A View to a Thrill

The name’s Bond, James Bond! The fashion show was so hot and the class of “007” models were so cool. This was the National Charity League of Santa Barbara Chapter 2007 Senior Ticktockers Presentation and Fashion Show at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort. Senior and Junior Ticktockers and proud parents, siblings and friends gathered for this annual event culminating six years of membership.

These 19 girls have collectively amassed 4,900 hours in community service. The Charity League currently volunteers for 17 philanthropic organizations in Santa Barbara, including CALM, Cottage Hospital, Direct Relief International, Girls Inc., and Santa Barbara Museum of Art. The experience strengthens the mother-daughter relationship and also includes leadership development and cultural experiences.

While dinner was served around a runway, James Bond music blasted over the loudspeakers, the lights came on and the girls began strutting their stuff. Their stage attitude was great, the heels were high and they never missed a beat. They commanded the stage with routines including 10 models at a time (Junior Ticktockers helped out) showing off fashions from Blue Bee, Dressed and Angel. Good rap music abounded. (After modeling for 30 years myself I know how hard it is for amateurs to pull off what they did.) Kudos go to Julie Martin, my young model friend from our days at LaBelle Modeling Agency, for coordinating the show. She has worked with the Ticktockers since last November and they walked the walk.

The co-chairs – Laura Ciontea, Danit Nuckels, Jennifer Nunez and Julie Teufel –were beaming along with President Lisa Daniels. The hot pink and orange color theme was eye candy. A personal slide show told about each senior with highlights of her life narrated by Teri Suding and Janet Wolf. Dads joined in a father-daughter dance and a Ticktocker Dance Party to top off the evening.

Stars of the event were: Julia Austin, Emily Onnen, Meredith Kronja, Karisa Daniels, Kristin Teufel, Claire Frawley, Emily McNeil, Kristen Franz, Jamie Larson, Monica Ciontea, Rebecca Leong, Angela Nuñez, Tara Toner, Meredith Nuckels, Brooke Motley, Torrey Ah-Tye, Betsy Defnet, Olivia Hayward and Taylor Sexton.

Cheers to the Compeers

The Music Academy of the West hosted a 10-year anniversary reunion of the Compeer program in the elegant main house. All of the guests had been a “compeer” one or more times.

What does that funny word, “compeer,” mean anyway? Look it up in your “Funk and Wagnalls,” says a companion. An Academy compeer is a patron who is paired with one or more students for informal socializing throughout the summer festival. The classical music students live at Cate School, but compeers help them learn about Santa Barbara, its people and places outside of the intense musical direction they have on campus. The compeers usually attend their student’s masterclasses and performances. They might have them to dinner, throw a party or do something recreational together. The committee tries to match people with the same interests, so everyone has fun.

Lee Luria, Shirley Cribbs and Barbara Robbins began this unique program 10 years ago. The Music Academy each year receives more than 1,000 applications for its eight-week summer program (June 18 to August 11). Only 135 young artists from all over the world finally arrive. Many remain lifelong friends with their compeers. As one student said, “I always felt there was someone rooting for me. I’ve made fabulous friends!”

Music Academy President NancyBell Coe told the reunion, “Every single one of you has made the motto ‘Friends Among Friends’ come true.” Chair of the Student and Alumni Liaison Committee Robert Weinman has taped more than 800 hours of these performances over the course of the last 10 years.

“I hope you have a comfortable seat!” Weinman joked.

Actually, he edited the film to just one hour (a monumental task in itself), complete with student and compeer names and where students were employed today. As Lee Luria quipped, “It’s going to get an Academy Award.”

Following the movie I saw many familiar Montecito faces. Everyone enjoyed wine and hors d’oeuvres accompanied by a live band in the David Kuehn Court.

Cheers to the compeers! If you’d like to be one, call Associate Dean Tiffany Schoemaker, at 695-7923.