Saturday, May 26, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 12

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on March 20th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 2 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 14, Issue 2

Hobnobbing With Helen


The Big Event of the month of March was the long-awaited (for a whole year) St. Joseph High School 27th annual BASH.

Dr. Norman Hoffman, Paul, Mary Louise, and Lauren (pictured left to right) congregated at BASH before getting in line to claim the items they won in the live and silent auction. Dr. and Mrs. Hoffman were high bidders again this year for the traditional VIP table.

This chic soiree took place Saturday evening, March 9, in St. Joe’s all-purpose gymnasium. Transformed from a jock shop into a glamorous venue, the gym proved its versatility.

Laura Badenall, decorations chairperson, and her committee, saw to it that BASH-goers felt like they were on a cruise ship with stops in Africa, the Caribbean, and Antarctica.

For Event Coordinator Stacy Verbryke, this year’s BASH was bittersweet. After 13 years of being an integral part of the fundraiser’s planning and execution, the energetic brunette is retiring.

BASH co-directors Laurie Gonzalez and Elizabeth Vega are sad to see all that experience leave the committee, but they know they can call her in a pinch.

Committee member Eleanor Byars is also saying adios to BASH, but Jennifer Strickland will be one of those staying on.

This was actually a BASH weekend, with informal, casual dress code on Friday night, March 8, when there were gobs of silent auctions items. Attendees were able to buy gourmet pizza and salads, as well as drinks, after paying a modest entrance fee.

Ron and Stacy Verbryke meet a friend in “Antarctica” at the Passport to BASH annual St. Joseph fundraiser on Saturday evening, March 9. This marks Stacy’s last (and 13th) year as an official member of the BASH staff.

But it was on the following night, Saturday, that the BASH ladies strutted their stuff in long gowns and fancy dresses.

Father Ed, development director at St. Joe’s, was pleased that the turnout this year was up by about 10 percent from last year. More than 200 tickets were sold for this Night of Knights.

Guests began trickling in at 5:30 to pick up bidders’ paddles and table assignments, and to start perusing six tables chock-a-block-full of silent auction items that included really great necklaces, flats of strawberries, art, a vacuum cleaner, and terrific wines, among other things.

Later in the evening, there was also a live auction that offered a week in France, fishing in Morro Bay, skydiving in Pismo Beach, and two front-row, field box seats at a 49’ers game, with all-you-can-eat-and-drink elite black tie service.

If you didn’t like football before winning this auction item, you surely will love it afterward!

The $125 BASH ticket included non-stop champagne, a full-service hosted bar, and dinner prepared by Testa Catering.

Maribel Aguilera (seated) is pictured with three colleagues from ERG, the energy company that sponsored a Legal Aid Foundation fundraising luncheon on March 6 at the Far Western. Aguilera is a former Legal Aid employee who now works as a business development rep at ERG.

After incredible hors d’oeuvres (halibut crostini, chicken empanadas, bacon-wrapped shrimp, and Latin stuffed mushrooms), guests enjoyed a menu geared toward an around-the-world theme. Thai tom yum goong soup, South American quinoa salad, African pork tenderloin, and New Zealand pavlova were served by St. Joe parents doing duty as waiters.

Among the crowd were Dr. Mark Ziemba, Jim and Ann Rigali, and Dr. Joe and Chris Slaughter. This is the first time Hobnobbing has seen Ms. Slaughter since she was appointed to serve on the Santa Barbara Foundation board. Way to go, Chris!

At my table, hosted by Dr. Norman and Mary Louise Hoffman, I enjoyed the company of Ed and Jenny Hawkes. Ed was one of the crew that hoisted the huge, voluminous material, secured by a “crystal” chandelier, that disguised the gym ceiling.

Jeff and Ann Barnes, Gene Martinez and Deborah Whitford, Rob and Sandy Buchanan, and David Baskett also enjoyed the festivities.

Herb Bolton, you charmer, it warmed Hobnobbing’s heart that you bought wrist corsages for your wife and her friend. What a great guy you are!

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