Saturday night, the Bimbo's 365 Club came to life in North Beach, transporting guests back in time with its gorgeous nightclub atmosphere, a big band, lounge singers and loads of once prohibited bubbly. Celebrating 39 years as what many call the best shelter for families in San Francisco, the gala aimed to continue successes of previous years, raising nearly 20 percent of the funds for Raphael House's annual budget.
Entering the main hall, guests were greeted with a glistening presentation by the Richard Olson Orchestra -- including a horns section, three singers and a grand piano. With a dress code of "flapper and dapper," men sported fedoras with their tuxes, and ladies came in roaring twenties fringed frocks, complete with pearls, headbands, furs and feathers. The silent auction included a vast array of packages from eco-friendly children's items to expensive vacations.
A spirited live auction, a riveting video presentation, and a speech by a former Raphael House resident inspired guests to bid as much as they could on behalf of the families that need the support of the community. "From Crisis to Community" their tagline reads, and those in the videos explained how their lives were turned upside-down and how Raphael House brought them back to self-sufficiency.
Gambling commenced following dinner, with roulette, blackjack and craps tables where winning chips could be turned into raffle tickets. All in good fun, the committee, led by Jessica Moment, Betty Kay Coakley and Alyson Jackson, and the dedicated board, including Chairman Claudia Ross, made certain that the night was one to remember, and that everyone understood how important it was that Raphael House be able to continue their programs for the years to come.
Sarah Granger is the founder, publisher and managing editor of SF Bay Style. Read more articles like this on her website.