Gabby

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Hello, dahlings! Holy H2O! Why do the best parties often take place by the water or have aquatic motifs? Emilee Reynolds and Mary Helms, co-chairs of the Beach Barbecue on behalf of the Children’s Beach House in Lewes, looked casually classy in clean white shirts over jeans for the night. Their fashion muse: Drexel Davison, owner of Bad Hair Day?, who wore the same. “The white shirt has to be crisp. The blue jeans make the look comfortable, easy and relaxed,” Drexel held forth. Ever the gadabout, Drexel fawned over Michele Rollins—“Oh, I am just so obsessed with you!” he said—and handed out salon-logo pens. Pretty Kim Dixon, manager of Bad Hair, sparkled in a silver-flecked tank and cuffed jeans, sending a message that those skinny-legged denims haven’t hit critical mass. We call this to your attention because the affair’s theme was a Hawaiian luau, though there was nary a muumuu in sight. Guests were garlanded in colorful plastic leis at the door, with hula hoops on tables and roast suckling pig as the piece de resistance, rustled up by Emmings, Inc., a home-cookin’ caterer. Proceeds go to the day camp’s Sandcastles Program for developmentally challenged kids, Rich Garrett, executive director of the Children’s Beach House, reminded Gabby. To Rollins, it’s an especially rewarding cause. “I used to pay my kids to volunteer here in the summer,” she said. Oh, lei! n “This is my first time attending, and it’s very impressive,” enthused Dan O’Connell of the Appoquinimink River Association during the Experience the Estuary Celebration. We couldn’t agree more. The elegant dinner, held under tents on the Hagley Museum grounds, pulled out all the stops, with white rose centerpieces, take-home goody bags and everything that makes a fundraiser memorable. But why not? After all, it marked the 10th anniversary of the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, which has grown to an annual budget of $2.5 million. Revitalizing Eastern Shore oysters is a pet project of the partnership, so oysters on-the-half-shell were prevalent cocktail-hour hors d’oeuvres. There was Karen O’Neill Falk of the Southern Delaware Tourism Office, who doesn’t look pregnant but is. Karen and hubby, Jim Falk, of the University of Delaware’s College of Marine and Earth Studies, expect their first bundle-of-joy in March. The river rushing nearby served as a wet reminder of the quality of Delaware’s water. Is it safe to drink from the tap, we asked James McCulley IV, an environmental specialist. “It depends on where the wells are,” he replied. “What if you live around

Trolley Square

?” we persisted. “Keep drinking bottled water,” McCulley advised. n Mentioning visits from the stork (which we were), real estate agent Christine Strauss of Rehoboth Beach was awaiting the imminent birth of her fourth grandchild during the Beebe Medical Center Honors dinner. Christine, superchic in a yellow sheath, doesn’t look old enough to have grandchildren, but who can tell about such things these days. Christine’s long-term fiance, Bruce Moore, head of Re/Max Associates in Ocean City, Maryland, was by her side. According to Moore, coastal home sales “have weakened only in that people aren’t doubling their money like they did four years ago. Instead they make 20 percent to 30 percent. It’s still a good deal.” About 150 or so gathered at the palatial Clubhouse at Baywood on behalf of four hard-working honorees, which included Lena English, a.k.a. “the cookie lady.” Keynote speaker U.S. Senator Tom Carper told his audience, “Serve others.” The Hon. William S. (“Bill”) Lee, vice chairperson of Beebe’s board of directors, worked the crowd in a suit, floral-print tie and sockless loafers. We spotted Alex Pires and his tawny-maned wife, Diane Cooley, holding hands during dessert. Alex’s latest acquisition is Jimmy’s, that beloved Bridgeville caterer and baker of the most mouth-watering layer cakes in the world. n Shrubs need sprinkling, but everyone was grateful the showers stopped just in time for GardenFair Evening at Winterthur Museum and Country Estate. A must for upscale green thumbs, the GardenFair kick-off drew Joe and Bert Melloy, Su and Peter Horty, Louise and David Roselle, Linda and Steve Boyden, Tina and Pete Hayward, Peggy and Jimmy Dean, Ginny Butters, Brian Draper, Sunny McGeorge, Isabelle Farrell of Winterthur’s development office and scads more to the cocktail reception at the Reflecting Pool. Valerie Lee of Greenville was tete-a-tete with Armand Battiste, director of leadership gifts at Winterthur. “People have an opportunity to make this their own little paradise,” Battiste remarked. He cited two purchasing trends among GardenFair goers: “Very clever creative things like copper birdbaths and twig beaches” as well as “plants, some domestic, but also exotic.” You couldn’t miss Candi Morgan of Plant Delights Nursery in Raleigh, North Carolina, sporting a T-shirt that said, “I consider every plant hardy until I have killed it at least 3 times.” “This is a good party. People are yakking and having fun,” bubbled artist Mary Page Evans. Not only that, but The Countess of Arran earned raves as guest lecturer beforehand. n Ta-ta, ’til next time.

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