NWARC Holiday Gala (recap)

7 Feb

In the NW, we are very fortunate to have such a strong club with great members. As a reminder, if we needed any, was our annual Holiday Gala held in December. Perhaps a little too much talking and not enough laughing but the food, drink, setting, auction tables, generosity, and comradery are extraordinary.

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Behind the scenes, Jessica Hyde, Rita Ingram, Gordy Hyde, and Debi Schmid handled the space, food, décor and festivities along with organizing the whole auction table concept. The message seemed to get out well and people signed up and it was fun to see both new people, and some long time members in attendance. Often it is the missing people that get your attention. For example, some of us remember when Santa used to visit our Gala, but he was a no show again this year… but he did drop off a gift for Gordy before the event. It was a Jackalope CD for him to enjoy since he’s known as a Jackalope in select circles. Apparently Santa had been trying to give this to Gordy for many years but since he’s usually on the “naughty” list, it had to wait a while.

Donations for the auction table came from a great variety of sources, including supporting businesses like Alfa of Tacoma, Autologic, Group 2 Motorsports, AJS Design, Ralli Round, Bristow’s Exclusive Auto Repair, Alfa Parts (Jon Norman), Books4Cars.com, Ingram Enterprises, and Zeppelin Studio. They also came from member donations. Earl Krygier donated an Alfa engine stand, Joe & Lynn Faherty offered up a home cooked Italian dinner, while the Kingstone’s provided racing salt & pepper shakers, some videos, and an Alfa sun catcher. I donated a book, vintage magazines, and a wireless mouse, while Gordy made a few people very happy with his homemade jams, jellies, the shirt off his back, and some cordials, lemoncello, and etched Alfa glasses. He also included a framed Shin Yoshikawa print. Rounding out the great selection on the tables was a centerpiece made by Debi Schmid, and 3 bottles of wine donated by Thomas & Arlene Jermann.

In all, over $1500 worth of donations and purchases were made. Thanks to all this generosity and “shopping” the $1500 raised will be donated to NW Harvest who serves an astounding 1.6 million meals per month through their 325 locations in Washington State. The member’s support reminds me how lucky we all are to be part of the greatest Alfa club, both by volume and generosity, in the nation.

The food was very good, especially the steaks even if the portions weren’t enough for a big eater like me. The service seemed good with appetizers available for us during the social gatherings and auction bidding portion of the event. Then dessert samplers were brought out to each table so we could try a few different items, with the chocolate raspberry dessert being my favorite.

As the evening progressed, our auction bidding had closed, and our appetites were satisfied, the cross table talk was replaced by the podium talk. I helped cover the emcee role and thanked everyone for being part of this years event before Rita Ingram shared info about the outstanding auction donations. Next, she brought up the 2011 club officers and recognized their efforts. Our fearless President, Merril Gordon got stuck on a business trip and wasn’t able to join so his son, Dillon stood in for him. Gordy then introduced the changes like Joe Faherty moving to the role of Competition Chair and Paul & Kristy Affolter sharing the role of Membership Chair. Gordy also introduced Bill Gehring as our new Vice President, but Bill wasn’t around as he’d chosen to undergo knee replacement surgery instead. Gordy reminded people to sign the get well cards we had for Bill… that were delivered the following day. Though Bill tries to be rather low key, he was very appreciative of the members kindness.

Joe Faherty gave us a quick recap of the 2011 Corsa (track) season, and a few highlights of the coming season. There are still a few details to work out but suffice it to say, it should be another good year. Next up was Shannon Low who recapping the great events the club enjoyed in 2011 while I showed a quick slide show to either jog your memories, or make you feel bad that you missed some events. Both seemed to work. Shannon reminded people we can always use more volunteers to help with events and event ideas while he covered the plans for 2012. I had my chance to remind people that doing the newsletter takes teamwork and I appreciate all the photos, articles, feedback, and support I get from a variety of people. It was also a chance to remind people about the push to reduce the print newsletter to only get mailed to those who have asked for it.

Thomas Jermann gave us a few words about the fiscal status of the club as well as some of the achievements and rules due to our successfully becoming a Federal Tax Exempt club. Though becoming Tax Exempt sounds straight forward when he talks about it, it was a huge effort made possible by a lot of Thomas’ talent. Gordy, as both club secretary and a AROC Board Member came back up and gave a peak at the national club and even touched on the “Inter-” National Convention this coming year that will combine both the US and Canadian members in a joint event being held in the fantastic city of Toronto. (No, that is not the capital of Canada!)
As the evening drew nearer the end, last year’s winner of the Alfisti of the Year award, Pete Bristow made his presentation to this year’s winner. First, he mentioned how honored he was to have been a recipient of the award at last year’s Gala, but how the award is a chance to acknowledge extra efforts or passion shown by individuals within our club. He asked all members who have dealt with the IRS at one point in their life to stand up… that meant almost everyone knows that can be a challenge. He then asked if you’ve ever dealt with the IRS on behalf of the Alfa club, remain standing… that allowed everyone to sit down except Thomas Jermann, club treasurer.

Pete called Thomas to the podium and presented him with this year’s Alfisti of the Year award for his outstanding efforts to satisfy the requirements of the IRS and help guide our club to the Federal Tax Exempt Status. When you become a winner, and can read the individual plaques, they each have a sub-line that sums up, in a funny way, the reason the person was chosen… Thomas’ says “Final Score NWARC 1 IRS 0”

The fantastic evening wrapped up after another hour of socializing, and perhaps paying for our bar tabs and auction items. Thanks again to all those who helped organize the event, to the great folks who donated plenty of items, the bidders who bought, and everyone for being part of this year’s NWARC Holiday Gala.


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