2013 Christmas Banquet

December 14, 2013

This year the Club celebrated Christmas at Val’s Restaurant in Daly City. If you were there, you only need to view the pictures. If you did not attend, read on. It is safe to say you missed the best party the Club has had in several years. Val’s is a warm comfortable place that serves good old-fashioned American food. The decor is retro-cool with dark woodwork and a great fireplace. Our room was decorated for the season with Christmas lights and large wall snowflake ornaments.

Our Christmas party is a time to celebrate the end of a successful year and to thank our officers, tour leaders, and club members for their contributions to the Club. It is also a time to remember the less fortunate. This year the Club collected and contributed over twenty five toys for the “Toys for Tots” program.

The first partygoers to arrive were Nel Richmond and John Bettencourt. John had a Santa-size bag filled with “Toys for Tots” and raffle prizes including 21 flashlights. Nel brought several large bags of Chinese Fortune Cookies and carefully placed them in the bread plate on each table. We were off to a good start but the best was yet to come.

Joan, Jenny, and Al arrived next with table decorations. The table decorations included Santa Claus centerpieces and wine coaster. There were favors, candy, and other festive Christmas table decorations that made the room sparkle with Christmas spirit.

Following our cocktail hour and just before the end of dinner there was a surprise visit from Santa Claus. Santa (Tom Mullins in real life), neatly trimmed hand and foot in his traditional red suit, bore a bag of gifts for everyone. The Club gift exchange followed Santa. Gifts could be chosen or stolen. This led to a lively give and take. However, no one went home empty handed.

Santa’s first gift presentation was to Ethan Mahl, a charming 10 month old, who is both the newest and youngest member of the Club. He is the son of Jonathan and Gabrella Mahl and the grandson of Jeanine and Gunard. He was stolen by Nel Richmond during the gift exchange and reluctantly returned to his parents for a diaper change.

Our Tour Leaders and Officers were awarded special embroidered shirts and all of our volunteers were given special mention and will receive tote bags for their service. A very special mention went to John Zuffi and the Barrango family for the Crab Feed and to Jenny Jump, Al Thomas, and Joan Peterson for decorations and raffle baskets. Walter Caplan, Scott Williams, and Steve Owsley were also awarded shirts for their work on our award winning newsletter The Choke Rod.

The party concluded at the end of the raffle and we all headed home with families and friends with our gifts and our memories of the 2013 Christmas Banquet at Val’s – Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Photos by Scott Williams