Wednesday, July 18, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 19

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on September 12th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 28 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 18, Issue 28

Hobnobbing with Helen: Tour and Taste of the valley sizzled with excitement


Although temperatures were over 100 degrees, Tour and Taste of the Valley, an annual fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Maria Valley, attracted a respectable-sized crowd on the morning of Sept. 2 in the back parking lot of the Orcutt Union Plaza.

Billed as a “wine country ride, run, and tasting event,” despite the heat, this popular annual crowd pleaser attracted a large number of walkers, runners, cyclists, and tasters.

Early in the day, the athletically inclined arrived for 50K cycle rides and 5K and 10K walks and runs. Those who came for the food, wine, beer, and music joined the party at 11 a.m.

Jeremy Deming, executive director, and Kathryn Scott, director of events and marketing, hung out at the check-in table, along with a handful of volunteers.

Jeremy told me there were between 500 and 600 people participating in the event. This included 150 runners and walkers, and 120 cyclists, all of whom came from around the Central Coast, not just Santa Maria.

Kathryn Scott and Jeremy Deming of the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Maria Valley, with two children from the Guadalupe program, pause to pose at the organization’s fundraiser, Tour and Taste of the Valley on Sept. 2.

Despite the soaring temperatures, a faithful crowd enjoyed the activities while seeking refuge from the sun from time to time in the shade provided by three very large tents. Folks took it easy, enjoying the music by the band Three 4 All, and when it cooled off a little, dancing in front of the bandstand.

Hallelujah! About noon, some intermittent and very welcome breezes provided relief.

Food and beverage vendors were outstanding. The quality, quantity, and variety could not be faulted.

Señor Taco offered a choice of three different kinds of tacos. Coincidentally, the Sun’s Rebecca Rose wrote about this taco restaurant located at Blosser and Stowell in her Aug. 31 Eats column. She proclaimed Señor Taco as worthy of praise. This lady knows of what she speaks—great food.

The Far Western Tavern offered a taste of top block beef arranged artistically on a small plate. Grilled on the spot tri-tip and garlic bread were available at the booth sponsored by Dennis Szczepanski’s Mobile BBQ.

Italian meatballs were served by Giavanni’s Pizza. Chef Alphonso Curti presided over Trattoria Ulivieto’s food table, which served up penne in a lovely, light tomato sauce.

The Santa Maria Swim Club table was the place to go for strawberries with a dollop of whipped cream. VTC passed out mac and cheese, and Moxie Café spooned out refreshing gazpacho.

Bottled water was perhaps the beverage of choice. Hydrating was on everyone’s minds. Giant tubs of ice held its precious cargo of bottled water, which disappeared fast. Keeping the tubs full was a priority.

You really have to admire the participants in the races. Coastal Voices singer Marianne Greenelsh (wearing identification tag No. 59) said, “I’m glad I did this. I pushed myself to do something I don’t normally do,” about her participation in the walk, adding, “I finished in better time than I trained for.

Rick Mason refills a beverage tub with ice and bottled water at the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Maria Valley fundraiser on Sept. 2 in Orcutt. Mason is a staff member at the club.

“But,” she added with feeling, “I tell you, it was hot out there.”

USC alum Matthew Prue, who participated in the runners event, was very visible in a T-shirt in USC colors that proclaimed him to be a member of the alumni band. He told me he plays the drums, and that USC band members are very active in alumni events at the university. 

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

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