Our History


Lighting the Way for 50 Years
In 1967, an enterprising group of women formed a nonprofit auxiliary to help raise funds for the Child Guidance Clinic of the South Bay Children’s Health Center in Torrance, California. Because their original fundraising effort was selling beeswax candles, they decided to call themselves “Las Candalistas” — The Candle Lighters. Committed to supporting children and the environment in the South Bay community, the group quickly moved beyond selling candles. The name, Las Candalistas, took on a new meaning as they became leaders in community service — expanding their fundraising activities and the philanthropies they served.

In 1969, Las Candalistas held its first fundraising event, an outdoor celebration of the South Bay’s environment and history with the theme “Walk on the Wild Side.” Held every spring thereafter, this popular fundraiser became the group’s signature and a fixture of the Palos Verdes peninsula community. The event’s continued success led the group to incorporate as an independent nonprofit organization in 1989.

Since its inception, Las Candalistas has donated millions of dollars to philanthropies focused on children and the environment in the Los Angeles South Bay community. We have also been recognized for our contributions and our ongoing partnerships with the philanthropies we serve. This recognition includes a 2012 Golden Circle Award from the Harbor-South Bay YWCA. Las Candalistas’ strong commitment to its mission continues, and we welcome new members, donors and sponsors. Please partner with us to make a difference in our South Bay communities.
 
Las Candalistas President Ann Goodhart and First Vice President Janie Hasselman accepted the award on behalf of the group.

Las Candalistas Receives YWCA Golden Circle Award

In March 2012, the Harbor Area and South Bay YWCA presented Las Candalistas with a Golden Circle Award for its ongoing support of YWCA children’s programs. Las Candalistas President Ann Goodhart and First Vice President Janie Hasselman accepted the award on behalf of the group.          

Ocean photo B. Nixon. Computer center photo courtesy of Toberman Neighborhood Center.