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Letter: Thursday Night Live at Tillie’s…not your regular Dinner Show

The first Tillie’s dinner show was a huge success!! Originally an idea for raising money for the Tillicum Centennial (Aug. 14, 2010), it is now a community get together that benefits several groups in Tillicum and Woodbrook (including the schools). In honor of our Veterans and the 90th Anniversary of Armistice Day, and in light of recent events in which so many of our Ft. Lewis soldiers have been killed while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, a majority of the proceeds from this evening of Nov. 12, 2009, will benefit one of the many agencies servicing the military. This is also a way to showcase our local talent, get to know the community, and recognize the accomplishments of our youth and schools.

We sold tickets and had a silent auction to raise the money for the dinner show. Our Master of Ceremonies was Beth Meberg, the choreographer for the Lakewood Playhouse Youth Theatre. Beth began acting at age seven and is currently pursuing a double major in Drama and Scandinavian Area Studies at the University of Washington in Seattle. She also did the choreography work for the Best of Musical Broadway (2007-2009) at the Lakewood Playhouse. The Lakewood Playhouse Youth Theatre presented three numbers (with song & dance) from their musical revue they are performing this weekend (Fri Nov 13 & Sat Nov 14 at 7 pm and Sun Nov 15 at 2 pm).

We had salad, spaghetti with meat sauce, garlic toast, and cake. Danilo Gallemit is the baker that provided fresh baked bread for the garlic toast. Uwe Cook is the head chef at Gertie’s Grill here in Tillicum and he was our cook for the evening. Tillicum Elementary provided their assembly hall with stage for us to use (their book sale is today, Friday 12 noon to 3 pm). The Board of Directors of the Tillicum Community Center provided insurance for the event. Servers were from the Tillicum Youth and Family Center. Our event planner is Tillicum/Woodbrook Neighborhood Association board member Abby Henning (and our fund-raising chairperson). We also got to see a DVD production of the red-white-and-blue mile of flags by Christine Neill, whose husband Mike is currently deployed in Iraq. Our flags lined the auditorium on both sides.

Our main attraction for the evening was Don Podraza. He first picked up a trumpet at six years of age and by the time he was 16 he had turned professional, playing in clubs and orchestras throughout the Northwest, including the Crystal Ballroom at the Olympic Hotel in Seattle. Within four years Don was performing throughout the Los Angeles area, with live preformances on the TV series The Mickey Mouse Club and the Mouseketeers. He has a great voice also. He sang, played his trumpet, and told some great jokes. If you weren’t there, you missed out on a great evening of entertainment.

Don’t miss our next event, The Rockin’ Relics will perform following our dinner at “Tillie’s” (at Tillicum Elementary School again). They specialize in 1950’s-era doo-wop, with our former Lakewood deputy mayor – Johnny ‘Crash’ Arbeeny. Johnny and crew will take you back in a musical time-machine to the golden age of rock and roll. “You will not be able to sit still, we guarantee it!” Put it on your calendar, January 14, 2010 at 6:30 pm. Tickets will be sold at the Tillicum Community Center, Tillicum Youth and Family Center, Tillicum Elementary, Woodbrook Middle School, and Bill’s Boathouse. You can call Abby Henning at 380-6846 (abbyanddwane@aol.com) for more information. Be there or be square, and wear your fifties attire if you have it. Don’t miss it. (Adults are $7.50, kids 4-12 $4.00, 3 or younger are free)

Karen Lebeter

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