Good time had by all at glittering gala |

Good time had by all at glittering gala

Paul Dunn

Somehow I passed inspection by the inscrutable registrars and eased into the Harrah’s Lake Tahoe ballroom.

There, among South Lake Tahoe’s glitterati, stood I, strangled in black suit, tuxedo shirt and black bow tie.

Yes, ma’am, this was the social event of the South Shore season – the famed Barton Foundation Gala: fine food, soulful music, champagne and other alcoholic beverages, handsome men, gorgeous women in plunging necklines, gorgeous women in plunging necklines, gorgeous …

Oops, sorry, lost my train of thought …

Champagne flowed, scrumptious hors d’oeuvres kept the ravenous hordes content until the steak dinner, and the fellow in the red cummerbund glowed like a rose in a coal mine.

And, I had a great time (despite my proclivity to hide in corners and cower when introduced to strangers).

But I didn’t dance.

I don’t dance for the same reason cows don’t skateboard: I’m afraid I’ll fall off the dance floor. But others shook it quite well, obviously enjoying the rhythm and blues of the Bay Area band “Busta-Groove.”

The night’s live auction proved to be the high point, though. Toward the end, audience members augmented formal auction items with tidbits of their own.

Tahoe Regional Planning Agency stalwarts John Singlaub and Julie Regan, for instance, spontaneously signed a cloth napkin, then offered it for auction. The black-on-cream masterpiece netted $500.

“What the heck!? Five-hundred smackers for a napkin?” I groused. “Imagine how rich I’d be now if I’d scribbled on my stuff all these years?

“Just think what my autographed undies might have fetched?”

But that’s an entrepreneurial story for another day.

According to Linda Thompson, director of public relations and foundation for Barton Memorial Hospital, the gala raised approximately $100,000. The income from the event will be placed in the Barton Foundation endowment fund.

I can’t wait until next year (if my boss allows me to attend again).

— Paul Dunn is editor of the Tahoe Daily Tribune. He can be reached at (530) 542-8047 and

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