By Madeline Zuckerman

Close to 100 elegantly attired women, as well as, a handful of handsome gents, gathered at The Springs Woman’s welcome back luncheon, celebrating their 9th Season at The Springs Country Club in Rancho Mirage. Kicking off the first of their six highly anticipated luncheons, this first soiree featured two speakers, Dennis Mori, Communications Director of The Springs Country Club and Rosa Lucas, Founding Board Member & Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner of Volunteers In Medicine.

Linda Hodsdon, Board Member of Volunteers In Medicine, Joan Lynch and Fern Miller, Springs Woman Members.

Mori presented an informative chronological history of how The Springs Country Club has evolved over the past 47 years — from when Edwin Johnson, a successful land developer, purchased the 385 acres with just a handshake, to how the city of Rancho Mirage was formed on the exact same day The Springs submitted its plans for development – – on July 11, 1973. Mori’s presentation featured a “walk down memory lane” as he shared nostalgic photos of famous Celebrities and VIPs who frequented and/or owned residences at The Springs, in addition to photos of some of the fun, as well as elegant and grand events The Springs hosted over the years.

Michael Garakian and Barbara Garakian, Springs Woman Board Member.

Following lunch, Lucas provided a glimpse into Volunteers In Medicine’s Homeless Medical Outreach Program, often referred to as the Street Medicine Program, which provides medical care to the homeless and underserved who have no healthcare insurance. Now with six successful years under its belt, this Street Medicine Program takes place on Tuesday evenings, encompassing teams of volunteers, including a physician or nurse practitioner, medical resident, psychologist, social workers, as well as other volunteers who go out to the homeless in our desert to provide no cost healthcare. Volunteers In Medicine now averages well over 4,000 patient visits per month. This Street Medicine Program handles primary prevention, diagnosis and treatment, and has even performed some minor surgeries out in the desert. Rosa Lucas is the driving force behind this critical program because she is giving a voice to the people who are voiceless in our community.

Holly Rodway, and Melissa Elkins.

“We are delighted that so many of our Springs Woman members joined us for this season’s opening luncheon,” said Mary Hockin, President of The Springs Woman. “Dennis Mori entertained us as he shared archival photos of The Springs over the past 47 years. And we are very proud of the fact that since its inception, The Springs Woman has been the single largest outside fundraising group for Coachella Valley’s Volunteers In Medicine, which now has two clinics in Indio and Palm Springs. The Springs Woman has supported Volunteers In Medicine since 2014, raising in excess of $150,000 for this vital nonprofit within our community. We look forward to continuing our support through this luncheon series, in addition to our Annual Jeans & Jewels Country Western Gala on February 25, 2023.”

Luncheon Guests Bud Lockhart and Peter Javier.

Seen in the crowd were Barbara Garakian, Joan Lynch, Frank & Mary Ann Xavier, Sharon Heiser, Mary & Tom Hockin, Judie Johnson, Ellen Schaller, Margaret Viland, Louise Babagian, Laura Conti, Sheri Dickson, Cindy Davis, Joan Dodge, Fran Muir, Leslee Effler, Judy Friednash, Joseph & Imelda Gregov, Judy Holt, Carole Krechman, Joan-Luther Young, Sue Mannos, Deborah Mayer, Marion Miller, Cathy Muldoon, Norma Person, Karol Pozzebon, Anne Roberson, Judith Schliessmann, Bev Wolvek, and Jacqueline Zimowski.

The Springs Woman

Founded in 2014, The Springs Woman was the brainchild of Judie Johnson, who had a dream that she turned into reality, which has helped the more than 40,000 uninsured or under-insured residents of the Coachella Valley receive needed healthcare, through Volunteers In Medicine!

The Springs Woman will host five additional luncheons as part of their Luncheon Series as follows:

  • On December 15, 2022 – Entertainer and Singer Marc Antonelli will perform well-known Holiday Tunes
  • January 19, 2023 – Melissa Riche, Author of “The Mod Mirage” will talk about the architecture of Rancho Mirage
  • February 16, 2023 – Shirley’s Boutique will present a fun and lively Fashion Show
  • March 16, 2023 – Dirk Sure, Owner of European Flower Power, will present a flower arranging presentation
  • April 20, 2023 – Adam Karsten, Executive Artistic Director of Coachella Valley Repertory, will talk about what the organization is up to

For more information please contact 760-324-8292 or visit