Sunday, June 17, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 15

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on June 12th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 14 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 14, Issue 14

Hobnobbing with Helen


Santa Maria Police Department Police Chief Ralph Martin (left) joined with one of his new commanders, Don Rodriguez, on Monday, June 3, after the Police Council's fifth annual golf tournament.

The Santa Maria Police Council (SMPC) is a nonprofit group that raises money for the Santa Maria Police Department. They fund equipment and programs that would not otherwise be possible.

Over the past five years, this civic-minded group has raised more than $250,000 for the police department. This figure doesn’t include the more than $30,000 brought in for 2013.

Some of the newly raised cash will go for police academy scholarships, with an eye to perhaps filling some of the 23 police department vacancies.

This year, the Police Council’s fifth annual golf tournament, dinner auction, and comedy event (“A Night of Funny Business”) took place on Monday, June 3, at the Santa Maria Country Club.

The Police Council’s executive director (and no slouch in the humor department) Etta Waterfield was in high spirits as she oversaw the proceedings.

Country Club foursome
Alex George (left), Doug and Terri Lee Coleman (center), and Nate Totorica (right) met up on at the Santa Maria Country Club. George and Totorica are with the Santa Maria Police Department. Terri Lee was chairperson of the tournament and fundraiser.

Dr. Dan Shepard clearly enjoyed his role as the council’s dinner chair. Event chair was Jerry Schmidt. The golf tournament that ran between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. was in the oh-so-capable hands of former council executive director Terri Lee Coleman, one of the stars of the evening.

Terri Lee was called to the podium several times to receive flowers and acknowledgement for her many, varied contributions. On one such trip to the podium, she was accompanied by husband Doug. The couple together received a “Lifetime Achievement” award representing the council’s gratitude for the Colemans’ nonstop volunteer work.

The evening’s entertainer was the very funny Los Angeles-based comic Mike Marino, who had some great Walmart jokes. You haven’t heard great Walmart jokes until you’ve heard this guy.

Marino had the perfect handle on the evening: “I’m in a room with a pastor, a police chief, and a lot of guys with guns.”

The pastor was Rick Bloom of Pacific Christian Church (he gave the invocation). The police chief, of course, was Santa Maria’s No. 1 law enforcement guy, Ralph Martin, and the guys with guns wore shiny SMPD badges.

Polished powerhouse performer and county supervisor Steve Lavagnino was comfortable emceeing an audience that included his father, former Mayor Larry Lavagnino; current Mayor Alice Patino; City Manager Rick Haydon; City Councilman Bob Orach; and Santa Maria Public Airport General Manager Chris Hastert.

Before the auction
Scott Wonnell (left), Tony Branquinho (center), and Karrie and John Glines (right) attended the Police Council’s annual fundraiser dinner on June 3. Wonnell and Branquihno were spotters for auctioneer Glines.

Board members Jim Diani, Bob Hatch, Dr. Rick Ontell, and Laurie Tamura were among the guests, as was the amiable Bob Poole of Santa Maria Energy. Judy and Hardy Hearn shared a table with Blanche Hollingshed.

The live auction had something for everyone. How about these showstoppers? A Savage FP 10 SP rifle and (separate item) 1,000 rounds of .308 ammunition.

For the less rambunctious, the auction included a beef Wellington dinner for 20, to be served at the home of Buck and Etta Waterfield (who donated it). An added bonus will be the personal appearance of our bistro beauty, Liz Addamo, who will pair and pour her family’s wines for each course. Now that sounds special!

The Country Club kitchen rarely disappoints. They served pork with artichoke bread pudding and apple cranberry sauce (or salmon with the usual), a great salad, and a terrific caramelized apple en croute with whipped cream.

Karen Cordary, thanks for the assistancephotographic and otherwise. David Baskett, thanks for the—literally—big push.

Tickets cost $200 for golf, dinner, and entertainment. Dinner and the comedy event only were $75, while golf only was $150.

This event was open to the public—not just members of the council.


Want to hobnob with Helen? Contact her via the executive editor at

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