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Living La Dolce Vita

Drew Altizer Photography

PARCA Auxiliary luncheon and fashion show models

May 16

If you’ve never attended the annual PARCA Auxiliary luncheon and fashion show, you’re truly missing out on one of the best charity events on the Peninsula. For its 31st benefit, the auxiliary went with a sunny Italian theme, La Dolce Vita, featuring a sumptuous alfresco luncheon, a silent and live auction and two fashion shows of must-haves for the summer and fall seasons.

With blue skies turning to gray and a forecast of light raindrops, the auxiliary committee had it all planned when you stepped out of your car at the valet check-in station: a squad of auxiliary members with large green umbrellas greeted you, offered a glass of sparkling wine, and together under the umbrella, escorted you 15 steps before passing you to another umbrella greeter, and soforth until you wended your way to the back of the Hillsborough manse to the big pavilion. It was precision planning all the way that kept our clothes dry and our throats wet.

Notable Peninsula swells who flocked to the magnificent Hillsborough home and garden of hosts Robin and Jeff Williams were PARCA Auxiliary President Bessie Seybold, luncheon co-chairs Cindy Sohn and Mimi Jones, PARCA CEO Diana Conti, Courtney Bocci, Kristin Linthwaite, Michelle Sloat, Krista Giovara, Lisa Klapper, Sarah Olsen, Stephanie Duncan, Debbie Bocci, luxury clothiers Sam and Gloria Malouf, Vicky Jones, Dawn Desautels, Lily Wong, Kelly Bligh, and St. Clair’s Catering owner Billy Harris, looking splendid in a pair of red-hot shoes.

“It’s not light rain, it’s the gods crying tears of joy today for everyone because so many women have worked so hard for the past eight months to make this event a success,” commented auxiliary member Dawn Desautels. “We’ve been at this for 31 years now, and despite the hard work, all of us love supporting PARCA and how it affects positive change in our community.”

Burlingame-based real estate mogul Debbie Sharp of the Sharp Group, and an 11-year Silver Level luncheon sponsor, agreed; “This is a very well thought-out, well-planned event, and it really makes San Mateo County shine. This is a great auxiliary of passionate women who know how to take care of our community.”

Long tables with seating for 360 filled the tent that was dominated by a long, green, grassy-looking runway. At the back of the runway was a bright yellow wall that was adorned with some of the 2,000 over-sized lemons procured from Costco, providing a bright pop of color to the stage. The Mediterranean-themed tables were set with large sprays of yellow lemons and complemented by small vases of yellow roses on blue-and-white Italian fabrics, all supporting a lunch of mixed antipasti, tarragon chicken, caprese salads and a dolce of limoncello tart with fresh berries. Buon appetito!

A surprise on the tables was a gift certificate for each guest offering a therapeutic facial at Skin Spirit, the Palo Alto head-quartered destination dedicated to making women feel and look good. Stacey Sellar, director of talent for the 11 locations, said, “We feel strongly about the women who support the PARCA Auxiliary and we wanted to express our thanks.” When asked if SkinSpirit was an excloo for women, Sellar quickly responded, “Oh no, we’ve got a whole campaign for men: ‘Bro-tox.’”

Following Keith McLane’s enthusiastic live auction session came the first of two fashion shows. Initially, the show began with a variety of beautiful and stylish women’s fashions curated by Gloria and Sam Malouf, 20-year sponsors of the PARCA Auxiliary luncheon and show. No fewer than 11 women, all former or current auxiliary members, took to the runway and looked radiant in elegant summer designs.

Co-chair Mimi Jones, Bessie Seybold, Diana Conti and Cindy Sohn
Debbie Bocci and Vicky Jones
Shannon Durnin, Kimberly Diefendorf and Lara McDonald
Heidi Lancaster, Colleen Sanglimbeni, Karin Mason and Julie Ford
Lija McBride, Kelly Bligh and Amy Underwood
Gloria and Sam Malouf
Krista Giovara, Robin Williams and Lisa Klapper
Amanda and Agatha Precourt, Meg Galletti and Paige Cattano
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