PCA-SDR … “Puttin’ on the Ritz”

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Post by: Keith Verlaque

The US Grant Hotel on Broadway Downtown San Diego

At the end of every year, around Christmas or New Year, San Diego Region gets together to celebrate the year just passed and to welcome in the new, i.e. the new president and his or her board of directors and the new team of volunteers, for the biggest party of the year. Although many of the club’s volunteers choose to continue in the positions that they had held during the previous year, some positions are filled with either new people or people trying out new positions in managing the club. For this reason, this event is known as our Installation Dinner, where the coming year’s management team is installed into office, but, partly due to it being an opportunity to dress up, it is referred to by some as the Porsche Prom.

“If you’re blue and don’t know where to go to

why don’t you go where fashion sits

puttin’ on the ritz”

Javier Varon and Outgoing 2019 President Victoria Varon

The reasons for this celebratory event may be as stated, but it is seen by most as a chance to enjoy a celebration banquet, to visit an exotic venue, and to have a huge party. For Jan 11th 2020, the outgoing president, Victoria Varon, chose to celebrate in style at the historic US Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego. The Great Gatsby was the theme chosen for this event – although costume was entirely optional. Most wore elegant evening attire with some in lavish 1920’s style costumes and the net result was that it was a truly fun evening.

Victoria V, Mike M, John S, Mike M and advisor Tom G Advisor (not shown Ulrick M and Gisela G)

Our Region’s Social Chairperson, Genette McGowan, and our past President, Victoria Varon, organized the whole event. The evening saw the passing of the gavel from the region’s 2019 Board of Directors to the newly elected 2020 board and honored the shining stars of 2019 with annual awards such as Enthusiast of the year, SDR Family of the Year and the annual President’s Award which each year is bestowed upon an individual selected by the president.

Tiffanie and Patrick Bodine – looking every bit the gangster and his moll

Over a delicious dinner with wine, past president Victoria and her court of outgoing directors, welcomed in longtime member and 2020 president, Keith Verlaque, and his Board of Directors. The outgoing 2019 board members were presented with thank you gifts and the Region presented outgoing president Victoria, in appreciation for her service, with a commissioned painting named “Victoria’s Forest,” which was created by region member and artist, Monique Straub. Genette McGowan was presented with a Porsche 356 photo named “Burnished Silver,” mastered by board member John Straub Image Works, in appreciation for putting the evenings event together serving as 2019 Social Chairperson.

Victoria and her End of Year gift
– a specially commissioned painting by  Monet Straub

Victoria presented the President’s Award to Beverly Gould (also a past SDR president) for her longtime dedication and efforts to the region, the Bill Myrick Enthusiast of the Year Award to New Member Chairperson Lana Gill, for her tireless contributions throughout the year, and the Pat Scanlon Award for best in concours to Craig Goodman. The Family of the Year Award was presented to Carmen and Mike Brown for their selfless contributions to the region, which comprised of not just organizing region social events, but also hosting a tech session, and countless hours of volunteer service with Mike as part of the Chief Driving Instructor team organizing two very successful Performance Driving Schools.

Victoria with 2019 Enthusiast of the Year Lana Gill and John Straub

2019 Family of the Year award winners Carmen and Mike Brown

SDR past-President and 2019 Presidents Award winner Bev Gould and her husband (also SDR past-President) Tom Gould

The Fabulous Genette who as Chair of the social committee, arranged the whole evening

The evening wrapped up with partygoers dancing to upbeat tunes. According to incoming president Keith Verlaque “2019 was a fantastic year for PCA-SDR and the Installation Dinner was an incredibly successful event. Huge thanks were due to the 2019 Board and team of volunteers who, with Victoria’s leadership, made significant improvements to our region throughout the year. Victoria’s legacy is indeed going to be a hard act to follow, but, even without knowing her secret, I intend to do my utmost to not just equal her achievements but exceed them.

Keith V, Victoria V (advisor) Mike m, John S, Mike M and Tom B
(not shown Ulrick M and Gisela G)

Outgoing President Victoria Varon – Incoming President Keith Verlaque

So if you think you might like to have some fun going to an end of year celebration,

at an exclusive location, hanging out with a bunch of people who really enjoy partying,

then get dressed up, get your dancing shoes on and come and join us.

Board member and SDR past-President John Straub and his amazing artist wife Monet

John Rickard and the Lovely Lady Lisa

Andrew and his wife SDR past-President Karen Garcia-Raines

SDR past-President Tom Brown and his Newsletter Editor Wife Susan

Katie and Mark Kinninger

Jeff and Mary Beckman

Julie and Jerry

Krishelle and Eric

If you’re still not convinced that everyone had fun at this event …

try and find someone in this article who wasn’t smiling!

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All photos courtesy of SDR past-President and Master Lensman Greg Phillips

To be sure that we have your latest (preferred) e-mail address on record please click HERE  to send SDR a “Here is my latest e-mail address” (please don’t forget to hit “Send”) and we’ll be sure you are added to the SDR distribution.

Text: Valerie Q. Shutek


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