Residents contribute to Garden Club’s Harvest Dinner fundraiser

RANCHO SANTA FE — “We asked them to bring their own food. We asked them to bring their own beverage and we asked them to bring money — and they did it,” said a delighted Helen DiZio, president of the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club.
At least 155 supporters came to the Harvest Dinner held at the club on Sept. 18 to help raise funds for the club’s activities.
DiZio, who took over as president in June, was thrilled at the turnout.
“The Garden Club has had competition with the Tennis Club, Golf Clubs and Community Center in recent years, but people want to come back to the Garden Club and it has a beautiful facility,” she said. “It’s a place for everyone and you don’t have to have special (athletic) skills to be a member.”
Each person was asked to provide their own table decorations, bring a dish to share, their own beverage and their own meat.
On hand were four “grill masters,” manning the grill, cooking to order for the guests.
Grill masters Jim Boyce, Steve DiZio, Steve Pierson and John Blakely were grilled about their qualifications and training to earn the title.
“I have a Ph.D in B.S.,” Boyce said.
Blakely said his law degree did not qualify him, but taking orders from his wife for years certainly did.
As the crowd began arriving on a beautiful, warm evening, the serving tables began filling up with luscious looking desserts, crisp salads and vegetable dishes.
DiZio said that soon after the event was announced people began competing with each other on who could provide the most attractive table decorations.
As garden club member Susan Marr went about lighting candles just before dusk, she said the idea of the dinner was to get the community together to renew interest in the club.
The cost of the evening was $50 per person or $100 a couple.
Marr said the proceeds will be used to fund the clubs programs of beautification, education and social opportunities.
“The Garden Club has come a long way since it started with seven members in 1928,” DiZio said.
To learn more about the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club, call (858) 756-1554 or visit

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