Sunday, May 27, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 12

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on May 28th, 2014, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 15, Issue 12 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 15, Issue 12

Hobnobbing With Helen


Kelly White O'Neill (left) chats with Georgia Schrager at Community Partners in Caring's annual fundraiser, A Day at the Beach, on Saturday, May 17, at the Santa Maria Country Club.

We couldn’t hear the surf and there wasn’t a grain of sand in sight, but A Day at the Beach delivered the promise of summer fun and frolicking for a good cause.

Hawaiian shirts, floral prints, sandals, espadrilles, and summer casual fashion was the dress code that let us know we were in Beach Boys territory. Community Partners in Caring (CPC), which cares about the elderly in our community, held its annual fundraiser (A Day at the Beach) on Saturday, May 17, at the Santa Maria Country Club.

Board member Bo Cudd put her considerable creativity on display via the stunning flower centerpieces she fashioned—a mass of purple and white snapdragons at one table, an orchid plant at another, gorgeous lilies at another—along with accoutrements like shells and driftwood.

Were we at Newport Beach? The Hamptons? Butterfly Beach?

During cocktail and schmoozing hour, Bo also sang while her Beaujolais trio cohorts Jimmie Enos (keyboard) and Liz McDonald (guitar) provided music.

Jim Small and Ashley Payne confer on last-minute details of A Day at the Beach at Community Partners in Caring's annual fundraiser. Small is board president, while Payne is executive director.

Hobnobbing was at a high level with the likes of Dr. Michael and Georgia Schrager, Art and Carmen Vadilla Garcia, and former fire chief Frank and Scottie Ortiz.

CPC Executive Director Ashley Payne and board president Jim Small supervised the logistics of the evening. One of CPC’s founders and a major mainstay of the organization in its early days, Margie Halsell, wouldn’t miss this event for anything. She was there with an entourage of family and friends.

I enjoyed a few minutes with Elizabeth Van Berckelaer, likewise with United Way honcho Eddie Taylor and wife Debra.

Dinner featured filet mignon or sea bass with strawberry salad, lava cake, and wine at the table. Tickets were $100 and included a hosted bar.

The Ed and Jim show—with Ed Murray and John Glines as emcee and auctioneer—was worth the price of admission alone. These guys are funny together (as well as separately). They could take their show on the road and make us proud.

Carmen and Art Garcia (front row) joined with Ed Murray at Community Partners in Caring's annual fundraiser. Murray emceed the program and lively live auction.

Before the program, Ed asked me if I wrote for Field and Stream. No, Ed, I don’t, but I did catch a big fish once. His name was Herb.


Marian Medical Center Cancer Prevention Conference

Marian Medical Center knows how to pack ’em in.

About 350 people turned out for their Cancer Prevention Conference on Saturday morning, May 17. To accommodate the crowd, Marian set up a huge tent in the Mission Cancer Center’s parking lot, and I am delighted to report that the tent had sizeable vinyl windows—the effect was that of being in a light and airy space.

Marian wasn’t about to let us information-hungry folks sit through 3 1/2 hours of a program without sustenance. Upon arrival, we could have yogurt with granola and/or frittata. About 11 a.m., we could partake of a hummus in a cup with a celery stick, crackers, and some super-popular energy balls: peanut butter, flax seed, chia seed, oats, and chocolate.

Two speakers talked about ways to lower your risk of cancer. The best part of this part of the program for me was the explanation of inflammation in the body and how it is not a good thing.

Answering questions was a panel of doctors (cancer specialists) who were available afterward for more information.

Bravo, Marian! Thank you for this.


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

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