Earlier this week, I was delighted to attend the 50 year anniversary of PONCHO. Though as you may know, PONCHO ceased to exist as a separate 501C-3 organization this year, many of us played a role in its success in raising over $35 million for the Arts during the past 50 years. As the evening’s program proclaimed:
Thousands of Volunteer Hours
Hundreds of Life-Long Friendships
40 Gala Auctions, 21 Wine Auctions, 8 Art Auctions
Countless fund memories and the laugh lines to prove it
NOW THAT’S SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE!
The party was a visual delight with giant oversize pink and pale gold balloons floating at the ceiling in the blue ballroom at The Ruins, gorgeous peony floral arrangements, The Event Chairs were PONCHO Pat Presidents Pat Fearey (1993 “Come Fly With Me”) and Llew Pritchard (1973 “Tivoli”) and Party Chair was Kay Baxter (2005 “Ooh La La”). In addition to Pat, Llew and Kay, many other past presidents were in attendance at the party including Herman Sarkowsky (1968), Faye Sarkowsky (1985 “Out of the World”), C. David Hughbanks (1980 “Coloring Book”), Dorothy Fluke (1990 “Crystal Ball for the Arts”), Carl Behnke (1991, Viva el Arte”), Ron Elgin (1996 “Italian Carnival), Gary Gayton (1997 “35th Anniversary”), Chap Alvord (1999 “Celebrate the Century”), Craig Hopkins (2001 “Imagique”), John & Polly DeFeo (2004 “American Razzle Dazzle”), Michael Alhadeff (2006 “Derby Dreams”), Jeffrey Atkin (2007-2008), Janet True (2009), Evelyn Zabo (2010-2011), Stephen Kutz (2012-2013) and me, Cathi Hatch (1998 “Passion for the Arts”).
A number of the past Wine Auction chairs were also in attendance including Founder Carl Behnke, Robert Lucurell, Ron Elgin, Mel Sturman, Greg Lill, Stacy Lill, Renee Behnke, Doug True, Bob Parks, Steve Kutz and Courtney Womack.
The evening began with 10 wickedly difficult PONCHO trivia questions written by Pat and Llew. You had to have lived through the early PONCHO years to be able to answer them. Here is just a sampling. Can you answer any of them?
- Who were the three Founders of PONCHO
- What does the PONCHO acronym stand for?
- Which two PONCHO Presidents in addition to chairing the PONCHO Gala also chaired the PONCHO Wine Auction?
- Which PONCHO President accidentally locked himself outside his Sheraton Hotel room in the nude the morning after PONCHO?
- Which two fathers and sons were both PONCHO presidents?
It was so much fun to see and catch up with all of these folks plus other active board members Annette Parks, Judith Kindler, Chloe Mueller, Duell Fisher, Patti Payne, Marc Sherman, Rose Dennis, Paul Birkeland, Scott Swerland, Carol Wright, Janet True and dozens of others.
PONCHO does live on through the PONCHO Legacy Fund at the Seattle Foundation. This designated Fund serves to continue to help secure the future of six of our community’s greatest arts and cultural treasures including Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seattle Opera, Seattle Repertory Theatre and Seattle Symphony Orchestra.