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

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on April 17th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 6 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 14, Issue 6

Hobnobbing With Helen


It was your basic, old-fashioned, old-time variety show. There were singers, dancers, harmonica players, keyboard players, guitarists, and violinists from all age groups.

Pizza anyone?
Bunny Maxim (left), Vonnie Stewart (center), and Wanda McDonald joined up in front of Klondike Pizza at the Humane Society fundraiser on Wednesday evening, April 3.

These locals performed with pizzazz when they were on stage at the Rotary Club’s annual “Santa Maria Has Talent” show on April 11, 12, and 13.

This event grows in popularity each year. The house is full or near full each evening.

Jane Kokkinakis, president of Rotary South (nighttime Rotary), was clearly bowled over by the overall high quality of entrants in this event and by the size of the audience.

“We are the only venue in town for some of these people,” she said at intermission on Saturday night. “Rotary South is so happy to be able to give these performers a chance to show what they can do.”

And, of course, it is a fabulous opportunity for Santa Marians to get a handle on just how incredible some of their friends and neighbors are in the entertainment department.

Madelyn Adams took first place in the finals and went home with a check for $1,000, generously provided by Coast Hills Federal Credit Union.

A cheesy affair:
Pam Goble (left), Geri Murphy (center), and Gene Alarcon(right)—board members of the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society—were at the Klondike fundraiser.

This really was a variety show. The elegant opera singer Katie Gucik shared runner-up honors (alas, no cash for this category) with the very campy and spirited Christopher Torres, who delivered a Las Vegas-type performance.

For the second year in a row, teenage singer Skyler Addamo took home the $500 prize for the “People’s Choice” category.

Hancock student Jordan McCleary delighted us with an amusing and chuckle-inspiring dance routine.

Of course, Hobnobbing would be remiss if she did not mention the crowd-pleasing appearance of Doc Burnstein’s ice cream sandwiches and ice cream bars in the snack bar.

Hobnobbing really should also tell you that this show has a big, theatrical opening with Broadway music blaring over the speakers and bright backlights on stage when curtains part and co-hosts appear. The vivacious, glamorous chanteuse Roxanne Ventriglia and her smooth-talking, stand-up comedian and actor partner Robert Byrne again were in charge.

If you are into Broadway show-type openings, you will love what Rotary South does.

It is all very dramatic and lots of fun.

A family affair:
Jill Tucker (center) shared pizza with her father and daughter at the Humane Society's fundraiser at Klondike Pizza. Mz. Tucker is executive director of the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society.

Humane Society serves it up at Klondike

Klondike was wall-to-wall full of pizza lovers and Humane Society supporters on Wednesday night, April 3.

The almost overflowing crowd was a tribute to staff member Bobbie Gilman’s e-mail reminder blast, which went out on the day of the event. That girl can pack a house.

The deal was that 15 percent of the tab plus all tips went to the Humane Society.

Realtor Bunny Maxim and pet therapist (and board member) Wanda McDonald—both volunteers—did non-stop waitressing honors.

Executive Director Jill Tucker and board members Pam Goble, Claire Sheehy Fox, and Geri Murphy
enjoyed the festivities

Lauren Johnson was on hand, as were artists Tina Porter and Susan Patton, fresh from their final Hancock class of Jill Targer’s silk painting.

The Humane Society’s annual 4-Legged Affair, a fashion show, is coming up on May 25 at the Elks Club. The event will include dinner and silent auctions.

Fashions will be from J.C. Penney, Bunny told me: “Penney’s is really wonderful. Their fashions are cute and affordable, and they work with us to put this together.”

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

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