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Questers celebrate May Day

Heritage Reflections chapter hosts luncheon to raise money for Hart Museum and Heritage Junction

Posted: May 3, 2009 9:36 p.m.
Updated: May 4, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Carol James, of Saugus, was crowned the May Day Queen at the event.

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"Who wants an Italian dinner for six?" Alexandra Tozzi asked the large group of people attending a fundraiser put on by one of the Questers chapters in the Santa Clarita Valley on April 23.

"This basket contains six antique dinner plates, two bottles of wine, antipasto, zuppa, insalata, pasta e salsa, carne or pollo, and dolci, all cooked and served by Linda Lomella and Cathy Alturilla. Any takers?"

A hand holding a paddle with a number on it shot up in the back of Hart Hall and someone screamed out, "$50."

Another hand popped up and someone yelled, "$75."

A third hand raised its paddle and placed its bid at $100.

The bantering continued until the basket entitled "Italian dinner for six" reached $200.

"We have one for $200," Tozzi said, scanning the room for any more paddles floating above people's heads. "Do I hear a $210? Anybody? Going once ... going twice ... sold for $200!"

Bring on the flowers
Heritage Reflections, one of three Questers chapters in the SCV, hosted a luncheon at Hart Hall in order to raise money for local restoration projects.

Questers is an international association, and its goal is to preserve and restore historical monuments and study antiques.

The organization offers scholarships to students who share similar interests.

"We offer two post graduate scholarships each year to Columbia University architectural students and an undergrad scholarship to a student at Winterthur," said Joanie Colette, the president of the Heritage Reflections chapter.

In celebration of May Day, the theme of the luncheon was "April Showers Bring May Flowers." May Day is a traditional holiday commemorating the onset of spring. It is typically observed on the first of May and is celebrated by giving baskets filled with flowers, candy and other gifts.

Each member of the Reflections Heritage chapter was responsible for constructing a basket filled with a variety of goodies to auction off.

Baskets ranged from themes like "Tea for Two" which included tea cups and saucers to "Happy Birthday," a basket filled with party hats, plates and other favors.

Each basket was auctioned off and were sold for between $35 and $200.

The event also offered a white elephant sale - where members donated household items for sale - and a silent jewelry auction. The jewelry auction is a vintage collection of jewelry, some of which dates back to the 1930s.

All proceeds went to Hart Museum and Heritage Junction.

May Day celebrations also include a May Day Queen, a woman chosen to represent Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers.

Carol James, of Saugus, played the human replica of Flora for the fundraiser. Her name was drawn from a basket and she received a crown made of flowers as well as a bouquet.

The Santa Clarita Valley is home to three Questers chapters: Heritage Reflections, Oak of the Golden Dreams, and Canyon Questers.

Members from all three groups attended the May Day celebration and fundraiser.

"Locally, the questers have restored the Kingsbury House and the Edison House in our historic village at the SCV Historical Society," Colette said.

Judy Holland, of Canyon Country, the state president of all the Questers chapters in California, also attended the luncheon.
"There are 35 chapters through California," she said. "That's some 650 members."

As state president, she visits chapters throughout the state to encourage support and gather donations for the scholarships.

In addition to visiting historic places in need of restoration, she also attends an international meeting once a year to represent California.

"We work hard but have a lot of fun."

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