Fall Fundraiser Tea

West Valley Garden Club holds one big fundraiser every fall. Our 2016 Fundraiser/Tea was very successful. We had a boutique shop where members and guests could shop for crafts, baked goods, plants and white elephant items. We also held a raffle and a silent auction using items donated by members and local merchants. All members assisted in a variety of ways: by inviting friends and family; taking reservations; serving the food for the tea; manning the sales tables; hosting and decorating a table; and providing items for the sale and raffle tables.

Our theme this year was "A Mad Hatter Tea Party" and our program was a magic show by the son-in-law of a member. Our hostesses created beautiful, creative table tops to showcase the theme.

The funds are used to provide four $1250 scholarships to local students who have enrolled in a course of study in horticulture, floriculture, landscaping, environmental studies, conservation or a related field. We also support the Botanical Garden at California State University Northridge, Conejo Valley Botanical Garden, the Penny Pines reforestation project in California, the Theodore Payne Foundation (for preservation of native plants), Campo de Cahuenga historic native plant garden and other community projects.

Beverly Jeppson and Yvonne Jones, co-3rd Vice Presidents of Ways and Means, guided our club through another successful fundraiser/tea.
One of the whimsical signs to welcome members and guests.

Our plant sale tables and boutique shop tables with items donated by members attracted many shoppers prior to lunch. Members assembled many gift baskets for our raffle. There were food themed baskets, gardening supplies and plants, china settings, a large selection of chocolates, and other themes to entice everyone to participate in our raffle sale.

A lovely doll house was donated by a member for our silent auction. This beautiful potting table crafted by a member's husband was another item in the silent auction.

Our silent auction items included one week at a condo in Maui (on the left), a handcrafted quilt, a carved wooden bowl and a copper rain chain. To keep our Mad Hatter Tea Party guests hydrated, we set up two beverage containers. One to "make you smaller" and "one to make you taller" after their trip down the "rabbit hole" to the tea party.

While shopping and visiting, guests and members were entertained by a piano player prior to lunch. Members and guests were "ready to party" in their creative hats and costumes.

This table top created by Annie Larsen was bright and cheerful with an elaborate centerpiece decorated with tiny Mad Hatter figurines and handmade place mats with an Alice in Wonderland theme. Beverly Jeppson's table is lovely with a turquiose tablecloth and whimsical centerpiece. The deep red color of the floral design work well with the bold table coverings.

Caroline Russom's table centerpiece is crafted from the California native plants in her garden. She gave a party favor of a potted native plant to each of her guests. Eleonor de Carteret used a delicate English china set and coordinated the centerpiece with the colors in the table covering and dishes.

Kris Gaulrapp's table top was a pretty collection of color coordinated plates, cups and saucers. The pinks, yellows and cream colors of her dishes were highlighted by the bright yellow tablecloth. Her centerpiece incorporated a large, china rabbit to reflect our party theme. Jo-Ann Roth's table featured shades of pink in her English china dishes. The centerpiece featured some beautiful star lilies in pink to complement the dishes. Several layers of plates added a feeling of opulence and richness. Touches of violet added sparkle to the table top.

Madelyn Jameson and Sally Bagley co-hosted this lovely Halloween table with a black table cloth to showcase the white "spider web" place mats. The dishes in white and orange colors and their centerpiece of bold sunflowers completed their table top beautifully. Mary Fischbach used a ceramic Cheshire Cat for her Mad Hatter table setting. The bold colors of red and black on the cat were repeated in several places. This table top was another fun and whimsical Mad Hatter theme.
Renee Rockower-Wade and Nancy Zippler set a more formal table top. A whimsical note was introduced in their centerpiece. The red flowers have "google eyes" to amuse the viewer. Carole Kyle and Pat Tjosas used a pretty white and hydrangea tablecloth as the basis for their table top. The center piece was constructed with small pots of herbs surrounding a candle. Tiny "nosegays" of herbs were placed on each cup and saucer. Their hostess gifts for each guest was an organic herbal teabag in a pyramid shaped package.
Marcia Gaj used a fall theme for her table top. A deep gold table cloth was topped with gold chargers and white china. The whimsical touch was an old typewriter with the Alice in Wonderland story about the Mad Hatter Tea Party. Yvonne Jones created a Mad Hatter Tea Party table top. Note the stuffed Cheshire cat on the right sitting on her little side table. The glass wine glasses had blackand white striped straws for fun. The black and black and white polka dot table cloths were bold Halloween touches and softened with the colorful napkins, pink in the dishes and touches of pink on the elaborate centerpiece of candles in the candlestick.
Janet Geis set up her table as a head table to accommodate more guests who wished to attend. It was a very elaborate table top with colorful drapes and flowers tucked here and there and on the floor in the front of the table. After shopping in the boutique, plant sale and bake sale areas, bidding in our silent auction and placing their raffle tickets our guests were hungary and ready to enjoy a tasty tea luncheon. We had scones with lemon curd, jam and cream, tea sandwiches and an assortment of desserts.
After our luncheon we were enchanted with the entertainment of a magician who is the son-in-law of a member. Here he is pushing a needle through a balloon without popping it. Our Raffle ticket chairpersons, Bernadette de Young and Mary Ratner called out the numbers following our entertainment. Guests and members loved getting their prizes. Our Silent Auction chairman, Rosemary Ecker announced the winners of the Silent Auction and our Fall Fundraiser/Tea Chairmen, Beverly Jeppson and Yvonne Jones called the numbers for the door prizes. Everyone had a good time and we thank all businesses who gave us donations and our members who worked so hard to make this another success.