This year’s event was the most successful ever thanks to sponsor Peter and Ty Bergman of Bergman Beach Properties (http://bergmanbeachproperties.com), party planner Frankie Bergman (Peter’s wife) and Jennifer Manoogian, Chair of the Silver Strand Marina Homeowners Association ad hoc Annual Block Party Committee. Jennifer was assisted by homeowner and Block Captain, Cindy Carlin. This is the third year running that Jennifer has supervised the party arrangements, starting in 2011 when residents heroically did all the work for the event themselves. Fred Karlsen, President of SSMHOA made the arrangements with the Bergmans to sponsor the party and they did a superb job. Attendance was huge compared to previous years in part because of the change in date from August to the weekend after Labor Day in September when people are back from vacation. And also due to great publicity efforts by the Bergmans and Jennifer’s hand-delivering flyers to homeowners three times.
It turned out to be a family affair with Ty’s wife Ashley manning a candy table and Frankie and Peter’s daughter, Stacey, doing hair for the fashion show. Homeowners Michael and Bonnie Blumenkrantz, Stephen and Beverly Pazuk and Fred and Marilee Karlsen provided electricity. The Blumenkrantz’ also let party organizers use their garage to store things. Michael Greenberg helped with securing the parking niches for the party and provided the white carpet for the Fashion Show runway. Cindy Carlin, Mary-Dorothy Line, Patty Schnegg, John Conner, Linda Evans-Walker, Les Durrant, Richard Lylse, Fred and Marilee Karlsen and Stephen and Beverly Pazuk got up early to help Jennifer and the Bergmans set things up on the day of the party. The Silver Strand Homeowners Association is very grateful to residents on Quarterdeck Mall and adjacent Roma Court for allowing it to use those location for the event.
A special, special thanks to our Silver Strand News photographers, Marilee Karlsen, Clarissa Cervantes and Penny Akashi, for covering the event in depth and making this report come alive. Don Avila, a friend of Penny’s, took over for her during the Fashion Show while she was preparing to model, and contributed great photos of the runway event.
As you walked down Roma Court, arcs of colorful balloons were stretched over Roma Court at Quarterdeck Mall, where the party was held, along with huge banners announcing the event, all visible from either end of Roma Court. A registration table, staffed by Bergman employees, offered a warm welcome to all guests who were given name tags in order to let neighbors get to know each other. Peter and Ty manned a table giving out caps to guests embroidered “Silver Strand.” They also offered raffle items including a beautiful basket filled with edibles with ticket sale proceeds benefiting the non-profit Hooves and Paws Rescue Group. Michael and Suzi Greenberg’s adorable dog Latte was a winner of one of the prizes.
Music was provided throughout the event by the great Jeffery Menor & the Minor 6th Band (Westside Latin). http://www.theminor6th.com
There were many activities for kids including a very popular bouncy house, a face painting table, a talented balloon man, a photo booth and a table for creating hand-decorated cupcakes. The Magical Mr. Fig and his black cat, making their second appearance at the Annual Block Party, demonstrated amazing card tricks to the delight of children and adults.
The Bergmans offered complimentary food and beverages for guests catered by Erlez Grill. There were all kinds of hot dogs, kosher, beef, etc., turkey and beef burgers with all the trimmings, wonderful french fries, corn on the cob, pizza, salad, chili and vegetarian selections. There were excellent frozen dessert bars and lemonade, punch and water. Popcorn was on every table.
A new event, and a real pleasure, was the Fashion Show. Frankie Bergman arranged it with Goga fashions of Project Runway. Goga is located at 2710 Main Street in Santa Monica, http://www.shopgoga.com. Originally, Frankie had planned on using professional models, but Jordana, the talented owner of Goga, suggested that Silver Strand homeowners might enjoy doing the runway show. And indeed they did. They all went to the store one evening and, fortified by cheese and wine, picked out the clothes they were going to model. Jordana has an amazing eye and can accommodate all ages and sizes. She is able to take one look at you and figure out exactly what outfit and what accessories will work. The shop carries everything from very classical suits to flamboyant “red carpet” evening gowns. On the day of the event, Roma Court homeowner Marie Smith kindly lent her house as a dressing room. This year’s “Top Models” included Cindy Carlin, Clarissa Cervantes, Sandy Gooch, Suzi Greenberg, Deanna Kangas, Eileen Nugent, Sandra Starr, Marie Smith, Jennifer Manoogian, Penny Akashi, Linda Evans-Smith, Kris Ellenberg and her two daughters, Eden and Lola (who stole the show). In order to warm up the models while they were getting into their glamorous clothes, Cindy Carlin brought two thermos bottles of her always great margaritas and Jennifer brought wine. Ashley Bergman, Frankie’s daughter, was on hand to do hair. Jordana arrived to provide the finishing touches with great jewelry accessories and to supervise “the walk.” Michael Greenberg unrolled a long white carpet down Roma Court for the models to parade down. Whatever nervousness the models may have felt was vanquished by libations enjoyed prior to the show. They did brilliantly, revealing their inner talents (who knew?) at “walking the walk.” They flounced, they swayed, they sashayed, they twirled, and kicked up their heels.
The Fashion Show was followed by a Canine Walk. These are rescued orphan dogs, cared for, fostered and put up for adoption by Much Love Animal Rescue. Much Love is no-kill, nonprofit shelter for dogs and cats:http://www.muchlove.org. If you can’t adopt, consider donating to this worthy cause. All the dogs and cats they brought to the party were in great shape with beautiful temperaments.
Mike Bonin, City of Los Angeles 11th District Councilman, attended the party, spoke to the crowd and then mingled with Silver Strand residents. Mike, Bill Rosendahl’s successor, is turning out to be a great representative and friend to the Silver Strand. Like Bill, he is a hands-on politician. He hikes with his constituents and has open office hours. Mark Antonio Grant and his wife also attended. Mark is Mike’s Chief Deputy and has appeared at numerous SSMHOA events. He has been very responsive to our concerns.
The Silver Strand is home to people of all ages, but our children make this neighborhood special. This is a community where they can walk to each others houses and to the beach, play basketball, bike and skate with ease. They are steps away from the natural wonders of the Ballona Lagoon and wetlands. Here are their smiling faces.
At the end of the day, Peter and Frankie Bergman enjoyed a turn on the dance floor.
Along with three little ones.
The main purpose of the Annual Party is to allow neighbors to meet with old friends and make new ones at a fun event.
Below in the foreground, Nora Nicosia, longtime SSMHOA Board member and Chair of the Block Captain Committee who was responsible for reviving the long dormant Annual Block Party starting in 2011. She also initiated the very successful mini-Block parties which started this past summer. Nora has done wonders in terms of creating a sense of neighborliness and community in the Silver Strand. Behind her are, left to right Myra and Ed Amorosi, Marilee Karlsen, and Fred Karlsen, President of SSMHOA.
What started as an experiment has now become a tradition. With thanks to one and all who made it happen.