First published in the Dec. 9 print issue of the San Marino Tribune. He had a penchant for Russian literature, created time-lapse videos of constellations, wrote his bachelor’s thesis on quantum computation, enjoyed frequent hikes to alluring destinations throughout California and made rollicking films out of the humdrum.That passionate, creative existence ended on Aug. 6 for Andreas Kooi, a 2016 graduate of San Marino High School, when he was struck and killed by an intoxicated driver while riding his bicycle in San Luis Obispo. He was 23.

By The Rev. Jeff ThornbergSpecial to the Tribune Each year, during the Advent and Christmas seasons, I am deeply moved by sermons and mediations written by women that explore the miracle of the incarnation through the lens of their experiences of childbirth.Of course, I do not fully understand the thoughts of these authors or the experiences they reflect. I will never comprehend the pain, joy, fear and holiness of physically giving birth to new life. Yet, I find profound beauty in that incomprehension.

First published in the Dec. 2 print issue of the San Marino Tribune. By Rev. Jenifer ChatfieldSpecial to the Tribune Advent is that time when we anticipate the birth of hope in the world.As I am preparing for our Christmas Eve celebrations, including a pageant for families and children, I can’t help but remember the many videos of Christmas pageants gone awry that inevitably show up in my social media news feed this time of year.

First published in the Dec. 2 print issue of the San Marino Tribune. Elizabeth Whittington is the senior executive director at Sage Glendale Senior Living. Everyone needs something to do, something to be passionate about and something to look forward to.These three truths are what we all strive to satisfy in our daily lives, because they give us hope and purpose. Meeting these needs can be a particular challenge for seniors in assisted living communities. They may be mourning the loss of a sense of purpose or feel that they have nothing to look forward to. These three simple things are what we strive to provide each day for our residents at Sage Glendale Senior Living.

Photos by Erin RodickSan Marino Tribune The Pasadena Guild of Children’s Hospital recently presented 34 local young women, including eight honored in absentia, at the 59th June Ball at the Langham Huntington Hotel.Due to COVID, the June Ball was postponed until November, making the 2021 Ball affectionately remembered as the “June Ball in the fall.”

First published in the Dec. 2 print issue of the San Marino Tribune. FlowerTruckLA, a mobile flower market, will be at San Marino’s Old Mill on Thursday, Dec. 9 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.FlowerTruckLA, which sells “farm to vase” fresh-cut flowers and wreaths, was born during the pandemic. Even though many florists shut down, FlowerTruckLA drove across Los Angeles so communities could get access to fresh flowers.

First published in the Dec. 2 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.In typical Southern California fashion, volunteers were far more concerned about sunburn than frostbite while transforming the bus shelter at the intersection of San Marino Avenue and Huntington Drive into the Little Christmas House, a tradition that has lasted for more than a quarter century. Members of the San Marino Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club of San Marino who added holiday flair to the community on Monday included John Garcia, Tony Galaviz, Sandy Troup, Gilda Moshir, Vikram Basappa, C. Joseph Chang and Dennis Kneier.

By Rev. Jessica Vaughan LowerSpecial to the Tribune It was an attempted turkey hostage situation.As we were seated around the table, my father poised to carve the beautiful turkey that was just presented to the room, a newcomer to our Thanksgiving traditions spoke up.

First published in the Nov. 25 print issue of the San Marino Tribune. By Natalie MirandaSan Marino Tribune For the first time in their decades-long history, the San Marino City Club and Rotary Club recently hosted a joint meeting at the San Marino Center for a memorable night with local royalty.The Pasadena Tournament of Roses’ court and queen graced the event with a fashionable entrance, wearing matching, blush-hued ensembles as they were ushered into the venue. Chaperones guided the special guests in a procession around the tables, with some seats reserved for children to share an up-close and intimate moment with the princesses and queen.