While the Duke and Duchess of York are stepping away from the monarchy, Santa Claritans have an opportunity to get a taste of the royal life next month.
The Santa Clarita Valley’s Bella Vida senior center is hosting its annual Celebrity Waiter fundraiser at the new center on Saturday, Feb. 29, at 5 p.m. This is the first year that the event will be held at the new center and Executive Director Kevin MacDonald wanted this year’s theme to reflect that grandeur of the occasion.
“This year, the theme is ‘A Knight of Royals’ because we’re very proud of the Bella Vida (senior) center and we’re holding it in our grand ballroom, so it only makes sense for the theme to reflect that grandeur,” MacDonald said. “We’ve had so much support for building this center, so now we’re hoping to have the community also come out, have a good time and help us fund the programs we run here.”
During the Celebrity Waiter event, which MacDonald describes as a “masquerade ball,” groups of costumed guests decorate their sponsored tables according to the theme, and members of the Santa Clarita community will serve as their waiters for the evening. Waiters will then compete to earn “royal bucks” from the attendees by performing actions like giving them their silverware or opening a bottle of wine, among other shenanigans, and the waiter with the most bucks earned at the end of the night wins a championship belt.
Amanda Benson, one of the event’s co-chairs who has previously volunteered for the event as a waiter, said her favorite part of the celebrity waiter fundraiser is seeing the decorations and costumes the guests bring.
“My grandfather was with the senior center for years, so helping them raise money is something near to my heart,” Benson said. “Amongst all the costumes and decorations, there’s huge competition between the waiters, which makes it really fun. Last year, a waiter made party favors for the guests with snacks to take home after the party was over, and if any guests wanted one, she charged them for it and was able to make a lot of extra money that way.”
Celebrity Waiter is the senior center’s biggest annual fundraiser and all of the funds raised from the event will help cover the programs and services offered by the senior center, such as home delivered meals, the nutrition program and daily activities. Benson said the event raised more than $100,000 last year and hopes to raise at least $110,000 this year.
Anyone interested in sponsoring a table or purchasing a ticket can call 661-259-9444, ext. 133, or email [email protected]. Those wishing to volunteer as a waiter can contact Amanda Benson at 661-714-9443.