Under the banner of Santa Anita Gardens, Sandi McQuilkin and Grace Boyd have been producing catered parties and events from their base in Arcadia (1200 S. Santa Anita Avenue) for 28 years, everything from mystery dinners, weddings, quincineras and City of Arcadia events such as the Mayor’s breakfast and City Council reorganzation reception to the backstage green room for performers at the Greek Theatre since 1999.
This past weekend they did it all again, creating an elaborate customized event Thursday evening (April 23, 2015) to celebrate and promote one of their two primary hosting venues at Arcadia’s historic Prince Erik Hall, then opening weekend at the Greek, then back to PEH Sunday for an open house to showcase their wedding reception services.
Thursday’s event was an eye-opener for City officials, dozens of officers and members of the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce, and more than 75 attendees overall, to all that Santa Anita Gardens offers and their creative ideas to make events fun, unique, and elegant, all at the same time. (Contact Santa Anita Gardens at (626) 444-3377 or e-mail: Info@SAGardens.com)
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For Arcadia City Council Member Sho Tay and his wife Sherry, City Manager Dominic Lazzaretto, City Clerk Gene Glasco, Arcadia Chamber of Commerce President Andrew Gregson and CEO Scott Hettrick and his wife Betty, and Printing Control owner Jerry Dominguez, the evening began at the City Hall parking lot, where Sandi had arranged to have three Depression era Model A’s from the Arcadia Santa Anita A’s club pick up the dignitaries. They were chauffered to the 1924 iconic Prince Erik Hall where they were heralded by trumpet by Arcadia High School students, also conceived and coordinated by Sandi, and received by a man wearing a green sash saying he was the representative of a Prince.
It all sounded, looked, and felt like a ceremony befitting a royal coronation. The group felt for a moment like princely dignitaries as they were escorted down the walkway across the lush lawn to the entryway of the stately building at 2607 South Santa Anita Avenue in Arcadia (behind the Arcadia Congregational Church).
Upon entering the building, the officials were part of an elegant yet festive setting that could have been created by The Great Gatsby, with AHS students as flappers dancing to the Charleston in the lovely wood-floored hall, and then led back outside through a garden patio to a chandeliered tent where fountains and beverages were flowing. The crowds, includng many Arcadia Chamber board members and Ambassadors, were laughing and enjoying mingling and networking amidst beautiful floral arrangements and elegant decor while enjoying a sumptuous buffet that included crab cakes, sushi, multiple pastas and much more, some of which was donated by nearby Albertson’s.
Scott then introduced Sandi and Grace to the appreciative audience and they were presented with certificates of thanks by The City of Arcadia, Andrew Gregson of the Chamber, and by Chamber President-elect Vicki Knight on behalf of Congresswoman Judy Chu. This was followed by a ribbon-cutting.
Then it was back to the food and festitivies of the Business Mixer, with City Clerk and Arcadia Historical Society President Gene Glasco spinning a wheel to determine and announce the winners of numerous donated prizes, including all the following provided by host Sandy McQuilkin:
- Bruce McCallum, chairman of the Special Olympics World Games Host Town Arcadia and Chief Taste Officer for the Taste of Arcadia, won two tickets to any concert at the Greek Theatre.
- Marla Bechtel of We Gotta Go also won two tickets to any concert at the Greek.
And winners of Sandy’s donated baked goods:
- Steve Floyd, RSVP Publications
- Raquel McLaughlin, Vintage Treasures
- John Sun, Budget Blinds
- Cheryl Alberg, Arcadia Woman’s Club
- Arlynn Robinson, Century 21 Earll
- Joshua Thai, New York Life
Other donors/winners, many of which are Chamber members:
- Wendy Maeda of Keller Williams won a flower centerpiece donated by Sharen Cosby.
- Vicki Knight of Century Rooter & Plumbing, and Arcadia Chamber President-Elect won a wine basket.
- Jeanette Beraha won a facial donated by Lani Lee of Beauty Culture.
- Beverly Street won a Wine Basket and discount certificate for a room rental at the Arcadia Woman’s Club.
- Sean Douglas McQuilken won a Keurig coffee maker donated by Alberston’s.