Thousand Oaks Tea Raises Money for CLU Scholarships

Ginger Detterman

CARLOS CHAVEZ/SPECIAL TO THE STAR Ginger Detterman (left) pours hot water for Barbara Warkentien at the “ ‘A Christmas Story’ in April” table at Hats and High Tea on Sunday in Thousand Oaks.

Tea in Tuscany

CARLOS CHAVEZ/SPECIAL TO THE STAR “Tea in Tuscany” was a theme of one of the 21 decorated tables at the California Lutheran University Community Leaders Association Hats and High Tea scholarship and educational grant fundraiser Sunday in Thousand Oaks

Guests dining on tea, finger sandwiches and cake as a harpist performed at California Lutheran University raised money to provide student scholarships.

Hats and High Tea, hosted by the Community Leaders Association, took place Sunday afternoon overlooking Kingsmen Park on the Thousand Oaks campus.

The association was founded in 1963 to stimulate community interest in the private university’s programs, and the money it raises goes toward scholarships and educational grants.

More than a dozen tables, each with a different theme, were laid out with plates, cups and saucers, silverware and a centerpiece. Guests also decorated hats to fit the theme of the table.

Deborah Sweeney, owner and CEO of MyCorporation and a CLU regent, was the event leader.

“This is the first year we’ve done it on this campus, and I think it’s neat that a lot of people are seeing the campus for the first time with the thought of giving back to the students,” she said.

The annual event typically raises $12,000 to $15,000, and Sweeney said she hopes to exceed that range this year.


CARLOS CHAVEZ/SPECIAL TO THE STAR A centerpiece sits on the “Gypsies Tea Room” table at the Hats and High Tea fundraiser Sunday in Thousand Oaks.

A business or organization sponsors each table, picks a theme and builds the table around that theme. Themes Sunday included “Peacock Paradise,” “Where the Buffalo Roam,” “Hunger Games,” “Gypsies Tea Room” and “Tiki Tea Table.”

Joanne Pinner and fellow residents of the University Village senior-living community sat at the table for “ ‘A Christmas Story’ in April.”

“University Village always buys a table each year to support them, and we have a lot of people at University Village who go over to Cal Lu and help with the students, and they come over and support us at different events,” Pinner said.

Susie Lundeen-Smuck, vice chairwoman of the CLU Board of Regents, had a place at the “Gone With the Wind” table, which had life-size cardboard cutouts of Clark Gable as Rhett Butler and Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara.

She said she raided her children’s dress-up box to find a hat which she then decorated with a ribbon and flowers.

“I am overwhelmed with the creativity. It’s so fun to look around,” the first-time guest said.

Brooke Yasman, 17, came as a mermaid in a sequined costume studded with seashells she had made. She decorated her “Under the Sea” tea table with starfish-shaped plates and large glass tubes with fish.

“I did bring real fish. I think it really brings the whole ‘Under the Sea’ theme together. We actually bought them so I guess I have a couple of new pets,” she said.

Ann Hohimer helped decorate the “Victorian Lace and Roses” table for CLU alumni and the “Birds of a Feather Have Tea Together” table for Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center.

“It was really fun to do it, and it’s such a fun event — just the camaraderie of everybody being together and seeing all the tables,” she said.

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