December is a time of celebration. Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years, and of course, The Los Angeles Firemen’s Relief Association’s Holiday Dinner Dance. Back after a few years of hiatus due to the pandemic, this year’s annual event celebrated the Relief Association’s 116th anniversary and brought some much-needed joy into the lives of all who attended. Set in the intimately charming setting of the Los Angeles Athletic Club, members gathered for a night of live music, great food, photos with friends, and yes, a little dancing. The band, DW3, was in-tune to the evening’s mood, bringing with it high energy at times and soothing melody when called upon. Whatever the song, the harmonic tones balanced well with the mood of the night.
This event marks the last official event during the presidency of Jeff Cawdrey, who was accompanied on the night by his wife, Gina, and the pair officially opened dinner with a toast. In January, Jeff will pass the torch to the current vice president and president-elect, Chris Stine, whose wife, Lauren, was also enjoying the evening’s festivities. One of the highlights of the evening was Chris’ heartfelt recognition of Jeff and his presidency during an unprecedented time in history, which earned an enthusiastic round of applause from the crowd.
The attendees were glamorous: men in suits and ties and women in their best dresses filled the ballroom. Jeff Cawdrey’s green velvet tuxedo jacket was one for the fashion magazines. There were plenty of props to use at the photo booth, which created laughter and shenanigans all night long. It was definitely a night to people-watch while also enjoying the fantastic sites of downtown Los Angeles at night, best enjoyed from the rooftop just above the 12th floor.
The drinks flowed freely while the evening began with tray-passed appetizers including beef sliders and mozzarella skewers, and a colorful charcuterie display. Dinner was comprised of beef tenderloin, chicken piccata, grilled salmon, mushroom risotto, macaroni and cheese, tomato soup, and an array of salads that satisfied even the pickiest of eaters. A delectable selection of desserts, including red velvet cake and petit fours, capped off the menu. We would like to once again thank Juliet Brandolino for her tireless effort in arranging and coordinating the night’s program. Special thanks to Deborah Lew for the wonderful photos and to all the volunteers who assisted the Relief Association once again, your precious time is always appreciated. We hope you can join us next year for another evening under the stars. We wish you a happy New Year and look forward to another year of service and commitment to our members.
Written by Deborah Lew & John Hicks