More than 200 attendees treated to Santa Maria-style barbecue, live and silent auctions, and reverse drawing

The Los Alamos Valley Men’s Club (LAVMC) hosted its fourth annual “Spring Fling” dinner and auction on Saturday, April 27, at the Men’s Club. This is the club’s largest fundraiser for the year, raising money for its yearly charitable endeavors. 

The event was previously known as the “Queen Event,” which was held each spring in partnership with the Santa Ynez Valley Youth Recreation’s Queen Campaign. Due to COVID, the SYVYR chose to opt out of the Queen Campaign, but the Men’s Club decided to press on and hold a Spring Fling event on the same weekend they would typically host the Queen Event and it was incredibly successful.

“Last year we raised close to $40,000 and donated almost $30,000 back to the community. Some of the recipients of the funds were the Grange, Olga Reed School, and various other community-centered non-profits,” said Penny Monighetti, Spring Fling coordinator and assistant to Club Vice President Ray Williams.

“We gave $5,000 to Righetti High School last year to purchase equipment for their soccer team and they came here tonight to help serve and help clean up at the end of the night for us.”

More than 200 people attended the event, which featured a traditional Santa Maria-style barbecue: a ribeye steak, locally grown pinquito beans, salad, and bread. The dinner was prepared by Williams, Dan Iness, Al Bennett, Billy King, Frank Costa, and Rob Cooper. There was also both a live and silent auction and a reverse drawing.

“We used to have music in the past but we found that most people just like to get together and talk about what’s happening in town and in their own lives,”  Monighetti said. “It’s a way the community can get together and reconnect with folks they haven’t seen since last year’s get-together. It’s a neighborly sort of gathering.”

This year’s team of auctioneers were Pete Molero, John Miller, and Tiago Ribeir. Some of the items up for bid were wine, flowers for three months, concrete placed and poured, an ocean fishing trip for four, stay at an Airbnb, a half a cord of wood, community club rental, a $500 and $250 gift certificate, eight hours of remodeling, two nights glamping or cabin stay, and a date night basket to name but of few.

Dessert items such as cakes, cupcakes, scones, cream puffs, cookies, tarts, and mini pies were also for sale. 

Some of the silent auction items up for bid were an Old-Fashioned Cocktail basket donated by Valley Gardner; gift certificates from local businesses such as Sisters Gift & Home, the Depot Bar, Priedite Barbecue; wine with tastings from vineyards such as Riverbench Vineyard and Winery, Vincent Vineyards, and Talley Vineyards to name a few. There was also a bowling package from Santa Maria’s Rancho Bowl along with many more great items.

“The live auction and desserts brought in $18,575, while the silent auction brought in $4,505, and the Reverse Draw $18,200, totaling $41,280,” Monighetti said. “Rita McBride and Glenn Rubsamen won $1,820 from the Reverse Draw. The largest bid made was $3,200 on a load of concrete placed and poured donated by R&E Concrete, Famco Development & Holiday Rock.”

“We are greatly supported by our little community,” Monighetti continued. “We had between 75 and 80 auction items and 15 desserts and many silent auction items. The team of auctioneers did a great job. I want to thank everyone who donated in any way to this event. It was truly inspiring to see how generous our little town of Los Alamos is!

“The Los Alamos Men’s Club would like to thank the community for supporting us and also the local businesses for their donations,” said Williams. “It means a lot to the Men’s Club and all the organizations we donate to.”

LAVMC is a 501 C(3) nonprofit and all the funds raised from the event will benefit the local community.

Feature Image: More than 200 people attended the Los Alamos Valley Men’s Club Spring Fling, which featured a traditional Santa Maria-style barbecue: a ribeye steak, locally grown pinquito beans, salad, and bread. Photo by Devyn Marseilles