After a chilly, wet winter, we’re eagerly looking forward to spring — and with it, another wonderful Earth Day celebration and Taste of Toluca. Now in its eighth year, this free, family-friendly local tradition rejoices in the natural beauty of our neighborhood and the people who help preserve it. We’re proud to help sponsor the event once again, and this year we’re joining with our friends at Sattdown Jamaican Grill to offer a special treat for those who stop by our booth to say hello! So please join us, other area businesses, community groups and your neighbors on Sunday, April 7, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Forman Avenue and Riverside Drive. I believe it’s one of the best ways to experience all that Toluca Lake has to offer.
The Earth Day festival showcases the strong partnerships between residents and civic organizations working to promote the health of the whole community, and those same themes run through this month’s cover story. We were thrilled to talk with Eric and Janet McCormack about why they’ve made Toluca Lake their home for the past 20 years and counting, and why their love for this neighborhood has motivated them to support the expansion of Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center’s emergency services department to meet the needs of our growing population for years to come. Their personal narrative of the care their family received when they needed it most is an inspiring testimonial to the urgent necessity of investing in our local hospital. My wife and I and our magazine’s senior staff were pleased to be able to attend the recent gala celebrating the launch of this important campaign, and we know our community will continue to work together to ensure its success.
In this issue, we’re also highlighting another aspect of our community spirit: the local organizations dedicated to inspiring and fostering a love of music in people of all ages (and even pets!). I think there’s no better metaphor for neighborhood life than the way diverse individuals playing a range of instruments can come together in harmony to create beautiful music, so I hope this medley of stories strikes a chord with you.
While we count the days until Taste of Toluca, you can sample a bit of local flavor at home. We were lucky enough to get two Irish-inspired recipes to share with you from Timmy Nolan’s, the neighborhood pub renowned for its annual St. Patrick’s Day festivities. And while we’re thinking about all things green, let’s not forget that spring break is right around the corner, which means kids and parents will need a bumper crop of things to do. We’ve got you covered with a guide to local family events, diversions and day trips to keep all ages busy and happy throughout this season of growth and renewal.
And finally, I want to express our sadness for the loss of a Toluca Lake icon, former honorary mayor and Tennis and Fitness Club co-founder Wendell Niles Jr. He helped make our community what it is today, and his legacy will live on.