Wednesday, September 11, 2013

September Gathering and Final Holly Set-Up

We had a great meeting last night at Leslie's house.  As always, it was the absolute perfect setting for a large gathering and there were close to 30 of us. A beautiful summer evening, terrific ladies, fabulous food (TWC members are terrific cooks), good wine and so much was such fun and the photos below give you some idea of it all.  Don't you just love an outdoor table that seats over 30 with great lighting AND heat lamps.  Here we are...from both ends!


So many choices

Thanks to Nancy Hanson for taking minutes of the meeting.  For those of you unable to attend, here is what we covered.

Karen began by reading a heartfelt thank you note from the Crane family.  While we get many thank you notes, this one seemed to cover every little thing we did for them from the wonderful sewing kits (thank you Karen and Chapman girls!) to the new bath and bedding items, fresh and non-perishable foods, personal care items and toys and books for the children.  

We passed around the sewing kits and requested that Linda Handler might do another button and thread drive at Topanga Elementary.  Last year, Linda did a school-wide button drive which was amazingly successful!  Thanks, Linda.  These kits are a pretty terrific addition to each set-up.

Something I failed to mention last night was this...we need art supplies for the children.  We are now out of crayons, paper, coloring books, stickers, etc etc etc.  I love giving each family something to encourage the children's creativity.

We chatted about the number of set-ups we completed this summer which has resulted in a sadly emptied bin.  Patty Colvig suggested that we create a PDF that is part of our website so it is easy to print out a list for anyone who asks what can I do, what do you need? We are on it! 

Our new Advisory Board was introduced and joining Janaki (who is in London visiting family) are Teresa Rosati-Royer, Lisa O'Laughlin and Nancy Hanson.  Teresa and another group that she belongs to have taken on Christmas for the children and their siblings at the Bessie Pregerson CDC...what an amazing gift. This year it will include over 90 children.  TWC will be giving them some seed money to help kickstart their fundraising.  Lisa is our ideas gal and came up with the Saturday Open Bin day which has really given us more visibility within the community as well as other ideas for fundraisers, etc.  And Nancy is our great communicator.  She handles all the open bin scheduling as well as our Topanga Messenger adverts.  I know with these four women helping guide TWC into the future, we are bound to do well.

Karen spoke of a yoga friend of hers who is going to institute a fundraiser among her friends so with Joanna Gunst's help, we will create a flyer that can be used by others wanting to organize a donation bin for TWC.  Susan Lovell said she will put a flyer up in her staff room at work.  Patty Colvig suggested using the Topanga Farmer's Market as a collection point for non-perishable foods in November and is willing to investigate and perhaps form a committee.  Perhaps we could have a small article in Messenger.  Nancy could you investigate this please?

Azmina shared her great idea of a fundraiser and showed us her beautiful scarves and jewelry.  More info to follow, but we will definitely plan an event close to the holidays!  In the last blog posting you can see some examples of the lovely pieces that she hand paints.  Besides holiday sales, we need to be thinking of other venues for sales such as Topanga Days, Venice Arts Festivals, Farmers Markets, etc.

A thank you went out to Leslie for her donation of the two bins which has revolutionized our lives.  We do tend to go on about these bins, but many of us remember how tough life used to be BB (Before Bins). And speaking of the Bins, Nancy produced a sign-up sheet for Saturday morning volunteers and, as always, our fabulous volunteer base responded.  

A big thank you to Lisa O'Laughlin and Susan Lovell for hosting parties where they asked for donations for Topanga Women's Circle. What a resounding success that was and something we should all keep in mind the next time we entertain.  The generosity of our friends is pretty amazing.

Randi Gottleib had an interesting idea about donations that come into the bin.  Sometimes items are given to us which really do look like they are something special...perhaps an antique or a collectible.  How about if we create a special place for items that we think just may be worth something...perhaps we could sell these items (eBay?) to raise needed monies for TWC?  There was a lot of interest in this idea.

Our next meeting will be November 5 at Catherine McClenahans home.  More details closer to the date, but mark your calendars now.  Besides being Guy Fawkes Day (in the UK), it is also Election Day.  Politics, then and now.

We made the sad announcement at the meeting that Holly (and Richard) and her mom, Margie, are moving up to Bend, Oregon later this month.  We will miss them so very, very much because besides their wonderful energy and optimism, look at how purty Holly makes every set-up look.  All the kitchen and dining room pictures have Holly's special touch.  We will really, really miss you two beautiful ladies.

 Holly can make paper napkins look elegant.

 This beautiful cookie jar was one of the donations from Susan Lovel's party.  Nice, huh?

 Cup of tea?

All the makings for a pasta dinner and gorgeous tea towels

 Looking into the dining room/kitchen from the living room.  Cute lamp!

Speaking of lamps.  Look at this beauty. This photo is a lamp that Mi Casa Lighting (22201 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills) provided the shade, bulb and finial for, free of charge.  Both of these lamps would still be languishing in the bin were it not for their generosity.  So this is a shout-out to Mi Casa with a big thank you to them for their continued support of Topanga Women's Circle.

 Telltale touches of Holly!

 Teenaged girls bedroom

 Great nail polish from April, darling belts donated from Jalan Jalan and sweet
bags donated by Wendy takes a village!

 A wonderful donation from Marlene.  These kids will enjoy this game for sure.