Tribute to Elvis
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January Vinny's Tribute to Elvis

The Lynnhaven Ladies gathered at Churchill Street Recreation Center on Thursday, January 10th, to enjoy a Tribute to Elvis. Elvis' birthday was January 8th, so we were looking forward to listening to some of his music. We unloaded our donations for the Wildwood Food Pantry and Operation Shoebox with the help of Diane Householder, and Doris Bouffard and Lucy Mills greeted us with chocolates. And Lauren Whitehouse handed everyone a door prize ticket as they entered the meeting room.

Inside the door, Marion Getzes and her trusty assistant, Christi Mathewson, were accepting membership dues for 2019. For those who had already paid their dues for 2019, they went around the corner and picked up their name badge. Mary Eill was also positioned there so we could get our 50/50 tickets before finding a place to eat our lunch.

President Ann Lewe (pronounced Lee) welcomed everyone and wished us a Happy New Year! She announced that if we hadn't already gotten our 50/50 tickets, we needed to get them before the meeting. Vice President Lauren Whitehouse led the members in the Pledge of Allegiance, then Mary Eill told the Joke for the Day and Lorraine DeGenova gave the Tip for the Day. Next, Ann announced that January 8th was Elvis' birthday (the inspiration for the day's entertainment) and January is National Blood Donor Month. She recognized the club's founders and asked those who were there to stand up. Gerri Donaldson was one of the founders and the club's 2nd President, taking over when its 1st President went back up north, and she was there with her sister who she hadn't seen in four years. Marie Brady, who took the club's donations to Operation Shoebox for many years, was also seated with Gerri. Deanna Ellis was one of the founders, but she has been in and out of the hospital and rehab centers this past year and has been suffering greatly with a rare condition that doctors have not been able to get under control. Ann asked that we keep Deanna in our prayers. Ann also recognized former Presidents, Mary Dooley and Nancy Manion (welcome back, Nancy).

As Ann usually does, she started the new year off by reading the club's Statement of Purpose, then asked the club's Council members for 2019 & 2020 to come up for a photo (say cheese...), then introduced everyone. She then thanked our Hospitality staff and Greeters, and thanked them for another wonderful job. She also made an announcement from the Wildwood Food Pantry. Since Thanksgiving, they have distributed 222,000 pounds of food. Needless to say, we were impressed and it was good to know that our monthly donations helped make that possible. Yet another announcement for Lynnhaven Neighbors. Its Petrina show was completely sold out, but we can be put on a waiting list by calling Judy Selock should someone have to cancel.

Those announcements out of the way, Anne Russell gave her Treasurer's Report, reporting that after expenses, the club had $1,637.17 in its coffers, then made a joke about an upcoming trip. Next, Dot Powley made the Helping Hands report, saying that most of their activities were sending condolence and get well cards. Marion Getzes then announced that the club started the month with 132 members, and after today, we had 141. She then announced the new and renewing members and asked them to please stand and tell us where they came from and where they live here in Lynnhaven. Welcome, all! Kathy Warner then reported on upcoming programs that were planned. Next month, we'll have Tom Gourley's Pop Culture Trivia. Maggie McLean explained that since St. Patrick's Day was in March, we were going to have an Irish group and sing-along with the Parking Lot Band, with a salad potluck. And in April, Kathy said we were going to have a Style Show through Belks. We will need about eight models and she asked that we consider volunteering to be a model.

Business part of the meeting over, Lauren picked tables to go up for desserts. January's volunteers brought plenty for everyone. It was hard picking what we wanted to sample and everything was yummy.   

As we finished our desserts and were clearing our table, Kathy introduced Vinny. Elvis' theme song started (also the theme song from the 2001: A Space Odyssey film), anticipation building... and Karran Dagon came in, wondering why everyone was laughing and looking at her. The music continued to build until... Vinny appeared in his Elvis cape, strutting his stuff as he moved toward the stage area.

Surprisingly, Vinny said that he started doing the tribute to Elvis just in the past year or so. His then girlfriend and now his fiancé was a serious Elvis fan, and she encouraged him to sing Elvis songs. He then started singing some Elvis songs... some of our favorites like Burning Love, Something in the Way She Moves, Steamroller Blues, Jailhouse Rock, You Gave Me a Mountain...  moving into the audience and showing some of his Elvis moves.

Vinny explained that his fiancé Gina is usually with him when he performs, allowing him to make a costume change, but she had to leave. Their 40-pound German Shepherd was attacked by a hawk that morning that ripped a huge piece of skin from her back and they had to rush her to the vet. Gina received a call from the vet shortly after they'd set up, so she had to leave; the dog was out of surgery and was ready to be picked up. We were horrified that a hawk would take on a large dog, but we certainly could sympathize. He sang more of our Elvis favorites like Bridge Over Troubled Water, Love Me Tender, Little Sister, (Let Me Be Your) My Teddy Bear. While he sang that one, he tossed and gave away some teddy bears of his own.

Of course, he had to sing My Way, Suspicious Minds, Are You Lonesome Tonight, Burning Love, In the Ghetto, Love Me Tender, Runaway, Can't Help Falling in Love with You, and others. Near the end of his performance he sang It's Now or Never and started giving away scarves like Elvis did. He even tried some of Elvis' splits, joking that he was going to split his pants... or worse. It was a fun trip down memory lane.

Vinny's show was over, so we had the drawing for door prizes, a $10 gift card to Carrabba's and one for the movies. Then, the 50/50 drawings. The first lucky winner got $25, three went home with an extra $20 in their pockets, with the final winner getting $15.

Congratulations to ALL our lucky drawing winners! For the rest of us... better luck next time ( could happen...).

A BIG Thank You to Vinny for his Tribute to Elvis show. It was great fun. If you'd like Vinny for an event or would like more information, call Gina Albero at 631-294-7042 or text (click on link and type your question or message).

Thanks also to all those lovely ladies who brought those wonderful desserts. They were awesome!

Next month we'll have Tom Gourley's Pop Culture Trivia, an exciting music, celebrities, movies & TV theme song game, mainly from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. And since it will be Valentine's Day, let's dress for the occasion. Guests are welcome.

See you in February....

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