Gayle’s View: A Fundraiser Dinner

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Photo at left–a corner of Otto-Heeb dining area with mercury glass and fruit oil paintings.

To all who enter here:

I am going to be writing about my take on collecting, decorating, entertaining, and gardening. If you are passionate about any of the above, you will understand that these are lifestyle choices. And it seems fitting that I should start by relating to you a description of a recent dinner party I attended.

February 17- 7:00 pm – a fund raising dinner for Our House* hosted by my STARS partners Darwin Otto and Brent Heeb.

The dinner for twelve was at their 3-story townhouse (I will tell you more about that another time). But picture a white background, built-in bookshelves, plantation- shuttered windows, wood floors, and then, in your mind, fill it with collections galore and antique furniture.

The dazzled guests were invited to tour their entire home and while doing so were treated to canapes and beverages of their choice on old silver trays. These were handed out by Darwin, Brent, and Darwin’s daughter,Darin, wearing white bib aprons with their names stamped on in black letters.

Each room offered multiple collections–Fiestaware, roadside pottery, mercury glass, old leather bound books, miniature cupboards, portraits, tiny cowboy boots, and in the upper hallway, Darwin’s varied and fearfully wonderful collection of old brooms and brushes–artfully arranged. All different sizes and shapes–some worn down to the nubs.

In the living room, two tables for six were set with Oregon plates made by Meier & Frank on the centennial birthday of Oregon’s statehood. There were mismatched pressed wine glasses, old sterling, white star-shaped candles placed in early cafe-au-lait bowls and white tapers. Each guest had a personal menu with a small silver-framed initial by their place setting. The effect was magical–as was the evening.

The first course was cream of broccoli soup with star-shaped croutons served in white Fire-King bowls. The salad course was served with chilled forks. The dessert was a sight to behold–poached pears covered in a rich wine sauce. We were all appreciative of the details and the solicitous service. Goodie bags (a la
the Oscars) were presented to each guest at the end of the meal. When we left, we were lulled into a delicious sense of being surrounded by beauty and inspired with ideas for our own home design and entertaining.

*Last year 70 dinners were hosted by talented volunteers to raise funds for Our House, which supports patients living with HIV/AIDS. For more information, go to www.ourhouseofportland.org

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