking problems with Chez owner Kerry Rasmussen, in front of Chez in La Cañada Flintridge on Tuesday, April 8, 2014. Anderson is this year's "La Canadan of the Year." (Raul Roa, La Canada Valley Sun / April 8, 2014)

When Pat Anderson, chief executive and president of the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce, learned she'd been named Kiwanis Club's 2013 "La Cañadan of the Year," she was a little more than surprised.

Although, as a past president, Anderson serves on the selection committee for the annual leadership and volunteerism award, she had no idea she was being considered for the title.

"At first I thought, 'How can that be?'" Anderson said of her reaction to the news. "I'm part of the selection committee, and we hadn't met to select anybody. But, unbeknownst to me, they had been meeting."

Since 1951, the Kiwanis Club has recognized residents who exemplify community service and leadership, and who work hard to promote a positive image of La Cañada Flintridge, according to Kiwanis member Nick Berkuta.

Berkuta, himself a past president and 2012's La Cañadan of the Year, said Anderson was the obvious choice this time around, given her long list of volunteer commitments and the fact that, when it comes to representing La Cañada, not many people are as visible throughout the community as she is.

"Often, it's difficult to choose just one nominee, but Pat rose to the top on this one," he said. "She is and has been involved in so many things in the community, basically this was a no-brainer."

In addition to her participation in Kiwanis Club and Chamber activities throughout the year, Anderson is actively involved in La Cañada Congregational Church and the One City, One School District collaboration.

Additionally, she is a charter member of the La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Assn. and a founding member of the La Cañada Auxiliary of Professionals of Assistance League of Flintridge.

Anderson moved to the city with her husband in 1971 shortly after their daughter, Katherine, was born. Just five years later, she served as a committee member overseeing the incorporation of La Cañada Flintridge as a city.

As La Cañadan of the Year, Anderson will ride in the Fiesta Days Parade, a Chamber event she usually works. Her 6-year-old grandson, Philip, will also participate in the parade, sitting inside the bucket of a truck.

"It's amazing," she said of the award. "I never in my wildest dreams thought I would get this particular honor."

Anderson will be awarded in a Kiwanis luncheon to be held April 30 at 11:30 a.m. at Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada. Tickets cost $20 and can be purchased by calling (818) 790-9901.

What: The La Cañadan of the Year luncheon honoring Pat Anderson

Where: Van de Kamp Hall at Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Drive.

When: Wednesday, April 30, at 11:30 a.m.

Cost: $20

More info: Reservations are required and must be made by Thursday, April 24. Call (818) 790-9901.

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Follow Sara Cardine on Twitter: @SaraCardine.

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