St. Patrick’s Day and the Art of Dance
Event Coverage and Photographs by Mike Klinger
The Irish say, “There are only two kinds of people in the world, those who are Irish, and those who wish they were.” On Saturday, March 12, the Mission Viejo / Saddleback Valley Elks hosted their Annual St. Patrick’s Day Dinner & Dance Fundraiser and for a few hours everyone was a wee bit Irish. As guests were greeted by Elk volunteers, Judy Klinger and friend, Donna Hagan, they could not pass up an opportunity to purchase tickets for some great raffle prizes, including the Grand Prize, an Orange County Entertainment Package valued over $300 for restaurants and other vendors.
As the band, FRENZY, with lead singer Patricia Bowers, kicked off the evening with light tunes for dining, Girl Scout Troop #261 began to serve dinner. And oh and what a dinner! Lodge Chef, Ed Mackey, prepared outstanding corned beef and cabbage with red potatoes and his famous Shepard’s Pie all accompanied by Irish Soda Bread. The Girl Scouts then served everyone a delightful chocolate cupcake topped with an Irish Cream icing prepared by Cheryl Tucker and Judy Klinger. Kitchen Manager, Pam Mackey, “Tiger” Ed and Janet Griffin and Lodge Inner Guard, Kevin Hughes rounded out the St. Patrick’s kitchen crew. Well done team!
Then it was time to hit the dance floor and along with that came a very special treat for the evening. Christine Bryne of the Aniar Irish Dance Company presented eight dancers that filled the hall with joy and excitement of traditional Irish dancing. The seven kids and one adult, all dressed in tradition Irish dance attire, put on a performance that was second to none. Thank you to Sheyenne Egenese, Alessia Brown, McKenna Walsh, Kennon Compton with the family of Fabiola, Katie, Paul and Ryan Doyle. Fantastic display of the art of dance!
You cannot put on a St. Patrick’s Day event without having a Best Dressed Contest. Elk of the Month, Laura Lumley, and Lecturing Knight, Mike Long spent the evening searching the crowd for their candidates. Pat Doyle, Shelly Blair, Barbara King and Sam Hooker (Shelly’s husband) topped the guest with their special Irish dress. And the winner is…Pat Doyle and Barbara King both received an “Irish Cup-O-Gold-Coins” and a free Friday dinner at the lodge. Then the biggy that everyone was waiting for…eight raffle prizes including the Grand Prize of over $300 worth of gift certificates to restaurants and entertainment in Orange County were ready to be taken! MV Elks Kitchen Manager, Pam Mackey was the BIG winner of the Grand Prize Raffle.
There are many volunteers to thank for making our St. Patrick’s Day Fundraiser successful. Gail Patti for suggesting and Lodge Chaplain, Dave Tucker, for calling new members and inviting them to the event, Brenda Rehnke for selling raffle tickets and Barbara King for assisting, Cheryl and Dave Tucker for helping every step of the way including gluing over 1,000 gold coins on the centerpieces, Leeora and the Girl Scouts Troop #261, bartender Donne Evans for patience with a large crowd and last but not least my wife, Judy Klinger, who pulled the theme and decorations together day-after-day. Thank you all for your time and effort to volunteer for another successful Mission Viejo Elks Lodge event.