Hobnobbing with Helen

There is so much going on in the merry month of May!

You will be happy to learn that some of it (the goings on) is totally awesome in the heartwarming department.

We are talking about the Make-a-Wish Foundation’s annual golf tournament and fundraiser held on Friday, May 5, at the Santa Maria Country Club. A big chunk of change was raised to give kids with terminal or severely challenging illnesses the chance to fulfill a wish, like going to Disneyworld or Hawaii.

May 5, as everyone knows, is Cinco de Mayo, so it was with a sense of the occasion that the Make-A-Wish committee arranged for a mariachi band to be on hand in the bar as golfers streamed in from a hard day on the links.

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DAWES FOR A CAUSE: Left to right: Karen Dawes Bailey, Tom Dawes Sr., Dianne Dawes, and Dr. Tom Dawes Jr. at the Make-a-Wish Foundation annual fundraiser on May 5 at the Santa Maria Country Club.

There is nothing like the blare of a trumpet to enhance the enjoyment of a cold beer.

The mariachis made a festive and fun welcome before the next part of the program (drinks, dinner, and an auction).

Seven or eight years ago, Jared Bailey (chief instigator of the event committee) and his buddy Danny Sheridan were sitting in a garage at an undisclosed location, pondering the state of the world, when they came up with the idea of raising money to help kids. Talk about creative brainstorming.

Thus was born Santa Maria’s annual golf tournament to benefit Central Coast kids with life-threatening medical issues. The late Lexi Brown, whose courageous battle with cancer is well known to locals, was the recipient of a grant from the foundation. Lexi was a “wish kid.”

Bailey’s family, along with colleagues from the Santa Maria Valley Physical Therapy Group and a few of his patients, were on board for this day. They included Karen Dawes Bailey, Dr. Tom Dawes Jr., Tom Dawes Sr., Jeannine Dawes, Dianne Dawes, and Chrissie Sarten.

I shared a table with Jim and Lisa Wesner of Rancho Guadalupe and Beverly Scofield. Thanks, Jim, for bidding on the cupcakes and sharing them. So good.

Madison Hall, a candidate for Elks Rodeo Queen and St. Joseph High School student, was among the guests. Last year’s Elks Rodeo Queen Taylor Glines served as a bid spotter for her dad, auctioneer John Glines. She is a natural for that role.

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AFTER GOLF: Peter Compton (left) with Jared Bailey on May 5 at the annual Make-a-Wish Foundation fundraiser. Compton is with Bejo Seeds in Oceano, while Bailey, who is a principal in the Santa Maria Physical Therapy Group, chaired the event.

Spicy appetizers served between the end of the golf tournament and dinner were very good Cinco-de-Mayo-esque jalapeño poppers and grilled linguica. Hungry diners wolfed down a buffet dinner that included top block served at a carving station, chicken, scalloped potatoes, saffron rice, mixed vegetables, and salad. Dessert was the always-popular make-your-own ice cream sundae.

The ice cream was fortified by the cakes and pies auctioned off for awesome prices. It is the custom (one I love) for the purchaser of the sweets to pass them around.

After dinner, John Glines conducted a spirited auction, in which around $40,000 was raised for granting wishes to Central Coast children with terminal illnesses. Jared reminded guests that the money raised stays in the area.

“I’m blown away by the generosity [of this group],” said Charleen Morla, Community Relations Director of the Tri-Counties Make-a-Wish Foundation headquartered in Camarillo.

You’re not alone, Charleen. We are always in awe of how willing this community is to help.

If you want to hobnob with Helen, you may contact her at [email protected].