While some folks may give their time and their efforts just for the benefit of the students, there can be no better incentive to join the PTA than the annual volunteer awards dinner. It was, as the title of a film not spoofed at the event, An Affair to Remember.
After drinks, (donated by Joxer Daly’s and poured by Mayor O’Leary himself) and dinner at Culver Events, the evening of awards was a sketch-comedy tribute to the film history of Culver City and the parent volunteers. Each award was given a film theme, more jokes than a sit-com, and more laughs than a half an hour of stand up. When the program began with School Board President Karlo Silbiger giving School Board Member Laura Chardiet a pie-in-the-face, the audience was put on notice that this was a show.
“King Mom” featured Council PTA President Leslie Gardner as Fay Wray, shrieking her way across the room while announcing the volunteer history of Bonnie Wacker, the founder of the Panther Partners. Covering the action for the press were Larry Weiner in a fedora as Ari Noonan of The Front Page, and Maren Neufeld as Judith Martin-Straw of CulverCityCrossroads.com (loved the hair- too cute !)
“The Three Muskateers” teemed up against the evil Cardinal Legislature fending off further cuts in education, and offered kudos to Dan O’Brien for his leadership in the Culver City Education Foundation, “and he writes for all the blogs!”
The PTA school presidents got to star in a reel as the Munchkins, applauding their own volunteers in voices slightly higher than helium can allow, and a noirish “Citizen Centaur” chased a camera though the Culver Hotel as imaginary ex-wives and pretend priests named Jerry Chabola as the notorious volunteer of note.
The proverbial cherry on top, “Gone With the Pension,” spoofed the other biggest film of 1939 with Laura Chardiet as Scarlett O’Hara, decrying the end of life as we know it with the retirement of Patti Jaffe from her desk as Superintendent of Schools. Not only did it draw wild applause and loud laughter, it gave Scott Zeidman the exit line “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
How can any parent in the school system (with even a whiff of greasepaint in their blood) resist signing on for the Culver City Council PTA? Roll credits…
Editor’s Note- Check back for updates- Technical issues we hope to resolve may let us post “Citizen Centaur” here so you can watch the reel.