Good food, fine wine, wonderful people, spectacular bay views from way up in the Richmond hills, uniquely entertaining entertainment, short speeches about big accomplishments. And did we mention the wonderful people?
That about summons up the April 18th tenth Annual Benefit Dinner for the Rosie the Riveter Trust, held at the grand old Mira Vista Country Club (which, according to Kaiser historian Lincoln Cushing almost become a temporary shipyard workers’ hospital back in1942).
As usual, the no-host bar was doing a booming business as guests crowded up to the bar, then drifted off to survey, appraise, and bid on a vast and enticing assortment of culinary, gustatory, and artistic product and services at the silent auction next door. Representatives from Napa’s Trefethen Winery, which provided the evenings’ fine wines, was pouring free tastings for those who weren’t too busy shooting “We Can Do It” selfies with a number of World War II Rosies or chatting with NPS staffers.
As folks found their tables and dinner was served, the Trust’s president, Diane Hedler, welcomed the full house of some 225 guests and staff, reeling off an impressive list of the Trust’s accomplishments. The Every Kid in a Park program (highlighted in an adjoining article) brought some 1,200 local fourth graders to the park’s Visitor Center in its initial year (2015/16) for three-hour field trips, building a solid foundation for a new generation of local park users in this second century of the NPS. The park’s national and local visibility was enhanced by the Guinness World Record-breaking turn out of Rosie-dressed participants at last August’s Rosie Rally and Home Front Festival. Other highlights of the year, she noted, included the U.S. Senate-approved official “Rosie Day” of March 21 as a “collective national effort to raise awareness of the 16,000,000 women who worked during World War II.”
Other speakers included Park Superintendent Tom Leatherman; Alize Martinez, a graduate of the Rosies Girls Summer Camp; and Marsha Mather-Thrift, executive director of the Trust, who underscored the ongoing need for financial and other forms of support for the Trust’s “massive undertaking” for EKIP and other programs.
And then the fun began in earnest as musician and Hawaiian dance promoter Don Damon brought on his Na Mamo No’eau Hawaiian hula dancers, whose performance included a special Rosie Luau featuring four local dancers dressed as Rosies. What next?
By the time the custard and cake made its appearance, the sun had sunk far below the Golden Gate on a still balmy and memorable evening in recognition of another year in the hard work and sacrifice of the many people who keep the Rosie’s Can-Do promise alive.
Special thanks to our Annual Dinner Sponsors!
Park Florist, Richmond CA.
Mira Vista Country Club, El Cerrito CA.