Holiday Party was held on Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 94th Aero
Squadron. The tables were decorated with a holiday motif. A member at each
table drew a number so that we wouldn’t trample each other getting to the
buffet and overwhelm the buffet line. The guests were all given a raffle ticket
for some door prizes, and a few of the lucky numbers won gas cards and
restaurant cards. President Manny Garcia thanked individual board members for
their many contributions in running the many car and social events held
throughout the year. The newly and re-elected board members were introduced and
will be sworn in at the next board meeting.
The honor of the Most Valuable Member went to Luis Quevedo.
His support of the club sets a fine example for every member of the club and
embodies the true spirit of the hobby and our club.
Thanks to Millie Garcia for the great job in heading up this fun event.
Even though we don’t get a white Christmas here in Miami, we still celebrate the holidays – all of them – with friends, food, and fun. This year’s AACA South Florida Holiday Party was all of that, thanks to the efforts and creativity of Millie Garcia, who earned the honor of Most Valuable Member of 2018 in no small measure due to her enthusiasm and cheerful attitude in planning all the club events.
The party was at the Renaissance Ballroom with plenty of great food and room to mingle with friends who share the hobby, plus new members of the Board of Directors. In our traditional bit of business, we swore in the Board for another year including new members Rudy Rodriguez, Al Padilla, and Timothy Merriman, Jr. President Manny Garcia thanked all the board members for their efforts this year and looked forward to the events coming up, including Art Deco in January and the Coral Gables Show in March.
Then it was time to get down to the real business: the gift exchange, done in our new tradition of passing our presents along to the dulcet tones of Ken Kurtz as he read “A Visit from St. Nicholas” by Clement Clarke Moore. On every “and” the presents were passed, and we all had visions of sugar plums – or something – as the poem reached the end: “Happy Christmas to all AND to all a good night!”
By Philip Williams
Photos by Jean Hawa, Ron Mitro, Philip Williams Oren Wunderman
Our Holiday Party was held at the 94th Aero Squadron this year. Forty-six of our members filled the room with conversation and laughter while a slideshow of our many events rolled in the background. President Ron Mitro awarded our Member of the Year Trophy to Jean Hawa and turned over the gavel and steering wheel to incoming President Manny Garcia. Manny’s first act as president was to thank Philip Williams for his many contributions to the club and to thank the members for coming to the party and encouraging them to participate often in the club’s activities. Then we got down to the serious business of eating. Table by table members went to the buffet and came back with plates heaped with an array of delicious foods. After everyone had finished dessert the new board was sworn in. We than formed a circle of chairs, grabbed the presents we brought, and passed them around every time the word “and” was said in a theatrical reading by Ken Kurtz of A Visit from St. Nicholas. We had lots of laughs and good times.
The weather outside was not frightful so we did not need a fireplace to make everything delightful at the Holiday Party; all it took was friends, presents and a good meal to make it a great time. The room at La Isla in Kendall was festively decorated thanks to Jean Hawa and all the tables had sprigs of evergreen and ornaments. It was fun to see our old friends and meet new ones who were joining the club.
It was also time to recognize the club’s Most Valuable Member, and this year it was two: Manny and Millie Garcia who work so hard to provide for us at times of social and club events: the picnic, the Progressive Dinner, monthly meetings, and of course making all the arrangements for the Holiday Party. Congratulations to you both from all of us.
The Board of Directors did their official duty of being present and sworn in for another term, even those who still have a year to go. We welcomed our new board members as well.
Then we got down to the real business of the gift exchange, done to a turn by the reading of “A Visit from St. Nicholas” as read by Ken Kurtz. We hope everyone ended up with something fun, useful, or tasty. But that wasn’t the only gift: Ira and Susan Shapiro were the lucky winners of the drawing for a weekend at the Costa del Este resort, generously donated by Luis and Maria Quevedo.
Thanks again to Manny and Millie, and best wishes for a happy holiday season and a prosperous and safe New Year.
This year’s Holiday Party was like a visit to the old home. It was held at La Isla in Kendall, which long-time club members will remember as the former Tony Roma’s where we met every month for many years. Now the place has been renovated and redecorated and the room sparkled with friends and stacks of gifts. We all enjoyed a great meal and lots of stories of car shows past and those to come.
The Holiday Party is also time for a bit of club business: the Board of Directors for 2016 was sworn in, welcoming new members Cindy Endres and Millie Valiente. Past President Jean Hawa passed the symbols of office – the steering wheel and gavel – to incoming President Ron Mitro.
The club also honored our Most Valuable Member of 2015: Guy Lewis. He has been a staunch supporter of the club for many years, has opened his house for national and local club events, found and encouraged new sponsors of the club, and can always be counted on to share his collection of fine cars for shows.
We also had a first: the circular gift exchange. Everyone was told to bring a wrapped gift. We all sat in a circle, got a gift, and then as Ron Mitro read the poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” (“’T’was the night before Christmas…”). Every time the word “and” appeared in the poem, the gifts were all passed to the right. Everyone got something!
Thank you to Manny Garcia and Millie Valiente for putting together such a great party. If you couldn’t make it, enjoy the pictures.