By Ashley Lodato
The Winthrop Barn was packed at Room One’s annual soup dinner fundraiser on Saturday night (Oct. 25), with nearly 300 guests and what seemed like about 100 volunteers. A veritable stanchion of attendees, one might suggest. More than any other, the Room One dinner feels like a community event, with all and sundry turning out to support an organization that ensures that everyone in our valley has access to basic necessities.
Attire varied from Methow casual to floor-length ball gowns to someone who I think was either a Shriner or a figure from the Ottoman Empire, to my favorite, Ken Westman, who was either George Washington or Louis XIV, judging by his white wig and blue velvet jacket. I don’t think I’d ever considered “stately” to be an apt description for anyone until I saw Ken at the Barn, but now I’m pretty sure they’d give him a seat on the bench of lords.
I was reminded yet again of what a precious and essential commodity community is as I was telling some Kiwanis members how annoyed I was to arrive at the Twisp athletic field on Saturday morning only to discover it torn up by what seemed to be dirt bike tracks. I know how much volunteer time — most of donated by Kiwanis — went into making that field nice, and it was frustrating to see the work of months destroyed by a few moments of recklessness.
But Carl Miller put it in perspective for me, reminding me of the Marysville school shooting the previous day and saying, “if our kids need to get their negative energy out by wrecking the soccer field, we’ll take that over what they’re doing in other towns.” He’s right; we’re lucky, and the field will most likely heal itself by next spring.
Valley part-timer Leslie Mittendorf would be the last to brag about an accomplishment, so I’ll do it for her. Leslie, along with partner Melissa Pearlstein, won second place at the Head of the Charles Regatta two weekends ago in the Women’s Master Doubles division. Rowing a straight double (which is one shell, rowed by two women with two oars each, and no coxswain), Leslie and Melissa were just 6 seconds behind the winning boat. It’s tempting to tell you that they nearly swept the field, but I’m going to resist, since they were sculling.