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November 29, 2011 > Dance the Starry, Starry Night away

Dance the Starry, Starry Night away

By Julie Grabowski

Get swept into the stars with a holiday celebration hosted by the Fremont Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). The Starry, Starry Night Gala promises an evening of music, dance, food, and fun benefitting the AAUW's educational programs for girls and women.

Programs of AAUW support their mission statement, which is "to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education and research." Tech Trek is a summer math and science camp for girls who have completed seventh grade, encouraging them to pursue these fields of study; the Local Scholarship Foundation awards scholarships to young women who have graduated from Ohlone College and are continuing their studies at a four year university or college; and the Legal Advocacy Fund provides financial aid and support for women seeking judicial amends for sex discrimination. The Action Fund and Educational Opportunity Fund are also offered programs.

Board member and Vice President of Communications Shirley Gilbert named Saturday's inaugural gala event, inspired by her recent viewing of Vincent van Gogh's captivating 1889 painting Starry Night. The Fremont Senior Center will be awash in gorgeous blues and silvers with sparkling lights to evoke a beautiful night environment for the special evening.

The People Power Band will provide the entertainment, led by the CEO of People Power, Gene Wang, who also plays alto sax and flute. The 11-member group will play their way through many eras, joined by 14-year-old Sally Wang for five songs, with her 11-year-old brother Andrew delivering the holiday standard "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."

There will also be dance demonstrations, led by AAUW member Mary Lynn Pelican and her twin sister Carol Goedde. Attendees can learn line dancing, East Coast swing and the Macarena. Play Spin the Wheel to win a prize, or go for the gold by taking part in the raffle for a chance to win an iPad worth $500, generously donated by Gene and Leslie Wang. Raffle tickets are $10 per ticket or $25 for three. They can be purchased at the gala or in advance by sending a check to Kathy Tagumi, Fremont Senior Center, 40086 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont, CA 94538.

Chef Aidan Ocampo of Bijou Restaurant and Bar in Hayward is catering the event, serving up tasty appetizers such as a variety of bruschetta with tomatoes and fresh basil in balsamic vinegar, smoked salmon, chicken poppers, Italian bread olive salad, breaded brie ceviche, and many other delectable offerings. Wine, beer, soft drinks, and coffee will be available, with the evening capped by a dessert of amazing cookies provided by members of AAUW's Fremont branch.

"It's got all the ingredients to make a good event," says Gilbert. "We are hoping for at least 100 people, and hoping for much more than that." If these hopes are met and the event receives a good response, the gala could turn into an annual event.

While there is no specific dress code for this trip to the stars, holiday dress is encouraged, as the occasion is a festive one. So get ready to show off those dance steps, sample some tasty treats, and enjoy a great party while supporting girls and women in our community.

Tickets are $40 per person and $65 for couples, and are asked to be purchased in advance at For more information call (510) 793-9901 or e-mail To learn more about AAUW visit

Starry, Starry Night Gala
Saturday, Dec 3
7 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Fremont Senior Center
40086 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont
(510) 793-9901

Tickets: $40 per person, $65 for couples

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