Tuesday, August 14, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 23

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on October 10th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 32 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 18, Issue 32

Hobnobbing with Helen

To the stars


The Minerva Club, founded in 1894 by a small group of pioneer women, held its traditional Opening Day luncheon on Wednesday, Oct. 4, at the Radisson Hotel.

Left to right: Michelle Tabisola, Dark Trooper, and Amy Blasco at the Discovery Museum of Santa Maria Valley’s annual fundraiser on Sept. 23. Tabisola is the chair of the board and Blasco is museum staff. The trooper was visiting from a galaxy far, far away.

\More than 130 ladies came to welcome the official start of Minerva’s 2017-2018 club year. In need of rest and relaxation, after several arduous months of teas, potluck luncheons, fundraising barbecues, field trips, bingo parties, and fashion shows, the club shuts down (except for bridge games) in June, July, August, and September.

Opening day is a big deal for the Minerva Club. There was a time when hats and gloves were de rigueur (required by etiquette) and, in days of yore, much effort was spent on planning what to wear.

Opening Day this year attracted Mayor Alice Patino, City Councilwoman Etta Waterfield, city librarian Mary Housel, and unofficial city historian Shirley Contreras.

Among the exuberant attendees were relatively new members Donna Viadella, Elaine Twitchell, and Judy Frost. Long-time members Margaret Paden, Marge Embry, and Joey Wilson were in the crowd.

After collecting this year’s program calendar and member roster (all in one convenient booklet), the ladies were not shy about bellying up to the no-host bar for a glass of wine and complimentary hors d’oeuvres. There was, of course, an enormous amount of chitchat.

After lunch, there was entertainment—music and singing by pianist/guitarist Kathleen Sieck.

With their big cameras, Vicki Wilson and co-president Lenora Watson snapped many a picture with gusto and a sense of mission. Susan McGill, who did not bring a camera, is the other co-president.

It was announced that more than 140 newly minted Minerva Club cookbooks were sold before lunch. There are 150 left, for those of you with an affinity for the culinary arts.

A night at the museum
A dark and glossy Dark Trooper from Star Wars stood out in the crowd of more than 100 at the Discovery Museum’s annual fundraiser, A Night at the Museum, on Saturday evening, Sept. 23.

The event combined an emphasis on science and technology with food, wine, and beer. The live auction, conducted by Jim Glines, and a silent auction raised money for the exciting, in-the-works, Vandenberg Launch Experience exhibit.

Left to right: Lenora Watson, Susan McGill, and Pernelle McCalip at the Minerva Club’s opening luncheon held on Oct. 4 at the Radisson Hotel. Watson and McGill are co-presidents of the club. McCalip was one of the event committee chairpersons.

Executive Director Chris Slaughter was happy to see the IT team from Honda of Santa Maria at the VIP tables. Honda gave the museum $10,000 for the exhibit fund, and wants to be involved in other science-oriented projects.

Fabian Zaragaza, general manager of Honda, and staff members Victor Christiansen, Bailey Hunter, and Austin Maesta were present.

Trattoria Uliveto’s owner and chef Afonso Curti brought his portable pizza oven to fire up mini-pizzas. His team also served meatballs in tomato sauce, mussels in the shell, cream of zucchini soup, sweet Italian sausage, and grilled shrimp wrapped in bacon. Guests did not go away hungry.

A vibrant Michelle Tabisola told me she is thrilled to be president of the museum’s board. Longtime museum supporter Jeff Barnes demonstrated what the new exhibit experience would be like, with a handheld gizmo that I did not understand. My fault, not the gizmo’s!

Mark and Natalie Huerth, Mike and Michelle Buhring, Edwin and Caroline Woods, John and Debra Hood, board member Roy Reed, and Susan Appel were among the crowd. So was Susan Houghton, executive director of college advancement at Allan Hancock College, who is in charge of the AHC Foundation’s upcoming 40th anniversary gala.

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

Weekly Poll
What can local governments do to address poverty?

Invest in affordable housing.
Better fund social services.
Rent control.
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