I could have ALMOST understood the wait if I had left the same time the other 650 luncheon guests had departed, but I left at the halfway mark of the fashion show, as did many others. The Ritz Carlton really has to do something about this situation. It makes me never want to go to another event there. I thought they had started to get a handle on the valet situation, but obviously not for big crowds.
The second thing I remember is that during the lunch I bit down on a piece of chicken and right onto a small bone that had been left in the meat. That sent some kind of nastiness to my tooth's nerve and I had a pain in my tooth for the rest of the day. Luckily it did not cause any permanent damage, but jeez!
The luncheon had started out on a bit of a bad footing as they had seated Gayle Guynup, from the Herald Tribune, and I at a table which had been oversold and they forgot to move us on the seating chart, which led to them walking us around the room going from table to table looking for two empty seats after everyone had already been seated and the luncheon had started. I didn't really mind that because I don't actually care where I sit and I understand that mistakes can be made when you are dealing with that many people, but it was just a precursor to the rest of day.
Okay, enough venting, on to the actual luncheon, which is always great fun!
SPARCC has a tremendous amount of community support and a huge group of people who attend their luncheon who don't go to other things, so that is a powerful statement on the work they do with their mission. One of the mission-related things we did at the luncheon was to write notes to the women who were clients of SPARCC, which just in case you don't know, stands for Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center. They deal with women and families trying to remove themselves from domestic violence situations and to find a safe haven, which SPARCC is for them. Instead of receiving Valentine's cards, they each wrote notes of encouragement to each other and asked each of the luncheon guests to write notes to them, also. It was a nice and thoughtful touch.
There was a ton of red in the room since it was also Valentine's Day, including the wrapping on the pots holding the cute heart-shaped ivy topiary plants.
The centerpiece of the luncheon is the big fashion show using clothing from the SPARCC resale shop, The Treasure Chest, and the highlight of the show is the commentary from The Bermuda Mavericks, Les McCurdy and Ken Sons. Why these guys don't have a TV show is beyond me. They are terrific! Whoever originally signed them up for this event needs to receive a gold star. Maybe it was Sami Johns? I don't know, it is just a guess. Every year I laugh out loud continuously during their running commentary. They are a hoot and certainly worth the cost of the ticket. I adore them.
Major donor, Mary Ann Robinson, was lauded for her efforts and it was announced that she had donated money for SPARCC to build a kennel for the pets of the clients who come to the stay at the shelter. We love our Mary Ann!
The luncheon and fashion show was as fun as ever. You really should go if you haven't ever been. Let's just hope that the Ritz shapes up soon!
Event chair, Diane Muldoon
SPARCC Executive Director, Olivia Thomas, and staff member, Jessica Hays
Mary Ann Robinson
Anita Holec, Dot Scheurenbrand, and Susan Featherman
Renee Hamad and Gayle Guynup
Kim Cornetet and Jocelyn Stevens
Kim Wheeler and Debbie Shapiro
Stephanie Hannum and Kay Mathers
Joni Hyde and Annette Dignam
Janice Zarro and Gila Meriwether
Stephanie Grosskreutz and Dee Stottlemyer
Jenn McAlister, Renee Phinney, and Yen Reed
Katie Moulton, Susan Kelley, and Eileen Curd
Charlene Wolff and Graci McGillicuddy
Julie Riddell and Cyndi Riddell
Melba Jimenez and Birdie Lape
Me and Veronica Brandon Miller