I've said it before, and I'll say it again. No organization has more fun raising money than the Durango Friends of the Arts.
They proved it again June 25, when more than 20 women dressed in their favorite vintage glad rags to attend the Second Hand Rose Tea at the home of DFA President Guyneth Zimmerman. They sported a wide variety of styles, including Victorian, the 1950s and 1960s, evening gowns, thrift store finds, family hand-me-downs and modern garb. The attention to detail was fantastic.
Cheryl Bryant's entire outfit of a pretty rose-print dress, stylish shoes and hat were scored at the La Plata County Humane Society Thrift Store. Nancy VanMols recycled her gorgeous black polka-dot hat from another DFA event, and Geri Swingle's lovely lace gloves and perfect black purse were courtesy of her mother-in-law.
As the ladies arrived, they were greeted with a sparkling glass of pink champagne. The tables set the tone for the festivities, with linens, china, silver, crystal and Pat Lorenzen's gorgeous floral designs.
Jacky Dzuibek, Pat Fichera and Diane Rabeno consolidated their position as DFA's chefs extraordinaire with two courses. The first, a savory course, included a wide variety of finger sandwiches. The second course had all the sweets a heart could desire - scones, truffles, cookies, fresh fruit and cheese. (A tea is particularly labor-intensive, because it means creating hundreds of individual servings.)
Jana Goldstein made sure serving all of those delicacies went smoothly.
After the delicious supping, guests took turns introducing their look and its background, with lots of laughter and fun in the process.
Cindy Cortese won first prize, which included a gift certificate to the Red Snapper and her choice of one of Lorenzen's centerpieces, for her glamorous cocktail ensemble Kristi Nelson-Cohen and hostess Zimmerman tied for best Second Hand Rose Look as voted on by the attendees. And Suzanne Parker was such a close second that she was awarded another centerpiece and special tea cup.
The pink champagne ran out long before the fun and fashion reminiscing. Guests already were planning their second-hand looks for next year as they strolled back to the real world.
Money raised by this and other DFA fundraisers goes to the organization's Grant Fund, which is distributed each year to individual artists and arts organizations in our area. The fundraisers are particularly proud of all of the grant recipients who take the arts into our schools.
It's almost impossible for a party to fail when guests are greeted with a lei, margarita and freshly prepared coconut shrimp (deep fried on the barbecue, believe it or not, by Terry Youngflesh). And hosts Dennis and Marion Pierce kept the fun going throughout their luau-themed festivities Tuesday at their Gypsy River Ranch in the Animas Valley.
The occasion for the party was the Pierces' annual hot-rod extravaganza, also known as the Gypsy River Run, with guests encouraged to drive their favorite classic car. Deciding which vehicle was the neatest was in the eye of the beholder. The party was set to a soundtrack of all those great car songs - "Little Deuce Coupe," "409," "Fun, fun, fun" and "The Little Old Lady (from Pasadena)."
The meal was delightful, featuring char siu glazed pork and pineapple buns, caramelized Maui onion dip and coleslaw. Grilled pineapple was a special delight. The repast ended with a sundae bar in the Pierce's soda fountain/pinball/fun room.
Allen and Joanna Logsdon arrived in style in their 1939 Ford convertible, just one of 13 classic cars in their collection. (She's also the driver of that sweet, black 1960 Triumph that one sees occasionally around town.)
Andy Pierce, Dennis Pierce's brother, very graciously agreed to give me a tour of the cars.
A lot of them were here courtesy of a group of classic-car fans from Arizona, who came up to enjoy the cooler weather and socialize with fellow car people - Denis and Lily Tetreault drove a 1967 Caprice from Scottsdale, Ariz.; Paul and Sue Hayden came from Chandler, Ariz.; and Ed and Carol Carlson made the trip from Tucson, Ariz.
A group came from Payson, Ariz., including Pat and Elaine Carr in a 1940 Chevy; Frank and Linda Schaefer in a 1956 Ford Customline; and Bob and Nancy Bates in a 1934 Ford three-window.
Scott and Shay Dupras drove up from Tempe, Ariz., in a 1968 Chevy C-10 pickup. Scott Dupras also stepped up to bartending duties, blending up a storm of margaritas in a machine powered by an outboard boat motor nicknamed the Enola Gay.
Devon and Derek Pierce, the hosts' grandsons, were given the opportunity to pick a favorite car, and while they'd rather be driving around in their grandmother's Porsche Carrera, for sheer hot-rod fun, they selected Shaun Price's 1967 Impala SS, which he brought from Gilbert, Ariz.
Yes, it turns out that those family cars we were all embarrassed to be seen in are now quickly rising in value as they have become quite rare.
My colleague Yodit Gidey and I also were asked to pick the vehicles we liked the best. She went for the Bates' gleaming crimson 1934 three-window Ford, and I picked the circa 1947 Pontiac woody owned by the host. I hadn't realized that the older woody models actually were made of wood, with metal fenders attached. This one is in beautiful condition, and Pierce had even staged it with a surfboard on top. (What can I say, I'm a sucker for a great prop!) It's even rarer because it's a Pontiac, a brand that didn't make a lot of woodies.
There are few summer days that could be better - great food, great conversation, a show put on by the Canadian geese that have taken over one of the Pierces' fields and some way cool cars.
In a postscript, the Pierces have been famous for the coconut shrimp for years. Marion Pierce finally parted with the recipe for the Durango Friends of the Arts cookbook. And the pork and pineapple buns along with the Maui onion dip both came from a recent Sunset magazine, just in case you're thinking about a throwing a luau of your own.
Here's wishing refreshing breezes and a trip down the Animas River for the birthdays of Mary Howell, Julie Harris, Ralph Campano, Milly Lacy, Barbi McCoy, Jadah Wilmett, Reed Cooksey, Riley Cooksey, Noah Forsythe, Robin Goldman, Erin Thompson, Virginia Houghton, Paul Clay, Kyle Majchrowski, Paul Jackson, Phillip Kolter, Ginny Brown, Debby Morgan and Bee Atwood.
I owe belated birthday greetings to Buster Weahkee Jr., whose wife told me he'd be celebrating the big Five-Oh on Wednesday. Sheila Weahkee got it to me in plenty of time, but I spaced it. Here's hoping you had a great day, Buster, and if it's anything like my 50th, you'll get to keep on celebrating for a while.
Amazingly, the Mercy Employee Child Care Center is getting ready to celebrate its 20th anniversary. Director Heather Taylor has asked me to invite alumni children, current children, parents whose children are or have been cared for there, past employees and anyone else who has been affiliated with the center in any way to the celebration, which will be equal parts an anniversary party to remember the past and graduation party to kick off the future.
The party will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. Aug. 1 at the Durango Community Recreation Center.
Guests are asked to bring a side dish, and the center will provide the hamburgers and hot dogs.
RSVP by July 21 to Taylor at 764-1375.
Life should be a bowl of freshly ripe cherries for the anniversaries of Jim and Margie Winkelbauer, and Brad and Susan Stamets.
For information on upcoming events and fundraisers, check Local Briefs.
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