Friday, June 22, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 16

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on June 26th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 16 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 14, Issue 16

Hobnobbing with Helen


Ashley Payne (left), Rachael Hill (center), and Bodil Cudd (right) came together at Community Partners in Caring’s 13th annual fundraiser and auction at the Santa Maria Country Club. Payne is executive director of the organization, Hill is program director, and Cudd is a board member.

Hip, hip hooray! Let’s hear it for Beaujolais!

This fabulous musical trio performed during cocktail hour at the 13th annual fundraiser dinner and auction of Community Partners in Caring (CPC).

It was wonderful. In the bar, Jimmy Enos played a real piano—not just a keyboard—while Liz Douglas played guitar and Bo Cudd vocalized.

Where and when did this happen and why did you miss it?

It was Saturday evening, June 22, at the Santa Maria Country Club, a great place to be on a pleasant summer evening. The hundred-dollar ticket included hosted cocktail hour (the best kind!), great hors d’oeuvres, entertainment, dinner, wine, enticing silent auction items, and a live auction with the inimitable Jim Glines.

The theme was “A Day at the Beach,” which accounted for all the Hawaiian shirts and straw hats. No, no one came in a bathing suit!

There was the usual schmoozing and networking in the foyer, where the silent auction items held reign. 

Amid the hustle and bustle, Margie Halsell commented, “Isn’t it nice to have live music?”    

Margie is one of Santa Maria’s formidable females. Fifteen years ago, she founded CPC with a grant from the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation of New Jersey and got the now-thriving organization going on a shoestring.

Margie came with a passel of Halsells: husband Chuck, mom and dad Joe and Phyllis Ardoin, and several children and grandchildren. This lady doesn’t travel alone.

Lompoc, which has a CPC office (as does Buellton), was represented by Lompoc City Councilman Bob Lingl and volunteers John and Janet McMillan.

Margie Halsell, who founded Community Partners in Caring 15 years ago, met up with Jim Small, president of the board.

Among the 125 guests were Rebecca McCracken, Jim and Cheryl Talbott, and Kirk Spry. Joyce Ellen Lippman of the Area Agency on Aging and Kathryn Fischer of Fischer’s Fine Jewelry socialized before dinner.

Dr. Michael and Georgia Schrager donated an irresistible package: a week in their luxurious, three-bedroom condo in Hawaii. A couple who won the bid on this at a previous auction reported to me that the condo and the Hawaii experience were simply wonderful.

Fred and Sheryn Pratt, who were among the guests, donated three nights at a great hotel in Newport Beach, with dinner at the famous Crab Cooker restaurant.

There was also a weekend in Coronado. So many romantic travel possibilities!

Ralph Quackenbush of Los Alamos’ Café Quackenbush donated a piece of his art. The lovely California plein air oil painting went for $550, a very good sign that the recession may be on hold in Santa Maria. There seems to be a direct correlation between what art goes for at nonprofit event auctions and the economy.

The artist knows that CPC has clients in Los Alamos, where he has his business, and he wanted to help. Does the café also have an art gallery? You bet. Nice stuff, too.

By this time, you are asking, what on Earth is Community Partners in Caring and what do they do?

CPC provides services that help older people be independent and remain in their homes.

The most significant service CPC volunteers provide is transportation, mostly to medical appointments. This accounts for 89 percent of the group’s services, which are vital to many CPC clients.

If you think you can help, call Rachael at 925-8000. She’s waiting to hear from you.


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

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