BY HELEN ANN THOMAS
It was Monday, July 2, at 4 p.m. There were tempting appetizers from Moxie Café, respectable wines for imbibing, and a group of groovy guests, not to mention an awesome venue–the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum.
Yet this was my saddest hobnobbing experience ever. About 100 folks gathered to bid farewell to one of the Central Coast’s treasures. This was the last official appearance of Chris Slaughter, the museum’s executive director and guiding light for the past several years.
Chris and her husband, oral surgeon Dr. Joe Slaughter, were on their way to Atlanta, Georgia, for a new life. Not that the old one was so bad, but a dental practice in the South made Joe an offer he couldn’t refuse.
Discovery Museum board member Diane Adam dubbed the event “New Beginnings.” Nancy Gastelum will assume the mantle of executive director, truly a new beginning for the museum and for the Slaughters.
The local nonprofit world was represented by Kim Colby, Terri Lee Coleman, Judy Frost, and from Allan Hancock College, president Kevin Walthers and Susan Houghton.The Sun‘s general manager Kim Rosa and her trusty sidekick Colleen Garcia made an appearance, as did Jeff Barnes, city librarian Mary Housel, and Ken Parker.
Discovery Museum Board president Michelle Tabisola was there along with board members Roy Reed, Bill Thompson, and Dave Wright.
Chris had been instrumental in getting the Orcutt Children’s Art Foundation off and running. She was also a Santa Barbara Foundation trustee, and for several years, had been the PR person for Café FX.
There was more than one case of teary eyes as Chris, herself teared up, made her parting remarks.
Atlanta: our loss, your gain. Lucky, lucky you.
If you want to hobnob with Helen, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.