The Loma Prietan - December 2013

No Rain-out for Chapter Gala. $16,000 Raised!

Recap of our 80th anniversary event

by Justyna Guterman

Guests blow out the candles at the Chapter’s 80th birthday party.  The event raised $16,000 for the Chapter. Photo: Jerzy Guterman
Guests blow out the candles at the Chapter’s 80th birthday party. The event raised $16,000 for the Chapter. Photo: Jerzy Guterman

Chapter supporters were not discouraged by an unseasonal rainstorm from celebrating the Chapter’s 80th birthday party and raising funds for our operations.  Over 110 guests attended, and the event raised over $16,000, well over its target.  We received two surprise birthday presents: proclamations supporting our work from the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space and from the Santa Clara Water District.

Keynote speaker Dr. Nina Roberts talked about how the environmental movement can attract more support from minority communities, a problem that currently impairs the movement’s effectiveness.  Her talk, "Conservation and the Changing Face of America," received a standing ovation.  Dr. Roberts is an Associate Professor at San Francisco State University and a Fulbright Scholar and Director of the Pacific Leadership Institute.

A silent auction raised some of the funds.  The most bid on item was ‘native garden landscaping consultation,' generously donated by Bayleaf Landscaping.

Sponsors of the event included the Santa Clara Water District, the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, Julia Bott, Margie Suozzo, Sarah and Gabriel Thomas, and Toby Cooper and Gary Bladen.

California State Senator Jerry Hill was a splendid master of ceremonies.  San Jose City Council Member (now running for the state assembly) Kansen Chu and California State Senator Jim Beall attended.

Volunteers Made the Party Possible

The party wouldn't have been possible without a dedicated planning group who met for over five months. Special thanks go to Megan Fluke-Medeiros, who was the true mastermind of the event, and Joanna Huitt, our spring intern. She took care of all the little details that could have gone wrong. Kay Bushnell, who was responsible for catering the event, and Barbara Kelsey also deserves our thanks. Beyond that:        

     Two local high school student volunteers, Jeehoon Park and Rohan Pandit, played acoustic guitars as the guests arrived. Rohan was one of our active summer community outreach interns. He also invited the approximately 20 wonderful volunteers from Cupertino High School, who passed hors d’oeuvres, replenished drinks, cleaned up dishes, and did all the other chores that make such an event possible.

  • Mrs. Lurdes Medeiros, mother-in-law of Megan, made the beautiful birthday cake.
  • The Barbershop Harmony Octet sang Happy Birthday and other songs. 
  • Steve Sunderbruch played rhythm and blues background music. 
  • Bay Maples Wild California Gardens provided centerpieces for the tables using California native plants in planters made from reclaimed materials. 

Justyna Guterman is the Chapter’s Development Coordinator.