Santa Maria Sun / News
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 26
Hobnobbing with Helen
BY HELEN ANN THOMAS
Talk about a fun evening—and if you were there, we know you will!A stupendously stylish, successful “Alice Patino for Mayor 2012” fundraiser was held on Aug. 22 at the old Café FX building on Airport Drive in Santa Maria.
This party was a kick! The food, flowers, and ambience were all dazzling and noteworthy. Former florist Carie Lara garnered oohs and ahs with her creative flower arrangements that mixed dahlias with kale, orchids with carrots, and radishes with roses.
Sandra Dickerson and Cindy McKellar, who head up Your People Professionals, had a hand in planning and setting up the food station, which offered mouth-watering top sirloin sliders. (As president of the United Way board, Dickerson is all jazzed about the upcoming Mayors’ Ball to be held on Oct. 6.)
The piece de resistance in the food department was the mashed potato martini. Mashed potatoes, scooped into martini glasses, could be complemented with any of a variety of toppings, like chives, cheese, sour cream, and chopped ham. Awesome!
The official party time was 6:30 to 8 p.m., but we world-class schmoozers didn’t leave until around 10 p.m. I was just in back of Fred and Judy Sanders.
The former Café FX building, a local icon, is now home to Santa Maria Energy. What a great place to hold a fundraiser, throw a party, or have a substantial gathering.
Santa Maria Energy is run by president David Pratt, whose wife, Gayle, knows a thing or two about entertaining with gusto. The Pratts were two of the 10 hosts listed on the invitation.
They are both Texas natives, so they have the “larger than life” gene (a Texas staple) working at whatever project they take on.
The former Café FX building is really geared to entertaining. The action took place in what was the company cafeteria, a spacious venue with booths and a counter, like in an old-time ice cream parlor, as well as tables and chairs.
Everyone has probably heard about the two-lane bowling alley that abuts the dining area. There is also a 45-seat theater with very comfy seats that Santa Maria Energy uses for showing documentaries like Spoiled and for presentations of its popular educational program Petroleum 101, often hosted by Lawnae Hunter, an intrepid promoter of economic action in North County.
Mayor Larry Lavagnino introduced mayoral candidate Patino, who did a great job of stating her position and her priorities. Standing in front of a lot of red, white, and blue stars, balloons, and patriotic props, Alice looked marvelous in a three-piece cream-colored pants suit. What does her choice of clothing have to do with her ability to be mayor? Absolutely nothing, but inquiring minds want to know.
I was having too much fun chatting to pay attention to how many people were in attendance, but there was a slew of familiar faces among the crowd.
I loved seeing Nancy Stewart, architect Ray Deutsch (one of the hosts), Kelly White O’Neill (another host), and the amiable Bob Poole, manager of public and government affairs for Santa Maria Energy.
Attorney Kristine Mollenkopf told me that she plays the oboe. That explains her excitement about being president of the board of the Philharmonic, about which she is very enthusiastic.
If you want to hobnob with Helen, you may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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