Saturday, January 19, 2019     Volume: 19, Issue: 46

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on December 19th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 42 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 18, Issue 42

Hobnobbing with Helen: The Women's Network raises funds at holiday party


Decorated trees, wreaths, and poinsettias set the stage for a festive and fun holiday luncheon meeting (Christmas Extravaganza) of the Women’s Network on Wednesday, Dec. 6, at the Santa Maria Country Club.

Spirits were high—not a “bah humbug!” in the room—as guests bought raffle tickets for the 25 cellophane-wrapped and bow-tied raffle baskets (with a minimum value of $50) donated by members. One of the baskets featured—oh my!—a $100 gift certificate to the Far Western Tavern.

Many bottles of wine dotted the raffle basket landscape. A lot of 20 bottles was raffled off separately, with tickets going for $20 a pop (as opposed to a dollar apiece for the regular raffle). Lisa Murray was the big winner. Did she mind all the heavy lifting, hauling the loot to her car? I don’t think so.

The fun of holiday hobnobbing—socializing and perusing the lineup of raffle items—attracted 60 attendees.

I was happy to give a nod to Karen O’Neill, Mary Jo Hernandez, and Patti Elswick after a long-time-no-see period. This festive occasion also attracted Ramila Patel, Christine Benedetti, April Sargant, Amy Curti, Mayra Ramos, and Clarissa Nagy.

Left to right: Jodi Radford, Libby Kelly, and Marisol Cruz at the Women’s Network December meeting held on Dec. 6 at the Santa Maria Country Club. Radford is president of the organization.

An absolutely delighted Kim Colby Davis, executive director of CASA, stepped up to the podium to receive the Women’s Network’s annual Christmas gift to a local nonprofit: a $500 check for a Christmas party for the nonprofit’s clients. Over the past few years, in December, the organization has been presenting a $500 check to a nonprofit selected by the board.

Kim, who identifies with Santa, was thrilled to be able to fund refreshments for the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) kids Christmas party. CASA has already stockpiled an enviable cache of presents donated by our generous locals. Brief explanation: CASA advocates for kids in the foster care system and, obviously, provides amenities that are not within the system’s budget.

Women’s Network President Jodi Radford exhibited her organization and management skills by keeping the meeting moving along in a timely fashion. Not easy with a roomful of chatting chicks!

Lunch was very nice and tasty shredded beef with mashed potatoes and gravy (sounds like the kind of comfort food Oprah would like) accompanied by string beans and salad and followed by sponge cake with chocolate and vanilla mousse.

Left to right: Kim Colby Davis, Holly Carmody, Crystal Sullens, and Kira Farrell at the Women’s Network December luncheon. Davis is executive director of Santa Barbara County CASA and accepted a check for $500 to fund a holiday party for CASA kids at the luncheon.

Women’s Network members represent a variety of backgrounds and professions. Among the membership are lawyers, loan officers, bank branch managers, owners of small businesses, international sales reps, real estate agents, and a winemaker. Several of the members serve on the boards of nonprofits around town.

“This is a cool group,” Marisol Cruz said.

The Jan. 10 Women’s Network meeting promises to be beneficial. The theme is Setting Your Goals for 2018. A panel of three members (Susie Duane, Sandra Dickerson, and Lisa Murray) will share their expertise in fitness and nutrition, business, and goal setting.

One of the Women Network’s most anticipated get-togethers is their Women of Excellence dinner, scheduled for March, at which time several Santa Maria ladies will be honored for their contributions to the community.

Lunch tickets are $22 for members and $25 for non-members. Reservations are suggested. Walk-ins are welcome. Membership is open to all, and costs $60 annually. 

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

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