Dear Family, Friends, and Diary,
Covid is over, at least enough to see the return of the Fresno State Women's Swim and Dive Team Luau! Neighbor Jeanne is the swim coach and our Cambridge Avenue bunch makes the fund-raiser one of our favorite collective events. (2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014).
The weather this year was great, without either early summer heat or lingering winter rain and wind. Past years have not always cooperated. Socializing is the main purpose, and so we did. Like usual.
Entertainment was a return engagement from the Fresno Polynesian Community dance group. The energy and enthusiasm of the dancers was infectious, especially when "volunteers" were selected to learn a few moves. The fire dancer closed the act with flare for the happy audience.
Coach Jeanne then summarized the fundraising progress, encouraging more raffle ticket purchases and higher silent auction bids. The community generously responded, as usual.
Coach also gave us our instructions for lining up for the buffet dinner, and we enthusiastically followed orders, as we usually do. The catered dinner was tasty and I, for one, ate too much. Another tradition?
The last part of fund-raising, and one of the crowd favorites, was the auctioning of swimmer-prepared desserts. Part of the dessert ceremony had the "cooks" explain their dishes and also where they were from and their major in school. I was impressed with how international the FSU team was, with athletes from Italy, Israel, Japan, Ukraine, Russia, Australia, (and more?)
The table with the highest bid got first choice, and so forth. Our table was second, thanks to the generosity of two or three neighbors. But, no matter what order tables ended up in, everyone left happy and more full than before.
Bidding this year was more spirited and more generous than usual, because the funds were being given to Yulia, a swimmer whose family remains, under bombardment, in Zaporishshya, Ukraine. Hearing her story, many eyes welled up.
We look forward to next years tradition, but without the need for tears.
John and Marianne