Celebrity Waiter Dinner Is A Fundraising Journey Through Television
Tippi Hedren, famous for her starring role in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" and operator of the Shambala wildlife preserve in Acton, made an appearance Saturday night at the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center Celebrity Waiter Dinner.
Also appearing at the event were Charles Howerton, best known for his Grumpy Grandpa role in Oscar Mayer commercials and reality star Luis Pizarro of “Operation Repo.”
Hedren, of Acton, said she was pleased to support such a “fabulous event for a wonderful organization.”
Howerton, of Woodland Hills, said he had “a great time” at the event. “This is really fun,” he said.
“Grumpy Grandpa’s” sentiment was echoed throughout the evening by guests who proclaimed the event, “the best party in the Santa Clarita Valley.”
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Pizarro said he was happy to attend the event. “We’re all going to be seniors one day,” he said.
The dinner was sold out with 300 attendees, said Rachelle Dardeau, executive director of the SCV Senior Center.
“We’re thrilled to see so many residents and business of the Santa Clarita Valley support the Senior Center,” she said. “This means a great deal to us and to the seniors we serve. I hope everyone has a wonderful time.”
The theme of the event was “Journey Through Television” and guests came dressed in costumes from their favorite television programs.
Table themes included: “Survivor,” “Fantasy Island,” “Happy Days,” “Game of Thrones,” “The Oscars,” “Fox News,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Hawaii 5-0,” “Monday Night Football,” “The Walking Dead,” “Duck Dynasty,” “CSI,” “NCIS,” “Touched by an Angel,” “L.A. Law,” “Sex in the City,” “The Amazing Race,” “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” and “Restaurant Impossible.”
The Celebrity Waiter head table boasted the theme of the “Vitameatavegamin” episode of “The Lucy Show” and Percy Dovetonsils from “The Ernie Kovacs Show.”
Best Theme Table was awarded to the “Grey’s Anatomy” table, which included guests dressed as doctors, nurses and patients.
The event, a fundraiser for the SCV Senior Center, included dancing to “surf” music and television theme songs performed by a live band, The Sound Waves. Guests also filled the dance floor in the Grand Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Valencia to dance “the Twist” and “the Hokey Pokey.”
The Soundwaves choir, (a name almost identical to The Sound Waves band) from Valencia High School, sang a series of standards and other popular tunes.
In addition, the event featured a live auction and a contest among the “celebrity waiters” for most tips gathered throughout the evening.
Ovington Michael Owston captured the award for top waiter with the Poole & Shaffery “Happy Days” themed-table donating more than $7,600 in “tips” to the SCV Senior Center.
“This is my favorite night of the year,” said Owston, who has served repeatedly as a “celebrity waiter. “I love this event and I love the people. I do this to support the Senior Center, I love them.”
Linda Davies, of the SCV Domestic Violence Center, served her second tour as a celebrity waiter at this year’s event.
“Last year I was Gilligan, this year I’m Abby from ‘NCIS.’ It’s a fun table,” she said. “I think this is a really good cause and I want to help now, while I still have the energy.”
The cast of Celebrity Waiters opened the evening with a big dance number danced to the theme from "Bonanza." They waved white napkins high over head and then exited the dance floor and lined up to be introduced by event emcee Bill Lively from the stage.
The event was co-chaired by Peggy Rasmussen and Greg Nutter.
Rasmussen said last year’s Celebrity Waiter event raised nearly $70,000 for the Senior Center.
“This is an important event for the Senior Center,” said Rasmussen. “The money raised here tonight is important for our seniors. I have to acknowledge the tremendous work of the committee and my co-chair, Greg Nutter, who have worked for months to put on this event. They are a great group of people and have a lot of passion for seniors and this event. We’re also so blessed to be working with a community that will open their hearts and give so generously.”
City Councilman Bob Keller presided over the live auction, exchanging witty repartee with Lively.
The 15-item live auction raised nearly $30,000. The most popular auction item was an ocean-front Maui beach house rental that fetched $9,000.
A barbecue for 30 people at the home of Bob and Kathy Kellar brought in $2,500. A Princess Cruise to the Caribbean or Mexican Riviera was purchased for $2,300.
In a last minute addition to the live auction Hedren offered a “happy hour meet-and-greet” with one lucky bidder. The one-of-a-kind item went for $900.
Total event proceeds will include sponsorships, dinner ticket sales and waiter “tips” and will be announced after all revenues and expenses are tallied.
About SCV Senior Center
The nonprofit SCV Senior Center in Newhall serves more than 10,000 seniors each year in the SCV with nutritional services, handworker services, respite services, supportive services, transportation services and lifelong learning, exercise and recreation programs.
Celebrity Waiter Dinner committee members included: Pat Allen, Chris Ball, Erica Betz-Cloyd, Hilde Brooks, Barbara Cochran, Rachelle Dardeau, Michel Delcros, Grace and Jack Elliott, Sue Endress, Mary Jane Hartman, Tracy Hauser, Jamie Kennedy, Pamela Kile, Geneva Knowles, Bill Lively, Joan Margolis-West, Jacqueline McKnelly, Marsha McLean, Amalia Mora, Chuck Morris, Judy Penman, Miriam Robles, Bob Wagstom, Rosalind Wayman and Pat Willett.
Volunteers scheduled to serve as “celebrity waiters” included: Alan Ferdman, Alienore Conrad, Dan Jimenez, Danise Davis, Dante Acosta, Debra Smith, Duane and Pauline Harte, Flo Lawrence, Frank McMahan, Frank Ovideo, George Cummings, Hannah Lively-Endicott, Jacqueline McKnelly, James Lively, Jeff Johnson, John Morris, Ken Dean, Ken and Patrice Rifkind, Ken Striplin, Laura Lively, Kathy Lively, Laurene Weste, Linda Davies, Lou Pizarro, Marsha McLean, Michel Delcros, Mikee Schwinn, Ovington Michael Owston, Patrick Biswell, Roasalind Wayman, TimBen Boydston, Trish Brown and Yolie Haramia.
Table sponsors included: KHTS, Comfort Keeps and Summerhill Villa, Edison, IHOP, Poole & Shaffery, City of Santa Clarita, Erica Betz-Cloyd, MAPS, Owen Patterson & Owen, Andy and Judy Fried, Bill Lively & Associates, Chiquita Canyon, Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, L/B/W Insurance, Newhall Land, Option One Home Care, SYSO and Visiting Angels. Other sponsors included Magazine of Santa Clarita, SCVTV and The Signal.
The SCV Senior Center is located at 22900 Market St., Newhall. For more information visit scv-seniorcenter.org or call 661-259-9444.
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Celebrity Waiter Dinner Is A Fundraising Journey Through Television