Thursday, October 8, 2015

Annual September Meeting at Leslie's

Our annual meeting at Leslie's beautiful home last week had a terrific turn-out this year and with loads to discuss and plate upon plate of yummy food and wine to get through, that was a good thing! Over 30 of us were able to make this meeting and it was such fun playing catch-up with so many who we haven't seen over the summer months. Those of you unable to come due to crummy summer colds, power outages, sick pets, travel adventures, work commitments, etc., know you were missed but hopefully this little blog posting (primarily photos) will keep you in the TWC loop.

Nancy Hanson kindly took notes so here's a brief recap of our gathering and pictures plus some set-up photos.

The Grant Spend-Down
I ran through the details of the Zev Yaroslavsky grant spend-down.  It has consumed Karen and me for quite some time now and while we initially thought our request for extension of spending (sent back in early April) would suffice, Sheila Kuehl's office said no. Their unhelpful suggestion was that we spend $10,000 and return the rest to their office (ahem, no) and request a further 10 grand each year. That was quietly rejected by us and we drew up a shopping list and started hunting for storage facilities.  Once that was achieved (one in Thousand Oaks...closest we could find and one at the Salvation Army Bell Shelter...a freebie generously donated by the Salvation Army for our use), the shopping began.  Big thank you's go out to Isabel and Jack Freeman and Foster Sherwood for helping me put together shelving in 105 degree heat at the T.O. facility and to Teresa for coming to Costco to pick up part of the order that we are housing in T.O. and having the sense to tell them to deliver it...and then coming out two days later for the delivery and helping me stack and load shelves (I was brain dead by this point and could make no sensible decisions). Also, a huge thank you to the Salvation Army employees at the Bell Shelter (in Bell) who, along with phone instructions from me almost daily for a couple of weeks, have received, stacked and locked all the great big items. We now have, in our storerooms, everything from microwave ovens to vacuum cleaners to crock pots to rugs and I'm sure the families we serve will be delighted with all of these useful household items. I put 43 grand on my American Express card and I can tell you right now that I am delighted that I have now been reimbursed (Roger was pretty pleased, put it mildly!). So now, this drama can be put to bed and we can move on to other exciting news like...

Karen gave all the details (except the artist and that will be announced in the invitation you'll receive in a few days) and the tension is building. All I will say right now is if you want to come, tickets are limited to 140 ($150 per ticket) and they will sell quickly. This will be a unique opportunity to see an internationally well-known performer in the beautiful and intimate setting offered at Rosewood, right here in Topanga. After the performance wine and hors d'oeuvres will be served under the oaks.  If you did not receive your 'Save the Date' email, let us know and watch your inboxes for the invitation!!!  Many, many thanks to Jill Palethorpe for designing our Save the Date card.

Committee Reports
Bin Committee:  Volunteers continue to come forward and Nancy is delighted. We have decided to phase out all clothing because of the new household stock we have to accommodate. It was discussed that perhaps a pair of pjs or a new outfit for each child would be a nice addition to each set-up. Amy Farber signed up to be on this committee.
Shopping Committee: Teresa seems to be handling this pretty well with forays by others as needed. Teresa will send out an email when particular items are needed and price guidelines for such purchases.  You will be reimbursed. Karla Morrison and Adrian Wright signed up to be on this committee.
Non-Perishables Committee: Patty will send out mailings to volunteers when we are low on stock. Because this committee does a lot of bulk purchasing, gift cards will be purchased by TWC for Patty and Catherine.  They can use these as they see fit making sure that all receipts are retained for our bookkeeping records.  There will be a food drive again this Christmas at Topanga Elementary as it was quite successful last year. Sandy Savas suggested doing this on a more regular basis as she is at the school teaching art and could coordinate the delivery of such items to our bin in Pine Tree Circle. Sandy also suggested the children could make items to sell or donate to TWC. Amy Farber, Elaine Hanson and Karla Morrison signed up to be on this committee.
Perishable Committee: Andrea suggested that a few new members would be a good thing as Becca Barkin has now moved (and is sorely missed by TWC and Canyon Sages). Most volunteers on this committee donate all the perishables they have purchased, but we would like it understood that if you need to be refunded, you can be (up to $25 per set-up), but receipts will be needed.  If not reimbursed, keep your receipts for tax purposes.

Our next meeting will be in early December to discuss Christmas for the children at Venice Community Housing.

Of course I got all wordy on you...but here are the photos, as promised!

Our magical meeting on the most perfect
of summer evenings.  Beautiful setting, beautiful ladies and a beautiful cause...
helping Veterans and families as they transition 
from homelessness into a more settled life.

Catherine, making sure we have enough wine.  I conferred with her and between the bottles in the ice bucket and on the table,  we were beyond fine!

Happy Ladies

Lots to catch up on
The koi were especially active!

The choices were pretty amazing and Steve grilled the salmon to perfection

Thirty plus for problem!
Surprise!  The birthday girl xo
Teresa giving her committee report

There have been a few set-ups lately. and while I'm holding off on loads of pix, I can't help but put those in of our uber-active junior volunteer, Amy's little one, who LOVES doing the children's bedrooms in particular.