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California Oil Museum focus of fundraising attention

June 04, 2008
Santa Paula News

The Santa Paula California Oil Museum was the center of attention at the May 17 “Garden Party” to help preserve and restore the grand old dame, the Queen Anne of Main Street.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesThe Santa Paula California Oil Museum was the center of attention at the May 17 “Garden Party” to help preserve and restore the grand old dame, the Queen Anne of Main Street. The museum, built in 1890, is dedicated to enriching the lives of visitors - drawn from around the world - through science, technology, history and art.Museum Administrator Jeanne Orcutt was offering a special tour of the upstairs offices of the National Historic Monument, the birthplace of the then-Union Oil - later Unocal - Company. The Silent Auction and refreshments were staged in the Oil Rig Room, which houses a massive example of the antique equipment.Mayor Bob Gonzales and Councilman John Procter were among the celebrants enjoying the music - jazz keyboardist Jimmy Calire - and wines available in the Harry Lundgren Memorial Garden. Historian Judy Triem was admiring the array of Silent Auction items, and carefully bidding on those her heart most desired.“I’ll have to save my pennies for Debbie Johnson’s cheesecake,” featured in the Live Auction, noted City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz.“Isn’t this wonderful?” noted Arthur Pulido as he surveyed the attendees, many who wore flowery clothing to reflect the Garden Party theme of the fundraiser.
The two dozen Silent Auction items ranged from a beauty gift basket from Tisa’s Salon & Spa to a limited edition print of Gail Pidduck’s “Planting Trees.” Oversized serigraphs by Val Bustos, fine stationary and a gift bag by Lettre Sauvage, Santa Paula Theater Center season tickets and tickets to the New West Symphony, a ride on the Fillmore & Western Railway for two, dinner at the Mupu Grill, an airplane ride or lesson from CP Aviation, a custom facial at Vanity on Main and a stay at the luxurious Penthouse Suite at the Glen Tavern Inn were among the Silent Auction prizes.The Live Auction was limited to seven items, and all drew great interest from the crowd. A vacation at the Mobley Beach House drew the highest bid from Javier Vega, with a three-day Baja cruise won after spirited back and forth bidding by Anita Pulido.Lunch and a ride-along with Police Chief Steve MacKinnon, golf with Santa Clara Valley Bank President/CEO Mike Hause, Limoneira Hot Air Balloon Ride and Brunch as well as the Firehouse Dinner for Four went fast, and the Crčme Brulee cheesecake went big. “I never bought a $425 cheesecake before, but what is more precious than a Debbie Johnson cheesecake?” asked winner Bobkiewicz. “I got the cheesecake and supported the museum... what else could you want?”“It was really great how many people came out.... I saw some that I hadn’t seen before that I believe will be back,” said Orcutt, pleased with “reports from people of how they loved the atmosphere, loved the music and found the museum a great setting for the whole event.”The scene of numerous revolving exhibits and strong doses of industry and local history, Orcutt said that “Some take the museum for granted... but we still need money” to preserve and restore the city’s signature building and national landmark. “It’s a wonderful asset we have,” Orcutt added, “and we need to keep it going.”