Santa Maria Sun / News
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 24
Hobnobbing with Helen
BY HELEN ANN THOMAS
A speakeasy in Santa Maria?
There was a speakeasy with red velvet curtains, seductive low lights bathed in beaded crystals, and gaming tables with baccarat and blackjack.
Gents wore fedoras, tuxes, and suspenders. Ladies (we don’t think they were “ladies of the night,” but really, who knows?) sashayed around in fringed gowns and feather headbands.
This den of inequity, where bartender Joe Burubeltz served bootleg booze, was open on Friday evening, Aug. 10, for the Noontime Kiwanis’ Club K Speakeasy fundraiser.
Dedicated Noontimers and event coordinator Anna Rubcic worked hard to transform the huge Veterans Memorial Hall on Tunnell Street into an icon from the past. The Kiwanis even built a door with a miniature window that the bouncer opened to see who was on the other side. You know that kind of door—you see it all the time in gangster films about the ’20s.
Dave Swenk had a great time playing gatekeeper. He was born to tell those without the magic password (“cupcake”), “I hear you knockin’, but you can’t come in!”
This was the third year in a row for this fun party that benefits local youth programs and scholarships. It is such a hoot and such a value (tickets are only $25). Attendance looked to be around 200.
Alex Posada manned the raffle part of the evening and announced winners hourly. The enticing array of creative raffle possibilities included $1 tickets for a $1,000 cash prize that was drawn at 9:30 p.m.
The food could not have been better. VTC Enterprises’ catering crew, along with Julie Posada, presented an array of elegant appetizers on five different round tables. My personal faves were the gourmet goat cheese spreads, lox, Mediterranean salad, and caramelized chicken wings.
The silent auction items were unbelievable. Such variety—and so many different choices that you don’t see at every fundraiser—made it a great place for early Christmas shopping.
Jill Parry not only collected a king’s ransom worth of “must haves” for bidders, but this official Santa Maria Queen of Tarts baked two pies, cherry and apple, that went for $75 and $110, respectively.
Gary Miller told me, “Everybody knows Jill makes dynamite pies.”
Several handsome gift baskets came from Barbara Spencer of Chez Jeanie (Spencer’s shop at the Historic Santa Maria Inn). Jewelry, art, excursions, stuff for kids, and stuff for the house rounded out the choices.
The Kiwanis needed a jailer, so Sabrina Sanders volunteered to protect and serve. Such a pretty cop, decked out in a spiffy suit (with skirt and heels) and accessorized with a faux cop hat and holster. She looked cute as can be and ’fessed up that her fake badge, taser, and gun were from the Dollar Store.
If you didn’t want to be part of the excitement at cards and craps, you could watch Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin silent movies from the 1920s. These were shown continuously throughout the evening on a big screen.
Randy Beal of the Kiwanis barbecue team and Mike Sell of American Perspective Bank clearly loved running the games. Altrusa’s Melinda Aguirre was one of many enjoying the action at the tables.
You really don’t want to miss this one next year, when the password could well be “homemade apple pie.”
If you want to hobnob with Helen, you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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