Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles' St. Jerome Conference President Mervin Hughes and Tirrell Bordenave brought an estimated 1,000 socks, as well as hygiene items for the homeless, to the Society's administrative offices Dec. 12, 2012.

Society Executive Director David Fields said, "Way to go St. Jerome!"

Photos: St. Jerome Conference President Mervin Hughes and Tirrell Bordenave.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles hosted the CHiPs for Kids Christmas Toy Distribution at the Los Angeles thrift store with free toys for 300 low-income families selected by Vincentians and the Los Angeles Boys and Girls Clubs.  Presenting the toys were Society Executive Director David Fields, Santa (the Society’s St. Paul Conference President Miguel A. Flores) and Society Board President Claire Padama.   Flores, who played Santa, has battled cancer in the past year, and said, “It was overwhelming being a part of such a big celebration.  It made me forget my own problems and battles to survive, to see some happy faces, especially disabled and underprivileged kids.”  One child’s mother said, “Without these toys we would not have a Christmas.”  KCAL/CBS2 anchors Kent Shocknek and Sibila Vargas covered the toy distribution, interviewing families about their struggles.
Photo captions (Top): Fields, Santa - Flores - and Padama with two children. (Middle) KCAL/CBS2 anchors Kent Shocknek and Sibila Vargas welcome the crowd. (Bottom) Vargas interviews a family receiving the free toys.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles participated in three parades last weekend in the sun, December eighth and ninth, and one the weekend before, December second, in some rain: the Northeast Los Angeles Holiday Parade in Highland Park, the Heart of the Harbor Holidays Parade in Wilmington, the Lincoln Heights Holiday Parade, and the Solvang Julefest Parade in Solvang, California.  A Merry Christmas to all from the Society of St. Vincent de Paul!


Photos: (top to bottom) Society walkers and vehicles in the Lincoln Heights Holiday Parade; Vincentians in the Lincoln Heights parade from Sacred Heart Conference; Society Board President Claire Padama and Executive Director David Fields in the Lincoln Heights parade; Padama, Stores Director Kellie McCaffrey-Nady and Assistant Executive Director Susana Santana in the  Highland Park parade, and the Society's Circle V Ranch Camp float in the Solvang Julefest Parade in Solvang, California.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Ernie, I would like to thank the Ventura District, the Santa Clara Conference, George Johnson, Sal Gonzales  and you for putting on this year’s Black and White Dinner Dance.  We had a great time that evening, but further, we are most appreciative of the $13,000 check provided to the Los Angeles Council at Saturday’s Ventura District Meeting.  This is greatly needed in support of this year’s Winter Shelter Program.  Please pass our gratitude onto the other members of your team.

-- David Fields

Friday, December 7, 2012


The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles partnered with CBS2/KCAL9 TV and the California Highway Patrol to serve needy children in Southern California in the CHiPs for Kids Holiday Toy Drive, providing logistics and transportation for the drive with Society trucks.  Society executive director David Fields joined CHP Officer Vince Ramirez and TV Anchor Sandra Mitchell Dec. 6, 2012 at Media Day for the drive at the CBS2/KCAL9 Broadcast Center in Studio City.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Photos: (top to bottom) Vincentian Alexandra Arias and Los Angeles store employee Megan Stockfleth carry the Society banner; Society Board President Claire Padama and Assistant Executive Director Susana Santana in the back of the convertible with Director of Stores Kellie McCaffrey-Nady; fashion van driver Marcelino Alejandre at the parade December 2, 2012.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012



Pictured at Circle V Ranch Camp, Director Ray Lopez receives the keys to a utility cart and 15 brand-new Olympus digital cameras from Solvang residents Paul and Nadine Melancon.

Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara County, California— Solvang residents Paul and Nadine Melancon, volunteer members of the Friends of Circle V, visited the Circle V Ranch Camp recently and presented the keys to a utility cart to Camp Director Ray Lopez. Additionally, the Melancon’s donated 15 brand-new Olympus digital cameras to enhance the Camp’s photography program during summer sessions for kids ages 7-13. The Melancon’s gifts are valued at more than $7,500.
Nadine Melancon stated, “Our grand-daughter Sydney has attended Circle V Ranch Camp for the past two summers and it’s been such a wonderful, positive experience for her, especially with all the activities that Ray and his staff offer. We learned that the Camp’s old utility cart was having a lot of maintenance issues, and decided that we could donate this gently-used 2005 model to help out. And we also heard that kids in the photography class had to share 5 cameras between 15 campers. So, we also decided to surprise Ray with a donation of 15 brand-new digital cameras. Paul and I truly believe that Circle V Ranch Camp is a hidden gem here in the Santa Ynez Valley. We are proud to support its mission of providing an uplifting summer camp experience for children.”

Lopez expressed his gratitude, “On behalf of our staff, I am so thankful to Paul and Nadine Melancon for their incredibly generous donations that provide such a benefit to the kids and our staff as well. This sturdy utility cart is critical since we really need reliable transportation to efficiently maintain our 30 acre property. Plus, these brand-new Olympus digital cameras will make a huge difference next summer for campers in our photography activity period. What a blessing!”

Santa Ynez resident Sally Corlett, founder of Friends of Circle V stated, “ ‘Friends’ are all volunteers who support the mission of Circle V Ranch Camp to provide a traditional, sleep-over summer camp experience in a safe, nurturing environment . There are no dues or fees to become a “Friend’ of Circle V, just a commitment to help; and I am so grateful to Nadine and Paul Melancon for making these much needed gifts.”

Founded by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Los Angeles Council in 1945, Circle V Ranch Camp has been located on 30 acres in the Los Padres National Forest in Santa Barbara County in the Santa Ynez Valley near Cachuma Lake since 1990. There are eight Circle V Ranch Camp summer sessions, each six days and five nights of traditional supervised fun for boys and girls ages 7 to 13. Campers enjoy activities including hiking, swimming in the pool, learning about nature, archery, arts and crafts, painting, photography, playing games of baseball, basketball, ping pong, foosball, soccer, miniature golf and of course, campfires, skits and songs. (There is no TV, radio or internet access to affect the experience.) Campers stay in air-conditioned cabins or traditional canvas tents. Three nutritious daily meals served family-style in the Dining Lodge offer not only food but also more camaraderie and fellowship. In 2012, the camp hosted more than 1,200 children for this time-honored summer experience. During autumn, winter and spring, the Camp is available for rental to other non-profit groups and organizations. 

For more information on the Camp or to become involved in the volunteer Friends of Circle V, please contact Camp Director Ray Lopez at (805) 688-5252 or