There are some events I try to attend every year, and one of them is St. Columba’s annual auction and gala. Parents and faculty go all out for this event.
The decorations have always been top notch, but since Mariah May-Ostendorp – who has a degree in theater design – got involved, they are extraordinary. This year’s theme was “Beyond the Moon,” and guests were literally transported to the stars, starting from the moment we arrived. The entry way was painted with the constellations on both sides, along with the images that inspired names such as Capricorn, Orion and my personal favorite, Scorpio.
In the gym, where dinner is served, the ceiling was hung with giant globes representing the planets from our solar system, and the hallways and classrooms were also decorated on theme. I had to laugh at Galileo’s Gifts, since the man Albert Einstein called the father of modern science has a, shall we say, rocky history with the faith. Now he was prominent at a Catholic school’s fundraiser.
Someone asked me recently what the biggest silent auction in Durango is. The Durango Adaptive Sports Association and TLC for FLC are both quite large, but I’m calling them the runners up. This auction fills three classrooms and the hallways, with scores of gift certificates posted on the walls and tables full of bounty.
Kudos go to coordinator Katie Stewart and her stalwart group of volunteers: Lisa Noyes, Stephanie Pace, Lee Ann Harbison, Tami Huber, Sandy Gurule, Adrienne Aronson, Mary Lynn Clark, Jenni Ziercher, Linda Garcia-Long, Libby Ahern, chef Gina Pastor, Chris Quimby, Eliza Webster, Dan McVeigh, Mary Kay Stewart, Bill Gwinn, Tracy Pope and Kathrene Frautschy, That doesn’t include the staff at the school, who also pitch in wholeheartedly. E.M. “Mac” Taylor, Lonnie and Dena Malouff and Brady and Michelina Paulek once again led a dynamic live auction that alone raised more than $40,000.
Can’t wait to see what you do next year!
It has been a hard six weeks for Neighbors as I’ve been covering more and more hard news stories and threw in a vacation on top of that. I’m working on ways to get items of community interest out more quickly. For birthdays in this column, I decided to go back 10 days and as far forward as Dec. 2 when I had the information. If you’re an earlier Scorpio, my apologies. Next year.
A lot of people will be thankful this week these folks were born – Sharon Gordon, Joanne Spina, Julie Shimada, Will Siegrist, Carol Grenoble, Frank Fristensky, Ann Casler, Sharon Harris, Mike Bruce, Sharon Harris, Maggie Scott, Judy Hook, Jo Fusco, Katherine Burgess, Dinah Jones, Dixie Palmer, Alan Kahler, Ione Simons, Shiann Homer, Darryl Hunt, Karen Siegrist, Allison Epstein, Nancy Loftis, Kathie Hudson, Marty Rabeno, Greg Farley, Adrienne Aronson, LaVern Nelson, Nancy Shipps, Dawn Spaeder, Bill Webbe, Ian Junkermann, Jackson VanDenBerg, Barbara Elliott, Tabitha Heckman, David Kolb, Amy McClellan and Renate Widder.
One of the things I was most sorry to miss during my vacation was the seventh annual Collaborative Chef’s Showcase Dinner, a fundraiser for the Sexual Assault Services Organization. It’s a look at the talented chefs in our foodie town and an extraordinary gift from them to the community.
I wish I had space to include the menu – El Moro Tavern chef Jacob Copeland’s rabbit terrine on grilled baguette with apricot mustard and pickled shallots is just one example – but here are the generous chefs involved: Dave Cuntz, Carver Brewing Co., and the founding organizer of the event, who stepped down after this year; Chris Crowl and Dennis Morrisroe, Eolus; Neal Drysdale, Fifth Street Eatery; Arnold “Chef Safari” Ngumbao, Mahogany Grille; and Kyra Bensik, Bread.
Leah Deane, wine specialist for Republic National Distributing and Grand Vin, once again paired wines with the chefs’ masterpieces.
Of course it was all in aid of helping the victims of sexual assault, whether or not they choose to go through the criminal justice system. We haven’t seen the full numbers for 2015, but as of the first two quarters, the organization had received 98 unduplicated calls. Safe places are one of the most valuable things we as a community can provide any victims. I’m grateful SASO is there.
The grande dame of southeastern La Plata County, Emma Shock, is turning 90 (unbelievable), and her family is holding a gathering to mark the occasion. Stop by the Mt. Allison Grange Hall, 10909 Colorado Highway 151 in Ignacio, between 2 and 4 p.m. Saturday to wish her happy birthday.
These folks are showing gratitude for another year of married bliss – John and Ulys Gardella, Bob and Heather Lundquist, Ed and Lauren Cotgageorge, Wayne and Vicki Hose and Robert and Karen Anderson.