Monday, June 18, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 15

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on March 23rd, 2010, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 11, Issue 2 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 11, Issue 2

Hobnobbing With Helen


BASH bastion bows out:
Long time BASH executive board staffer Sandy Buchanan (left) retires this year from St. Joseph’s fundraising staff. Her husband Rob (right) is no slouch in the community support department, either.
If there’s one thing St. Joseph High School’s BASH staff excels at, it’s turning a generic jocks’ gym into a swanky soiree scene. You go to an annual Saturday night BASH dinner knowing enthrallment awaits.

This year, BASH—the fundraising arm of St. Joseph—celebrated its 25th year, its silver anniversary, which didn’t disappoint. They held their dinner gala on Saturday night, March 13, in, of course, their gym.

The silver anniversary set the tone for the theme of decorations, table settings, and some of the ladies’ fashion.

About 180 attendees paid $150 a ticket for the evening, open bar included. New co-executive director Laurie Gonzalez (Liz Vega is the other co-E.D.) reported that attendance and money raised were close to last year’s numbers. Father Ed’s after-auction pleas for scholarship funds received a generous response.

Alas, next year’s BASH will be orchestrated without the direct involvement of longtime savvy executive director Sandy Buchanan. Her retirement from the board was marked by the presentation of two dozen red roses in a vase etched with the years of all the BASHes she’s worked on.

Chef Rick catered: lobster bisque covered with puff pastry topped with pastry numbers “25,” skillet steak, and salad—a medley of memorable flavors. Dessert? A heavenly froth of chocolate-bourbon sauce, pecans, and whipped cream.

VIP table veterans
Dr. Norman and Mary Louise Hoffman (left) together with son Paul (right), a St. Joseph alum, joined the fun. For three consecutive years, the Hoffmans have won the bid to sit at BASH's fabled "VIP" table, with its special service, place settings, centerpiece, and favors.
St. Joe parent Robin Bogue donated her William James label wines for dinner.

Dr. Joe and Chris Slaughter were on hand, as were Bob and Karen Engel and BASH staffer Stacy Verbryke and husband Ron.

Dr. Dan Shephard, class of ’88, shared a table with classmates. Dr. Samir Bhati donated a cardiovascular exam worth more than $1,000 for the silent auction.

Jimmy Ransome introduced me to Orcutt’s Luke Conley (you remember him from the TV show, More to Love). Luke was a guest of Halsell Builders, who filled a table with family and friends and donated a kitchen makeover.

Legal Aid’s Taste of Justice

The “Taste of Justice” was really a smorgasbord of delights.

Held on Saturday afternoon, March 6, at Orcutt Brew Company, this Legal Aid Foundation event attracted about 250 people. The place was packed—with people, food, wine, and beer, as well as the Tyler Lane Band.

Food vendors provided pulled pork burritos, chili, meatballs in tomato sauce, pork sliders, flan, chips, cupcakes, cookies, strawberries, and way more.

Quite a crowd
Meet the group: (front, left to right) Biannet Garcia, Niki Richardson, Ellen Goodstein, (back, left to right) senior staff attorney Rick Corbo, board member Doug Coleman, Chef Alphonso Curti of Trattoria Uliveto, board member Phil Simco, and Tni LeBlanc, board president elect. Richardson and Goodstein are the Legal Aid Foundation's development director and executive director, respectively
Out in full force was the legal community: Judges Jed Beebe, Art Garcia, Jim Rigali, and Tim Staffel, as well as attorneys Gene Martinez, Philip Sinco, and Alec Simas.

The silent and live auction items were big wow factors. Offered up for bid were three nights at a Catalina Island condo. There was a helicopter trip to an oil rig platform with lunch and tours, too.

Winemakers Doug and Terri Lee Coleman donated a wine grape crush party at their house. After they help crush grapes, the winners of this package get fed and are rewarded with a case per couple of the Colemans’ wine.

Chef Alberto Corsi of Trattoria Uliveto, the restaurant next door to Orcutt Brew, donated a cooking class for eight. He also offered the restaurant’s back room and patio for next year’s event, which will no doubt have a “legally Italian” tone.

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

Weekly Poll
What's your first thought when you hear the word "Lompoc?"

My time at the penitentiary.

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