2012 Holiday Party: Café Nourish Serves Up Holiday Cheer at December Event  by Joan and Mark Compagna

The wind may have blown us in through the door, but once inside Café Nourish we were greeted by a vista of sunshine - including the great big smiles of club greeters Sharon Neidel and Susan Stuart. Mounted on the wall above and behind them at the Check-in Desk was a 4' x 8' photomural of club cars on the Sausalito shoreline, the Golden Gate Bridge rising dramatically in the background. For those in the photo, taken during a breakfast run last May, this would be a second visit to the café and a night to remember: the December 1, 2012 Redwood Region Porsche Club Holiday Party.

As Mill Valley residents, Mark and I have been to this restaurant several times, though we've never had the chance to talk with Porsche club member and complex owner Ray Kaliski. As we found out that night, the Harbor Point complex is a family business, started several decades ago and still going strong. Thanks, Ray, for sharing this beautiful place with our club!

A cocktail hour kicked off the evening at 6:00pm. Au gratis beer and wine and plates of hors d'oeuvres floated through a crowd that eventually grew to 75 members and guests. Tucked into the corner next to the bar was a comfy "living room" area open to the dining room and dance floor. Here you could watch a slide show of our club's 2012 highlights running on a large screen TV, buy a "goodie" from the goodie store, or spend a few moments talking with CASA representatives.

For those unfamiliar with CASA, it stands for "Court Appointed Special Advocates." It's a program that recruits, trains, and supports volunteers to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courtroom and other settings. Our club and CASA have a long-standing and supportive history together; we would hear more from these reps during the evening's after dinner presentations.

Meanwhile, back on the dance floor, Club President Vern Rogers and Sponsorship Director Simone Kopitzki, raffled off the first of the door prizes, an activity that would continue through the night. Altogether, our club received donations of 21 door prizes ranging from bottles of wine, to autocross certificates, to gift certificates to Café Nourish, to a collector's set of books on the history of Porsche. For those who didn't get a chance to view the Sponsors' Table, a full list of the donated prizes can be found at the end of this article.

Dinner officially started at 7:00pm, when our group sat down for plated salads, followed by a buffet that included prime rib, beef short ribs, wild Alaskan halibut, potato leek gratin, Acini de Pepe (risotto style) and grilled assorted vegetables. From the conversations we heard around us if sounded as if all of the entrees hit the mark. We had the prime rib, which was delicious - though we have to admit we fell down on our job of thorough reporting - we didn't sample everything. Next time we'll make sure we do!!

Dessert-a yummy chocolate lava cake-was plated and served as more door prizes were raffled off and the evening's presentations got under way. First order of business for MC Rogers was recognizing those members whose selfless efforts have helped keep this club so much fun to belong to. Election results and Autocross Awards followed, with the presentations ending on a note of thanks from our CASA representatives for our 2012 donation to their charity.

As applause faded, the PA music backing our dinner gave way to the "real" stuff as Todd Morgan and the Emblems took the stage. This 4-person Sacramento-based group started as a 50's cover group, but now has expanded its rock/pop roots to combine styles from nearly every era of American music. If you weren't feeling the spirit before, you sure were now!

Out on the dance floor feet were moving, whether jumping in place like our youngest dancer (barely out of diapers), or swirling and twirling with finesse as were the rockin' Neidel's, who will celebrate 50 years as Porsche club members later this month. Congratulations George and Shirley,and many more happy renewals!!

Of course, the real joy in an event like this is the coming together of like-minded souls of all ages and persuasions to celebrate the passing of another year. All around us friendship flowed: new members were welcomed; long-time members were greeted with familiarity and standing jokes; and no one left with fewer friends than they started with.

As midnight approached and the music wound down, the last of the hardy-partiers left the dance floor. Coats and gifts and other belongings were gathered up for the journey home, as last-minute admonitions to "Drive safely" echoed across the parking lot. Had I another glass of wine, I would have raised it in tribute to Sly Stone, leader of a San Francisco 60's funk band who said it best: "I just want to celebrate another day of living!"




With deep appreciation to all who donated door prizes for this year's Holiday Party:  

Allstate Insurance Agency; Samantha Kwong & Jeffrey Johnston

Gift basket filled with some Porsche model cars, fine chocolates, and other goodies (1)   

Cars Dawydiak; Jürgen Barth
Three-volume book set on history of Porsche

Hi Tec Auto
Bottles of wine (12)

Pure Grain Bakery; Martina & Holger Seibert
$20 gift certificates to the bakery (2), traditional German Christmas Cake (1)

Club member, Barbara McCrory
Framed photo from last May's breakfast run (1)

Redwood Empire Porsche Club
$35 gift certificates to be used at club goodie store or autocross (2)

Nourish at Harbor Point
$100 gift certificates to the restaurant (2)   

Click here to see the party photos taken by Simone Kopitzki