The Third Annual Royal Neighbors Tea Party was held this past Saturday at the Community Center in Riverbank to raise funds for the annual Veterans lunch that will be held on Nov. 12, 2016. The theme for the Tea Party this year was from Alice in Wonderland called the Mad Hatter Tea Party. With over 86 guests at the tea party with their festive hats, those gathered at the April 30 event enjoyed socializing, dining, and of course, drinking tea.
Tea Party organizers and Royal Neighbors members, Diane Talbert and Anita Ramos, were very pleased to see all the attendees which included participants from last year along with several new faces. New to the event this year brought in to entertain the guests of the tea party, The Modern Jazz Duo out of Modesto donated their time and talents.
The menu was specially selected by a group of ‘taste testers’ prior to the event and included several delectable items like chicken salad on a mini croissant, open faced artichoke and spinach spread, strawberry fluff salad, mozzarella ball stuffed cherry tomatoes on skewers, egg salad sandwiches, caramel and pecan dipped grapes, open faced cucumber sandwiches, fruit cups, strawberry wafer supreme, mini cherry cheesecake, and dried kiwi dipped in milk chocolate with pecan garnish.
“We had a great group of guests that were very enthusiastic,” said Talbert. “We had many compliments on the food like the different flavors and presentation.
“We had such a great crowd.”
There was a door prize raffle for all participants and there were raffle tickets available for purchase for items including gardening baskets, ceramics, tea pots, tea sets, wine baskets, handbags, mirrors, Jelly Belly’s, food and much more.
O’Brien’s, Applebee’s, and Hanson’s Photography donated some items for the raffle as well, otherwise all the other items were brought in by the Royal Neighbors members themselves.
Event staff Michele Cohoon and Amber Thomas manned a table filled with handmade items like breast cancer survivor pins and bracelets that were for sale. Talbert handcrafted fairy garden tea cups with succulents and homemade jams and jellies which were also for sale.
“All proceeds will go to the Veterans luncheon in November,” added Ramos. “The luncheon is a complete dinner with a raffle and no charge to anyone. It is for the veterans, spouses, caregivers, or just a partner.
“Everyone comes in and we thoroughly enjoy it.”
WOW Photography was also on hand with a stage set up and background for studio pictures to capture the moment.
The Tea Party is the main fundraiser for the Veteran’s Luncheon that started in 2007 with approximately 80 participants. Last year the lunch saw about 176 attendees. Talbert explained that people come from all over to attend the luncheon like San Jose, Stockton, Davis, and the foothills.
There was $1600 raised for the Veteran’s luncheon at the Mad Hatters Tea Party which will assist the Royal Neighbors in continuing the tradition.
With 17 volunteers and several tea party guests the event was a hit once again and will continue to be one of the biggest fundraising events for the Veteran’s luncheon.
“We have a great group of people that help us,” stated Ramos.
“I am very pleased with the turnout this year and the tea party,” expressed Talbert.