2017 off to a rousing start

Posted on Wed, 02/01/2017 - 10:30am

By Tracy Poyser

Happy New YearOut with the old, in with the new” took on a new meaning for our dedicated Board member and Social Committee chair Sandy Chaet. A power outage on Dec. 31 had hit her unit and the entire 30th floor from about 5 a.m. until just after midnight … not exactly the kind of bang she had in mind for Malibu East’s New Year’s Eve party!

But, rather than fretting, Sandy just started moving food and party supplies from her unit into the Windjammer Room’s kitchen and fridge around noon. Her 30th floor neighbors Elaine Froese and Savita Sawhney had found refuge from their darkened units in the Community Room and were happy to help with the setup.

It took many more helping hands and minds to organize a big party like this: Special thanks to Aida Calvopina, who not only helped with every phase of this event, but kept an eye on the food, helped serve and clean up, and brought her outrageously delicious home-baked lemon cake. Kudos also to Dominic Wayne, our very own resident disc jockey, who kept the dance floor full and the music lively, and had helped plan, shop, set up and clean along with Aida. Malibu East party fan Susan Smith volunteered as barkeep while her husband Martin and daughter Gianna mingled with the crowd. Always cheerful Susan Reichel (missing her mate, Kevin Fukomoto, who, sadly, had lost his mom just the day before) helped with cleanup, as did Martina and Marcel Molins’ son-in-law, Air Force Col. Arnold Nash. Sally and Andre King checked in after midnight on their way home from another event and lent an extra hand. Finally, thanks to staff member Armando DeLaCruz for setting up the room.

The place looked gorgeous – with streamers, twinkling lights, dance floor strobes and disco setup, festive party favors, and a lavish buffet of delicious appetizers supplemented by a great many savory dishes, finger foods and desserts brought by residents. The bar featured people’s contributions of wines and bubbly – both the serious and non-alcoholic kind, together with soft drinks and water. The Social Committee sure appreciates our neighbors’ generosity, which added greatly to the success of the festivities.

Around 60 residents had RSVP’d for the party, but almost 80 showed up. Fortunately, the planners try to anticipate additional walk-ins when ordering food and supplies, but it’s not always easy to predict.

After a bit of a slow start around 8:30 p.m., the party really got cooking around 10 p.m. With comfortable seating around the perimeter of the room and plenty of space to dance, mingle or catch up with good friends, no one needed to feel left out, especially the new residents. As midnight approached, everyone donned party favors of their choosing, from glittering tiaras to horns and noisemakers. And, with DJ Wayne and everyone counting down to the stroke of midnight, the Social Committee provided a champagne toast, and a big communal cheer rocked the building, accompanied by hugs and heartfelt wishes for much-needed peace and joy in 2017. The party wound down with a great view of the Navy Pier fireworks from the Windjammer Room’s south windows – and best of all, the lights were back on for the 30th floor.

Sandy encouraged everyone who had brought food or beverages to take leftovers home, and the rest of the food went to cheer our hardworking building and garage staff. Any unopened beverages have been stored for a planned “Happy Hour” on Friday, March 17, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Check your calendars and please make sure to RSVP when you get the announcement!

Thanks again to Sandy and everyone who helped bring such a large and friendly group together to make new friends and catch up with old ones.