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Articles / 2009

Cowboys out, brides in at Hospital Foundation Guild’s annual benefit

Villa Guiseppi Center, site of May 16 dinner show, ‘Frankie & Mia’s Wedding’

Ojai Valley News

Put away your six guns, pardner, and get out your wedding trousseau. That’s the advice of Charlene Hartenstein and Kari Rodems, co-chairs of the 2009 springtime benefit for Ojai Valley Community Hospital, which will showcase the “reality” dinner show, “Frankie & Mia’s Wedding,” on May 16 at the Villa Guiseppi Center on East Ojai Avenue.

This year’s event represents a sharp turn for the Hospital Foundation Guild, whose six previous spring flings have featured western themes. “For 2009 we wanted to get our audience more into the act,” said Hartenstein, “and ‘Frankie & Mia’s Wedding’ is easily the most entertaining way we know to do that.” Attendees at the dinner show will become members of this most irregular wedding party, where they’ll mix with professional actors who play the wedding couple and their hilariously dysfunctional guests. Before the evening is out, all pretensions and most inhibitions by guests and principals will have fallen by the wayside. Along with the zany nuptials, guests at the $70- per-person event will be treated to a wedding dinner, dessert and a free drink. All proceeds will go toward improvements to the Continuing Care Center at Ojai Valley Community Hospital. More than $135,000 was raised from the six previous guild springtime events.

“There is no dress code for ‘Frankie & Mia’s Wedding,’” explains Rodems. “Guests can come in blue jeans, white tie and tails or anything in between. Best of all, nobody has to bring gifts. Just bring yourself and a well-developed sense of humor.”

Villa Guiseppi Center is next door to St. Joseph’s Health and Retirement Center, 2464 E. Ojai Ave.; enter via the driveway just east of the main entrance to St. Joseph’s. Free valet parking will be provided, said Hartenstein. For more information on this year’s springtime gala, call the Ojai Valley Community Hospital Foundation office, 640- 2317, or drop in at 1301-A Maricopa Highway, across the street from the hospital.