Okay—So where does the time go?! It seems as though the Gala was just last week, and yet a month has passed by. I thought I would be writing about the winners and the fun and all of that – and I will – but now I need to promote our 20th Annual Ojai Valley Garden Tour in May and the 114th Ojai Tennis Tournament coming up at the end of this month!
But let’s get back in chronological order: The Gala. Our Gala Committee has been doing a darn good job the last couple of years, but this year they out did themselves. The Committee (Chair Emily Sandefur, Secretary (going forward) Donna Lloyd, Olga Singer, Tammi Skiba, Shannon Allen, Gloria Jones, Summer McComas, Norma Gonzalez, Joan Roberts) connected with sponsors, raffle ticket buyers, and managed all of those “little” details that made the event run so smoothly. The Chamber Board was not to be outdone in the fund raising: this group of nine dedicated men and women (Jill Olivares, Eric Zacher, Olga Jones, Treasurer David Junod, Bob Kemper, Pete Ells, Kathy Hartley, Dave Brubaker and President Emily Sandefur) were responsible for selling a combined total of over 300 raffle tickets. It was through the efforts of the committee and the Board that we realized a 20% increase in attendance and a 20% increase in sponsor revenues this year. What a great group! Dennis Wood and Kate Hoffman helped us out again this year by choosing a tremendous array of artists who showed their works in the gallery for the 90 minutes preceding the event. We had some amazing winners this year. You’ll see their pictures in this issue along with a complete list on pages 12 and 13.
Wednesday, April 23rd will mark the first day of the 114th year of The Ojai, the oldest continuous tennis tournament held in the same location in the nation. If you know anything about the world of professional tennis, then you know that almost every top seeded pro played at the Ojai on his or her way to the top. Starting with junior high school players and going through college teams, this 5-day tennis jamboree will give you the opportunity to see the future of tennis talent before they are famous. It’s an inexpensive way to see top notch tennis right here in Libbey Park and on private courts all around the valley. For more information go to www.ojaitourney.org.
Mother’s Day is Sunday May 11, and Saturday May 10 is our 20th Annual Ojai Valley Garden Tour. This year we will have six gardens and all are impressive. We will truly run the gamut in 2014. From a huge three acre parcel, to a 1,000 sq. ft. house that whose complete foot print is drought tolerant, uses very little water and is sustainably built and maintained; from a formal very Provence-like garden to a family garden meant to feed the palette and soul; from a pretty garden with a flower surrounded pool to a Food For Thought garden meant to teach our children the origin of their vegetables. There is something for every taste in this year’s tour. With an extra garden, the hours have been extended to 9:00 a.m.to 4:00 p.m. And something we’ve added is a dining guide to make it easier to choose one of six local restaurants for your lunch break. Tickets will be available beginning April 10 at the Chamber office (206 N. Signal – enter off Aliso or 646-8126), Flora Gardens (245 Old Baldwin Rd.) and online at www.ojaichamber.org . This is a great way to begin your Mother’s Day weekend: a casual stroll through some beautiful gardens and having lunch with Mom.