Dear Family, Friends, and Diary,
Traditions. That's what staying in one place for almost a decade enables. Our last-Saturday-of-April tradition is the Fresno State University Womens Swim and Dive Team Luau - FSUWSDL for short. Nearby neighbor Jeanne is the team's head coach and Cambridge Avenue gets a special invitation to the annual fund raiser. We join team family and friends on the pool deck for an evening of chatting, eating, entertainment, and donating. This year, the Trotters did their best all around.
We started by chatting with swimmers and scoping out the raffle and auction offerings. Marianne had an opportunity to practice her original language with the pair of Hungarian twins. They, of course, were surprised that any American would speak Hungarian and Marianne was shy about using language she does not get to practice since Mamo left. Coach Jean showed her hand-crafted plates, a silent auction winner. We also reconnected with Samara, an Australian swimmer who house-sat for us a couple of years ago. It's all family.
Luau entertainment was a variety of South Pacific Island dances, presented by a Fresno club that promotes culture of the region. Dancers from Hawaii to New Zealand gave a fun and colorful show. I kept my camera clicking (and avoided joining the finale - an audience dance class. I know my limits.)
All that activity made us hungry and dinner did not disappoint. Pardini's caterer put on a simple but tasty spread. Swimmers and guests returned to our tables to dig in.
Pardini's did not provide dessert. The swimmers did. A FSUWSDL tradition for the fund raiser is a table-by-table auction for student-prepared treats. All the "cooks" introduce themselves and compete for the most-worthy dessert offering. The highest bid gets first choice, but in the end, everyone had more calories than needed.
The final money-raiser was the silent (and not-so-silent) auction of various donor packages. We "won" a Colorado-themed basket with a puzzle for me and outbid others for a two-night stay at a cabin up in Arnold, in California's Gold Country. This latter was an investment for the future, something I think more about lately.
So, one more tradition done and dusted. We do hope Jeanne continues the Spring tradition, although we may lobby for a shift to a German Beer Garden theme to provide some variety. What do you think?
John and Marianne
PS: Our Sunday (virtual) event was nephew Spencer's induction into the Stevenson School's Cum Laude Society. The whole family is proud of his achievement at this academically challenging school.
Next Sunday, we will go to his graduation - in-person! Stay tuned.