Cook’s Night Out cooks up big win for LLU Children’s Hospital
Redlands artist Tom Medlicott unveils the top panel of the stained glass window the Big Hearts for Little Hearts Guild commissioned him to create for the waiting room of unit 3800 at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. The unveiling occurred as part of Cook’s Night Out.
It isn’t known whether pop diva Cyndi Lauper had the Big Hearts for Little Hearts Guild’s spring fundraiser in mind when she wrote the chart-topping hit “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” but the song would have made an ideal theme song for Cook’s Night Out, nonetheless.
Fun was the operative word not only for the 300 ladies and handful of men who attended Cook’s Night Out in the Wong Kerlee International Conference Center on Monday, April 14, 2008, but also for the guild officers as they counted the proceeds.
“We were delighted with the way the evening turned out,” says Eloise Habekost, president of the guild. “We grossed $42,000 and everybody seemed to be having the time of their life. The food was terrific, the entertainment excellent, and the waiters were wonderful.”
Following a welcome by Ms. Habekost, the opening prayer was offered by Abbey Umali, an 8-year-old Redlands girl who serves as national spokesperson for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Next on the program was guild board member Dixie Watkins, who introduced artist Tom Medlicott who unveiled the stained glass window the guild commissioned him to produce for the pediatrics waiting room for unit 3800 on the third floor of LLU Children’s Hospital. The mother-daughter team of Cathy and Hannah Grinnan was next on the program. Cathy shared her experiences as the mother of a heart-transplant recipient. Hannah is enjoying the 10th anniversary of the surgery that saved her life this year; she charmed the crowd with her sweet smile as her mother spoke.
Local celebrity chef, restaurateur, entrepreneur, and television personality Martha Green entertained the audience with a retelling of the highlights of her multi-faceted career. She showed humorous slides to illustrate her presentation.
Then she broke out the mixing bowl and showed the crowd how to make homemade marshmallows dipped in fine European chocolate. Fortunately for the attendees, they got to sample the delightful concoction as the evening came to an end.
The waiters—uniformed officers from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Loma Linda Police Department, and Loma Linda Fire Department, as well as employees of Trader Joe’s grocery stores—not only served food and drinks to the guests, they also served up smiles as guests stuffed dollar bills into the waiters’ belts.
There was great competition to see which table would tally up the most tips. All tips were donated to the guild for its work on behalf of the patients of Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital. When the dust settled, waiter Ross Wilson of the Loma Linda Fire Department topped the list with more than $600 to win the tipping contest.
The final event of the evening was the opportunity drawing. Guild board member Denise Hertel assisted guests in purchasing tickets at $5 apiece and placing them inside a large rolling cage for the drawing. When the wheel was spun and names were chosen at the end of the evening, the following winners were announced: Dorothy Stearns, dinner for 12 at Martha Green’s famed Eating Room in Redlands; Kelly Batres, a set of Cutco knives; Caroline Le, a $500 gift certificate to Nordstrom’s; and Beth Saleson, a $500 gift certificate to Pottery Barn.
But as Ms. Habekost confided to the Guild’s Board of Directors at its monthly meeting a few days later, the real reason everyone had such a good time was the simple fact that for the very first time, the program allowed ample time for all the guests to talk. “You get that many women together in one room and let them talk,” Ms. Habekost surmised, “and they’re going to have a grand time!”
Individuals interested in joining the Children’s Hospital Guild or learning more about its activities are invited to contact Ms. Habekost at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
By James Ponder