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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on October 17th, 2012, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 13, Issue 32 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 13, Issue 32

Hobnobbing With Helen


Yes, it’s true.

I was one of the last 10 people to leave the Santa Maria Country Club on Saturday evening, Oct. 6., when the United Way held its annual Mayors Ball and major fundraiser.

Mingling with the mayors:
Pictured are (left to right) Solvang Mayor Jim Richardson, United Way CEO Eddie Taylor, Lompoc Mayor John Linn, Guadalupe Mayor Lupe Alvarez, and United Way Board president Sandra Dickerson at the annual United Way Mayors Ball on Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Santa Maria Country Club.

It’s tough to tear yourself away from the San Luis Jazz Band, which played for after-dinner and after-auction dancing.

They are the best.

And they certainly contributed to the success of United Way’s gala.

About 120 United Way supporters paid $125 each to attend what has become an annual event that is a must-go-to.

In addition to local mayors, attending were Sheriff Bill Brown, city councilman Mike Cordero, city councilman Jack Boysen, Chamber of Commerce CEO Bob Hatch, and city council candidate Etta Waterfield (looking smashing in a black ball gown).

Former city councilwoman Hilda Zacharias also looked marvelous in a glamorous black diva dress.

All in the family:
County Supervisor Steve Lavagnino and wife Marian came to the annual United Way Mayors Ball on Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Santa Maria Country Club.

The theme of the evening was Moulin Rouge, the famous French cabaret known for its can-can dancers and associated with the famous French artist Toulouse-Lautrec.

The purpose of the gala was to raise money to support United Way’s literacy programs.

Before dinner, cabaret-goers congregated around the complimentary champagne table in the bar, where there was a lot of conversational buzz.

Dinner included filet mignon, mashed potatoes, beans, salad, garlic roll, and puffed pastry dessert.

After dinner, Susan Fries (“the Termite Lady”) and dance studio owner Michael Kiehm treated guests to an exhibition of a sultry tango.

The play's the thing:
John Walcutt (left) and Michael Gros enjoyed the Playfest launch on Saturday, Sept. 29, in Montecito. Walcutt is a seasoned television and film actor. Gros, former PCPA artistic director, is now on the faculty of Santa Barbara City College.

John Glines did the auctioneer honors, assisted by his father, Jim Glines, who played the role of bid spotter.

Before dinner, I spoke with the teen-age Miss Taylor Glines (John’s daughter) and told her how much I had enjoyed her performance as Alice in a recent Civic Theater play.

Among the many in the crowd were Pat and Geri Murphy; Lynette Muscio, now with the Santa Barbara Foundation; and Scott Dunn, along with Dr. Al and Deborah Schultz. He’s the incoming president of the Marian Medical Center Foundation Board.

Cary Gray, in top hat, cravat, and vest, looked oh-so-continental. Joe Guggia and and Dawn Guggia were at my table.

Dr. Roland Miller reported that Jill Perry’s homemade apple pie, for which he paid $110 (or was it $115?) at a noontime Kiwanis fundraiser, was worth every cent.

Playfest Santa Barbara

An exciting local resource is becoming available for playwrights.

Playfest Santa Barbara is a new nonprofit organization established for the express purpose of discovering and developing new plays.

PCPA’s former artistic director, Michael Gros, is one of two founders of this group. Gros, who’s now on the faculty of Santa Barbara City College, was at the launch of Playfest on Sat., Oct. 29, at a gorgeous, bucolic Montecito estate.

The 90 people who were there enjoyed a scene from a new play by E.M. Lewis, performed by two seasoned television actors.

Cheri Steinkellner, forever famous for writing and producing Cheers, sang a song from her new musical (a work in progress) Hello! My Baby.

If you’re itching to write Act 1, Scene 1 (or, in case, you’ve been a busy bee, and are at “The End,”), check out the Playfest webpage, loaded with info, at

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

Weekly Poll
Who do you want to see represent California's 24th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives?

Re-elect Salud Carbajal!
Justin Fareed is my guy!
Michael Erin Woody has fresh ideas!
Eh, they all stink.

| Poll Results