By Dr. Ginger Gabriel – Special to the Alpine Mountaineer
PHOTOS: (Photos by Ginger Gabriel)
The Crest Forest Senior Citizens Club knows how to throw a party, even in the fog. For a month, community members, who were heroes to many of the seniors, have been enjoying having lunch with the seniors on their regular Tuesday and Thursday fellowship luncheons.
When it came time for the annual “Grill & Chill” fundraiser, a lot of people showed up – people and their kids, grandparents and a number of dogs.
I had a really good bratwurst with all the trimmings. There were burgers, potato salad – everything you would expect for a picnic. The whole Leisure Shores property was alive with activity and music.
Destiny Love and Jamie Foster provided the music and sound equipment. There were vendors in their kiosks selling hats and T-shirts. At the same time kids on the lawn in front of the clubhouse were chasing each other and playing games, which included cornhole.
The serious stuff was going on inside the Lakeview Room. There was a silent auction with much strategizing on how much to bid and when to make the winning offer. At the end of the day, people went home with bikes, doll houses and big toys.
Guests had to decide how many of their raffle tickets to put into each of 25 buckets to win the coolest prize. I personally won two gift certificates from Rim Forest Lumber and a Subway sandwich.
While that excitement was going on, there was a lot happening under the parking lot pop-ups and the music pavilion. Destiny Love and Carrie Forbear were keeping everyone engaged. Yoyo Hernandez had a number of contestants agreeing to wear hula skirts learning the Hukilau Song hula dance. While some were learning the hula, others were gathered in the music pavilion checking out the karaoke machine.
Karaoke is quite popular in the bars and restaurants in Crestline and apparently also among the kids and their elders. First up was the karaoke contest for the kids. Some of those kids were really good! You’ll get to see them riding on the Crest Forest Senior Citizens Club float for Jam Days.
The winner of the adult karaoke contest was seriously amazing. Dana sang “At Last” by Etta James to a stand-up clapping and cheering crowd. Second- and third-place winners were Bill and Genevieve.
I asked Carrie, the event chairperson, how she thought the day went. “So many folks told me it felt like they were at home with people they love. I saw smiles and more smiles everywhere I looked. It was so rewarding; The best part was how the community was so willing to come together and give generously with either their time, talent and/or treasure. From tons of volunteers on the day of the picnic, to so many generous contributions from our local mountain vendors and businesses, to the brilliant talent of the people volunteering to entertain the crowd.
“The kudos and compliments were overwhelming,” she added. “The most common one was how comfortable it all felt, just having a good old-fashioned fun together as a community again. It was fun from start to finish. I was thrilled to be the chair and emcee for it all. As a fundraiser, we substantially brought in more than last year. A lot of people decided to join the club because of all the fun they had! It exceeded our expectations in every way.”
Much of the success goes to the amazing donors. The leadership at the senior citizens club gave a special shout out to the Lake Gregory Company, the Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa, the Crestline Café, Head to Tails Dog Grooming, Woody’s Mercantile, Sycamore Ranch Winery, Rim Bowling and Subway, Ace Hardware, Mountain Auto Parts and many others.