As we have in past years the professional Media Community gathered once again for a warm year-end celebration. We had a good turnout—easily double the RSVP list on our Meetup site! Members from all 5 OC media groups were there: OCMMA, PVN, VO Peeps, Media Alliance of OC and of course the organizers, MCA-i. While there were a few familiar faces missing there were plenty of old friends and lots of new faces as well. It was a busy night with good food, three different raffles and fun networking.
VO Peeps' own Anne Ganguzza brought colored velcro 'cable ties' and passed them out for a fun mixer game. You had to introduce yourself to everyone with the same color, get some information about them and then move up to another color and more people. The people with the highest number of introductions won a prize. Anne is a vibrant hostess and the game really got people chatting and networking.
There were plenty of great doorprizes for which everyone was eligible. Among the most notable were a nice gift basket from Tim & Linda Keenan of Creative Media Recording in Cypress; 2 rounds of Golf at Aliso Viejo Country Club; expensive dinner for 2 at the posh Center Club adjacent to Segerstrom Hall courtesy of Tom Smith; two sets of theater tickets to the Newport Theater Arts Center courtesy of Brian Page; Manny Pacheco offered autographed copies of his book, Forgotten Hollywood; Rick Sherman presented a Gift Certificate discounting his studio services valued at up to $500; and Bonnie Erdrich donated some vey nice bottles of wine.
The evening had many highlights including entertainment scattered thoughout. MCA-I's Manny Pacheco manned the DJ Booth and was a genial host, sharing MC Duties with Brian Page and Art Kirsch. At various points the more talented folks rose to sing a song, including vocalist Tina Wilson. A surprise hit was Manny Pacheco who did a well choreographed version of "You're A Mean One, Mr Grinch!" Manny's wife Lori, also a talented singer, did a song as well and Rick Sherman was persuaded to bring his keyboard in to do some seasonal instrumentals.
The food was plentiful and the buffet of finger food and appetizers had a distinct 'pot luck' feel to it. Adding to the basic trays served by the Moose Chef (I expected him to have antlers) some great homemade dishes were added by party goers to make it a real feast. Thanks to John Coleman, Bonnie Erdrich, Rick Sherman, Petr and Jennifer Hasa and others who created a bountiful sideboard. Manny Pacheco and his wife Lori supplied the desserts. They went fast!
Two special raffles offered film equipment. The first, saw happy winners take home directors chairs, light stands and umbrellas and sandbags donated by undersea cinematographer, Richard Theiss. The big item of the night which everyone wanted was a brand new Hero3 Go-Pro camera, provided by MCA-I with a little help from Samy's Camera. As Art Kirsch put it, the winner instantly became the most hated guy in the room!
The Moose Lodge, well known for its charitable fundraisers and parties, did a great job supporting the event. The staff was friendly and helpful and having the traditional member prices apply at the Moose bar definitely made everyone happy.
The closing activity was a larcenous Gift Exchange often described as 'Chinese.' But a more accurate moniker would be the classic PVN "I want that one instead" exchange run by Petr Hasa. In the crazy spirit of the evening the wrapped gifts changed hands many times.
Using an old Irish standard to judge the event it was a huge success because, "Everybody seemed to have a good time and no one died."