Thursday, June 21, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 16

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on April 30th, 2014, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 15, Issue 8 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 15, Issue 8

Hobnobbing With Helen


Jill Tucker, executive director of the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society, chatted with Jody Venema, builder of the freestanding bird house he donated to the silent auction for the Humane Society’s annual fundraiser on April 12 at the Elks Club.

Hip hip hooray for the SMVHS Runway! 

SMVHS is the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society, whose annual fashion show fundraiser, a “Four-Legged Affair,” was—dare I say it?—a howling success. 

Yes, there were cute dogs strutting down the runway, their tails wagging like flags in a high wind. 

And, yes, there were two-legged models, like former board member Liz Addamo and daughter Schuyler Elizabeth Addamo, sporting fashions from JC Penney. Said model coordinator Bunny Maxim, “Penney’s could not have been more helpful to the Humane Society.” 

This always-popular fashion show and dinner was held on Saturday, April 12, at the Elks Club. 

SMVHS Executive Director Jill Tucker and event committee member Wanda McDonald were very pleased by the level of support from the community. 

Seen chatting with friends in the midst of the silent auction action were Edwin and Caroline Woods. The couple shared a table with family members Francine Woods, Henry Bell, Prudence Woods Noon, and John Noon

The Woods family had a wonderful time at the live auction; their bidding style delighted everyone. Prudence bid on the same item against her husband, who bid on the same item against his brother-in-law. And then Prudence bid again! And so it went, amid gales of laughter. 

Viewing the fashion show after dinner were Dan and Peggy Blough, Dr. Mike and Susan Moats, Dr. Dan and Priscilla Ng, and Mike and Marla Gibson

During the social hour that was busy with buzz, Jimmie Enos on the piano and Liz Douglas on the guitar entertained us with background music. 

Dinner was barbecued chicken with baked potatoes, beans, salad, rolls, and ice cream cups. Also at each table was a dessert plate of cream puffs and strawberries 

One of the new developments in fundraising events is the auctioning off of desserts right after dinner. The successful bidder buys a humongous cake from the Madonna Inn or a homemade cake from a local cook’s kitchen or a dozen scrumptious-looking cupcakes and shares the booty with his or her table. 

(From left to right) Ethel Landers, Caroline and Edwin Woods, and Claire Sheehy shared a moment of conversation at the Humane Society’s annual fundraiser.

As one who has benefitted from this dessert auction practice, I can only applaud and encourage it. 

Before the show, Sandra Dickerson and Lynn Fernbaugh bought raffle tickets from two young ladies on roller skates. They are genuine roller derby girls, who made their Humane Society fashion show debut last year. 

Of course, on hand were Humane Society board members Debbi Johnson, Vonnie Stewart and Geri Murphy, Pam Goble and Gene Alarcon, and staffer Bobbi Gilman

We spotted former PCPA house manager Laurie Elliot trying to decide whether to buy a Humane Society tile from staffer Lauren Johnson. Board President Claire Sheehy chatted with her predecessor Bo Cudd, who shared a table with Dennis Prescott. Tony Gonzalez emceed the festivities. 

Making an appearance were two ladies who adopted a dog (Princess Leia, I believe was her name). They explained why this dog found a “forever home” with them. One of the ladies said, holding the dog close to her heart, “She needed someone to love her and that someone was us.” 

That sums up the mission of SMVHS. Hooking up four-legged friends who need to be loved with someone to love them—kind of like, if you think about it.

If you want to hobnob with Helen, you may contact her at 

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