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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on August 20th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 24 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 24

Hobnobbing With Helen

Noontime Kiwanis jazz it up with Club K Speakeasy fundraiser

BY HELEN ANN THOMAS


Club K Speakeasy celebrated the Roaring Twenties on Friday, Aug. 9, at the Vets Memorial Hall in Santa Maria.

It was a roaring success.

Noontime Kiwanis has come up with a surefire formula for pleasing people at its annual signature fundraiser.

The basics are scrumptious food, madcap gaming activity, and irresistible silent auction items—with a few extras thrown in.

Anna Rubcic orchestrated this lively, fun event. “It gets better every year, doesn’t it?” she said with a knowing smile.

Blackjack, craps, and roulette were available all evening. The gaming tables were very popular and attracted a continuous stream of patrons with fistfuls of “funny money.” It’s so much fun to bet big when the money isn’t real.


AN ARRESTING PHOTO
Blondell and G.R. Rinke flanked “K-stone” Kop Steve Devericks in front of the Vets Memorial Hall on Friday, Aug. 9. The three were there for the Kiwanis' annual Club K Speakeasy fundraiser.
PHOTO BY HELEN ANN THOMAS

The congenial Ryan Maxwell dealt the cards at my always-full table and explained some fine points of the game to those of us who are a tad rusty.

Julie Posada and Robin Patten (both from the Vocational Training Center Catering Service) claimed responsibility for the mouthwatering gourmet buffet that graced four round tables. Among the offerings were delectable dips—so good they can be proclaimed divine—and new takes on standards (think shrimp salsa and artichoke salsa).

Julie told me that the Vocational Training Center, where she’s director of commercial services, now has an upgraded catering menu that includes items featured at the Speakeasy.

By the end of the evening, the platters were mostly all scraped clean. People kept coming back for more.

Kiwanis’ member Steve Devericks dressed as an old time “K-stone Kop” cop and had no compunction about cheerfully “arresting” people for unknown, dubious infractions. If some cash changed hands (under the table, of course), the detainee could get out of jail. Ummm. Sounds like K-ruption to me!


SELLING SWEETS
Lisa Niedrauer (left) and Erin Biddle (right), pictured in the courtyard of the Vets Memorial Building, were "cigarette girls"—not selling tobacco, but offering candy and hats to the crowd at the Kiwanis' Club K Speakeasy.
PHOTO BY HELEN ANN THOMAS
 

Guests were invited to come in 1920s costume. There was the usual array of outfits with fringe, feathers, and bling. Gaming table dealers wore hats and vests.

A new feature this year was the addition of the cigarette girls, just like in nightclub scenes from old movies. Glamour gals Lisa Niedrauer and Erin Biddle walked around the hall carrying boxes of buyables—not cigarettes and cigars as in days of old, but candy, popcorn, and colorful plastic fedoras.

Dr. Michael and Susan Moats were part of the action, as were Suzanne Levy and Gary Miller. Eilene Okerblom, Dr. Roland Miller, Luis Escobar, and Frieda Sumpter were also among the swells at the Speakeasy.

Kiwanis members David Biddle and David Basket circulated, dispensing tons of goodwill.

While all this activity was going on, generating great vibes and great energy, The Great Gatsby (the Robert Redford and Mia Farrow version) played—without sound—on a big screen on the stage.

It was impossible to be bored. Not a yawner in the crowd.

While the bottom has not exactly dropped out of the pie market, Jill Parry’s famed and highly regarded homemade fruit pies did not hit the silent auction highs of last year (e.g., $125 for apple ), but this year’s apple and peach desserts still brought in respectable bids exceeding $60. Has the pie bubble burst?

Club K Speakeasy is a terrific entertainment value. Tickets were only $25. This included food and complimentary coffee, as well as one ticket for a drink at the bootleggers bar and $100 of “funny money” for use at the gaming tables. Check it out next year.

 

If you want to hobnob with Helen, you may contact her at helenthom232@yahoo.com.