Unit Happenings

Unit 8 and 8A residents enjoy a visit to Miraval Resort.

Unit 8 and 8A residents enjoy a visit to Miraval Resort.

Unit 8

Lydia Hayes

The Miraval Resort and Spa was the location chosen for the Unit 8 and A Ladies Who Lunch group on November 17. The event was planned and organized by Unit 8’s Sue Rains. Thirty women from Unit 8 and 8A were given a tour of the facilities. Following the tour the ladies had lunch in the Cactus Flower Restaurant. Lunch consisted of a buffet with design your own salad bar, homemade soups, chilis and more. While they ate, the chefs came to the tables to explain how they create dishes that ignite your senses without the calories you would expect from such delicious food.

Another highlight for many of the ladies was the opportunity to visit Miraval’s gift shop which displays local art and gem stones as well as beautiful articles of clothing. The ladies expressed how much they enjoyed the tour, the lunch and the special attention they received during the visit.

Miraval was recently featured on the Ellen DeGeneres Show when she gave her entire audience a stay at the resort. The award winning wellness destination and luxury spa resort sits on 400 acres practically at SaddleBrooke’s backdoor. The video clip shown on the television program not only displayed Miraval’s setting, it also showed the beautiful scenery that surrounds SaddleBrooke and was a reminder of the special area in which we live.

Anna Marie Marsh

Anna Marie Marsh

Unit 21

Dan Chase

On eve of December 1, 2015 Unit 21 came alive with festive lights, joyous singing and laughter as bundled up revelers visited decorated homes throughout the neighborhood.

Diane Gekas along with her willing volunteers of gracious hosts set the mood for their annual evening of Light Up the Night.

With a hearty appetite by all that participated the fun started at Dede and Doug Crowder’s home where folks would partake in delicious hors d’ oeuvres on S. Desert Sun. Having satisfied their initial taste of holiday favorites, revelers moved to Kate and Scott Elfstrom’s for warm soups and beautiful views of the Santa Catalina Mountains at sunset on S. Arroyo Way. By this time all were well into the spirit of the season.

On Dasher and Dancer and any other available means of transportation (mostly golf carts) carolers and scrooges alike moved on to hot, comforting sloppy Joes at Kathy and Rick Adams’ on Stoney Ridge. After a few more renditions of Over The River and Through The Brooke, our merry band of jolly elves toasted a conclusion to the evening at Carolyn and Randy Carr’s on Ocotillo Canyon with sweet desserts, hot chocolate and coffee.

Many thanks to all the merry elves that helped the hosting couples and, of course, special thanks to our spirited revealers for making this annual activity another night to remember.

Unit 21

Dan Chase

In the true spirit of what the season is all about Silke Bender has no equal. Silke has again this year welcomed into her home fifty-seven ladies from Unit 21 for a luncheon fit for royalty. Imagine if you will, “How could this be?” and Silke would just say, “You only have to believe.” Silke is a planner and organizer extraordinaire and if fifty-seven ladies say they want to come, then Silke makes it possible.

Going through the email that was sent from appreciative attendees and believers there was nothing but total amazement and awe for what Ms. Bender and her committee of supportive helpers had accomplished. In Silke’s own words you sense the gratitude and humbleness of our Frau Kringle:

“Thank you and hugs to Pat Andrea, Carolyn Carr, Marion De Pietro, Diane Gekas, Sandy Heinlein and Lea Stocks. Also thank you to everyone who allowed me to borrow chairs and whatever else I needed to put this lunch together. This lunch would not have happened without all of you helping me! Also a special thank you to my wonderful friend Merna Oakley for helping all day Thursday and Friday morning setting up the house and tables. All of you are amazing and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your help.”

“If anyone needs help with a party I would highly recommend Vicky Randall. Vicky and Monica came at 10:00 a.m. and took over the kitchen setting up the food, manning the ovens and the buffet to make sure everything was perfect. If I didn’t have something, she pulled it out of her magic bag and it appeared.”

So what happened here on December 4, 2015 was a true holiday gathering of friends and neighbors all bunched in together at the Bender’s residence to share some quality time and a great luncheon. The house was decorated with, as Karen Pachis said, “100 Santa Claus dolls and figurines.” The guests dined on salads, pasta dishes, ham, chicken, scalloped potatoes, baked pineapple and curried fruit. Desserts included an assortment of cakes, candy, cookies and refreshing drinks of choice complimented the afternoon.

Silke hopes your holiday is filled with happiness and joy and that you have opportunities to spend quality time with family and friends.

Attendees at Ladies Holiday Lunch at Vivace

Attendees at Ladies Holiday Lunch at Vivace

Unit 27

Sue Case

For the third year in a row, Unit 27 collaborated with Units 32 and 36 in a combined unit holiday party, this year held on December 8. Steve Holdener, our Unit 27 resident and accomplished DJ and dancer, once again played the music for our after dinner dancing. It was nice to see him down on the dance floor this year, rather than up on the stage. That way he and wife Rita were able to dance with the rest of the attendees without having to leap off the stage and run like crazy. Steve knows how to play music that most of the attendees could dance to, perhaps because he is a dancer himself.

Most attendees seemed to enjoy their entrees, which ranged from seabass to steak to pasta and the chocolate ganache dessert was quite a treat as long as one could make it through the thick chocolate shell. Perhaps the chef was craving some extra holiday entertainment by secretly watching diners stabbing the dessert with their forks and/or knives. However, most folks managed to tame the beast and enjoy the spoils.

Although no one wore a kilt this year, an array of holiday finery was evident throughout the ballroom from tuxedos to gold lame to Christmas sweaters. While more folks danced to the slower music, the dance floor was not often empty; seven Jazzercisers were noted in attendance, the most visible being Vicky Coletti of Unit 32, who rocked on virtually all evening.

At ten o’clock, as a fitting end to the evening, Steve played Hit the Road, Jack and everyone boogied on home.

The Ladies of Unit 27, as the menu read, gathered at Vivace Restaurant on December 11 for a very nice lunch that was planned by Vicki Strief, assisted by Cher Zazzarino. In addition to the excellent food, the great service and comfortable ambiance, Vicki provided Tequila Sunrise cocktails in memory of our dear friend and Unit 27 resident, the late June Steobner, who had co-hosted the last holiday lunch with Vicki. It was a very sweet and generous gesture on Vicki’s part to do that.

Carol and Dwight Shupe occasionally open their home to unit residents at Christmas time for punch and cookies, but mainly to allow their fellow Unit 27 residents to view Carol’s interior Christmas decorations, which Carol herself acknowledges are somewhat over the top. The display, which changes from year to year because she has accumulated so many items, is highlighted by the many Christmas Villages that she has collected. When asked which one of them puts up the displays, she merely gives a deadpan stare and then breaks out in a smile. Dwight gets everything down from the special storage space above the garage and then he cringes during the several weeks it takes for Carol to install them in the house. This year they held an open house again on Friday, December 18 and treated residents not only to a colorfully impressive display, but also to a variety of home baked cookies.

We are all looking forward to a New Year with old and new friends and new adventures.

Unit 49 veterans, back row, left to right: Sam Miller, Roger Bales, Ray Peale, Steve Brykowsky, Mike Roddy, Fred Kjar, Steve Kore and Ron Barker; front row: Bob Saner, Ken Heaton, Chris Swenson, Joel Kurosaki, Jack Lee and John Stevenson; not in photo, Ken Wong. Photo by Marge Wong

Unit 49 veterans, back row, left to right: Sam Miller, Roger Bales, Ray Peale, Steve Brykowsky, Mike Roddy, Fred Kjar, Steve Kore and Ron Barker; front row: Bob Saner, Ken Heaton, Chris Swenson, Joel Kurosaki, Jack Lee and John Stevenson; not in photo, Ken Wong. Photo by Marge Wong

Unit 49

Ken Wong

Unit 49 held its sixth annual picnic at Catalina State Park on Tuesday, November 3. The weather was cooperative with no rain! Seventy-one residents enjoyed socializing in a beautiful setting with the Santa Catalina Mountains as a backdrop. Several groups also hiked some of the scenic park trails. Hosted by Ken and Marge Wong, everyone enjoyed the catered meal which included fried chicken, baked beans, salads, rolls and of course, dessert which consisted of cookies and ice cream. Games were organized and conducted by Doug and Nancy Boklund and were a hit with everyone. We recognized all Unit 49 veterans of the armed services, providing those in attendance with special name tags and thanking them for their service. We also recognized members of the Arts and Theatre Team: Karen Schroeder, Irene Sussle, Karen Stevenson, Wendy Barry, Pat Fink, Terry Fitzgerald, Renee Pearson, Harriet Rosenberg and Sue Roberson. Also recognized was Denise Anthony who coordinates the Dining Divas, our ladies luncheon group.