Friday, May 25, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 12

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on May 15th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 10 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 14, Issue 10

Hobnobbing With Helen

You just can’t help but love the Breakfast Rotary Club’s annual luau.

This loud, noisy barn party—casual dress or beachwear, please—never disappoints.

Held Saturday evening, May 11, in the Fairpark’s cavernous auction Barn at the corner of Stowell and South Depot, this fundraiser—with its deserved reputation for being surefire fun—attracted more than 400.

Breakfast Rotary's busy bartenders:
Rotarians serving drinks in the line of duty paused for a quick photo shoot while tending the open bar at Rotary's popular annual luau on May 11 at the Fairpark's Auction Barn.

Lots to drink at the open bar, lots to eat at the groaning buffet table, lots of intriguing silent and live auction items—all this for a mere $60 per person.

Breakfast Rotary president Chris Hastert, along with president-elect Dr. Jim Peterson and wife Arlene, greeted guests as they entered the party venue.

Rev. George Mackey clearly relished his job on the checking-people-in team.

Tending the busy bar were a bunch of rowdy rascals, including Rob Buchanan, George Majoue, Pat McDermott, Ted Ortega, Kelly Smith, and Jim Thomas—all in matching shirts and near-matching grins.

Dan Blough, Darryl Freeman and Marylinn Green, John and Cindy Ross, and Jim and Ann Rigali were among those enjoying the mayhem.

Leslie Sevier and Benny Aguilar drove over from Lompoc, while Jill Tucker, executive director of the Humane Society, drove down from Nipomo.

Jill and Bo Cudd (former board president of the Humane Society) exchanged congratulations over the just-received news that Hancock will indeed institute a registered vet technician program.

This is surely a feather in Bo’s cap, as she pushed hard for this program when she was on the Humane Society board.

Civic activist Eilene Okerblom could not stop smiling after she won a humongous raffle prize: the beach scene package. Everyone at the luau got a free raffle ticket for this delightful prize: lots of beer and margarita mixes and fixin’s; a really attractive, decorated aquamarine Adirondacks lawn chair; and all sorts of beach-related stuff. Eilene needed a small truck to get it all home.

Tim Siefert (left) and Mike Larrabee prepared to dismantle the roasted pig they’d just removed from its overnight slow cooking spot in back of the Fairpark Auction Barn. The roasted pig was served at the Breakfast Rotary's annual Barn Party Luau on May 11.

The Santa Maria Inn’s John Reinacher and Dawn Rust were on board for the event, as was past Breakfast Rotary president Martin Testa.

Nancy Stewart bopped around, chatting with her many friends, as did Doug and Teri Lee Coleman

Accompanied by wife Franzitska and son Dr. Dan, Dr. Dennis Shepherd, wearing a nifty Marine Corps insignia button on his lapel, was the recipient of many Happy Birthday greetings. This popular Santa Marian celebrated his 81st birthday on Mother’s Day Eve.

Dale Johnson sported a passel of Rotary medals that were presented to successful live auction bidders, one after each win. He had the look of an Olympic champion with the red, white, and blue ribboned medallions around his neck.

Among the silent auction items were several large Betsy Jones watercolors. The most adorable little BMW pedal car for kids attracted a fair number of bids and a good price. Two sets of PCPA summer season tickets had long lists of bidders.

When I last looked, Jean-Luc Garon (manager of the Radisson Hotel) was the high bidder on the 4-foot-tall retro Coca Cola cooler. A real conversation piece!

The traditional roasted pig shared buffet table honors with barbecued chicken, Hawaiian salad, non-Hawaiian salad, rice, rolls and cake.

After the live auction, Allison Bailey, director of development for the Boys and Girls Club, strutted her stuff on the dance floor. You go, girl! ∆


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


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