The first residents to arrive at PVE in 1997 through 2000, affectionately known as the Originals, were honored at an elegant dinner party at Rawlinson Hall this past spring. The inaugural event highlighted the 20th anniversary of Paradise Valley Estates, officially recognized in November. Peggy Huston, Chief Human Resources Officer, chairs the 20th Anniversary Committee.
Betty St. George and Pat Glover, both members of the planning group, greeted Originals as they arrived. Guests were seated at tables of six and grouped into “neighborhoods” referencing where they lived when they first came to PVE. This set-up sparked lively conversation and much reminiscing. As an icebreaker activity, guests were directed to a centerpiece of fortune cookie strips which prompted recollections like: “Do you remember when we all brought business cards to dinner?”
The décor, featuring the original PVE logo on green and cream-colored balloons, filled the room with colorful reminders of early events and parties. David Kalbaugh designed the menu, which paid homage to dining room offerings in those earliest years. There was a salad of mandarin oranges and assorted lettuces, an entrée choice of Steak Dianne or seared rainbow trout, and an innovative dessert of a phyllo dough flower filled with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. Servers glided through the room offering red and white wine. A harpist played classical music and familiar show tunes. One couple danced to a favorite love song.
Catering Manager Patricia Hostetler coordinated the affair, complete with place cards and leisurely spaced courses so guests could visit casually. The many details associated with hosting a welcoming event were carried out seamlessly. Kirstin Flores of Life Enrichment worked tirelessly designing and sending invitations, accepting responses, ordering commemorative wine glasses bearing the original PVE logo, and developing a slide show of photographs “before there were rules.” Guests enjoyed the hospitable environment and lingered to visit with old friends seated at other tables. It was exactly what the Originals envisioned: a quiet dinner party with dear friends, served by familiar wait staff amid mutual respect and affection.