Monday, June 18, 2007

Pasadena Playhouse Alumni and Associates Brunch: 2007

From Pete Parkin:

Kudos to Jerry Bono and his steadfast Brunch committee for putting on a great party! And what a great turn out! The last count rumor I heard was in the neighborhood of 180. The room was a tad cozy for all those people, but we never expected that many people. And I don’t think any of you who were there had any major complaints. As usual Valerie and Bridget were valuable assets, along with most of the Board members who were able to lend a hand.

We had no “official” MC so Jerry chose to divide the introductions among board members. As a result the membership got a chance to see most of us and put faces to names. It also made the program go very smoothly.

But in the end it was Sheldon’s day. Celebrating his tenth anniversary at the helm of the Playhouse. Neva’s annual poem began the proceedings and was aimed directly at him. It was, as usual, clever and I think Sheldon really appreciated the sentiment.

Even the food was good.

Congratulations to Gail Shoup on his man of the year award. It was my honor to present him with his award. He was my mentor at the Playhouse, and I was very nervous about introducing him.

Laurie Smith Johnson was the woman of the year. Ann LaRose made that presentation. Laurie’s whole family was present and it was very touching when she introduced her parents as her biggest fans and supporters.

Gene DeWild was presented the Gilmore Brown Award by past pres. John McElveney. A most deserving recipient. He was the glue the last years of the College of Theatre Arts. And I have always had great admiration for him.

Finally Valerie presented the Keeper of the Flame to Don Frabotta who gave a very humorous “acceptance” speech. Something along the lines of “ now I’m an official flamer”, or words to that effect.

Then we really surprised Sheldon with a special presentation that was not listed on the program. A beautiful glass “award” with the Playhouse fountain etched inside. And a $5000 check for his outreach program. He was very moved by this and the standing O he received from all present.

Sorry if you missed it but put next year on your calendar. It will be our 55th Anniversary and the Playhouse's 80th.


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