The 2021 Holiday Party
Was a Welcome Return from Lockdown
No previous OCWA Holiday Party was ever looked forward to more than the 63rd Annual gathering last month. After two years of pandemic lockdown, the Orange County water community was primed to party — and a record number of people turned out for the event.
To celebrate the return of the party, the Board of Directors took a chance and held this year’s event at a new location, Seven Degrees, a venue nestled in the sweeping canyons above Laguna Beach, a community known for its artistry and creativity. Well over 200 people made the journey, and all were delighted by the camaraderie of the evening.
In place of the gambling tables of previous soirees, this year’s cocktail hour entertainment included an array of over-sized games for guests to play. Teams of people tested their skills in rousing competitions of Connect Four, Jenga, and Pop-a-Shot basketball hoops. An automated photo booth provided guests the opportunity to take home a special memory of the evening.
However, as with previous parties, socializing proved the evening’s most popular activity. For after two years of forced isolation, attendees were eager to get reacquainted, and there were numerous happy, animated discussions throughout the rooms all evening.
Pictures of the Evening's Festivities
can be Viewed Here . . .
The evening’s “business” was a time of merriment for all. Outgoing OCWA President Ryan Gallagher passed the gavel to Incoming President Sandy Scott-Roberts. Sandy reciprocated by presenting Ryan with a commemorate award for his service, a beautiful engraved rosewood plaque adorned with a brass gavel. The inscription recognized Ryan’s unique position in the pantheon of Association Presidents, the only executive officer to serve two terms. He was accorded this distinction in large measure because of the disruption caused by the pandemic, but the inscription on the plaque gave the full story: “So Nice We Asked Him Twice.”
Sandy then introduced OCWA’s 2022 Board officers: Vice President Dave Jones, Treasurer Bobby Young, and Secretary Candice Espinoza, along with returning Board Directors Taryn Kjoling and Derek Kurtti, and the Board’s newest member, Tanner Bennett.
And then it was time for the evening’s opportunity drawing.
We were blessed this year to have a wide array of Sponsors. With their support, a great many prizes were awarded to the winners. Electronic prizes ranged from a Samsung tablet to an LG 55" TV, a Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker to a Sharper Image Power Percussion massager. There was also a Hero 9 GoPro, a FitBit Pro, a Ninja Foodi Smart Grill, a case of Keurig Hawaiian Blend Coffee, and a DJI Mini 2 Drone, in addition to gift certificates for restaurants and shopping venues, and a nice selection of prime beverages to help with some lucky winners’ holiday cheer. To top the evening, we were triply blessed by Civiltec Engineering, who provided three sets of tickets for the drawing for this season’s Lakers, Clippers, and Kings games. Some very generous, well-received prizes.
For a complete listing of this year’s sponsors,
please visit the Holiday Party Sponsors section of our website.
Gifts for our guests weren’t the only presents distributed. Through the generosity of our attendees, a large number of toys were collected for the Orange County Fire Authority’s Spark of Love Toy Drive for distribution to underserved children and teens throughout the county. The Orange County Water Association is very grateful to all our guests for their generous support in this worthy endeavor.
After dinner, many of the guests returned upstairs to test their skills on the gaming boards. There they were entertained by the musical talents of Scott Gardner, who sang and played guitar until the end of the evening.
The OCWA Board of Directors would like to extend our sincere appreciation to all those who helped organize and plan this year’s Holiday Party. In addition to our many Sponsors this year, without whom our event would not be possible, we are indebted to Jason Wong, who helped immensely with the initial planning. And we are especially thankful for all the help and support provided by Michelie Little, who was instrumental in ensuring the evening’s success.
Should any readers have ideas for next year’s Party, or wish to volunteer their services, we encourage you to contact any of the Board members. New ideas and suggestions are always welcome.
We were happy to see so many new faces at this year’s event. After enjoying an evening of merriment with us, we hope you will join OCWA, to take advantage of the many networking and educational opportunities our Association offers.
With wishes for all for a happy and prosperous New Year, we hope to see you again at next year’s Holiday Party, where we promise an event that will soar to new heights of holiday cheer!