St. Alban's tea draws standing-room crowd

By Corey Pride / Cpride@losbanosenterprise.comNovember 15, 2012 

St. Alban's Anglican Church's High Tea has become so popular that it was standing room only an hour into Saturday's event.

Food, conversation and music were plentiful in the parish hall, as were the scores of people who attended the 10th annual affair.

"It's changed slightly from when we started; different kids come. We used to have 10 to 12 different types of sandwiches, now we've paired it down to six or eight of the best ones," organizer Susan Benson said. "We usually have about 100 to 150 people."

Church members prepared traditional tea fare, like scones and finger sandwiches, and heartier snacks -- like sausage rolls, which have been incorporated into the menu through the years as a way to attract more men.

In addition to food, gift baskets were sold to raise money, and a silent auction held. Power tools, which would typically be out of place at a tea, have become a sought after item during the silent auction.

"The guys love them," Benson said.

The tea raises $3,000 to $4,000 each year. What's not given out in scholarships is used to provide for needy families and assist the church with its operational costs.

Marion Lisotto, a pianist who plays songs of praise throughout the event, said she likes that the tea brings people together.

"Most of these people don't go to this church, so it's a great community event," Lisotto said.

The church's youth choir performed and children from the church worked with students from San Luis High School to serve the food.

Benson said the tea has always been something parishioners cherished. She said a couple that moved to Oregon sent water paintings to be auctioned this year because they still wanted to be part of the event.

Julie Piwowarski, who had a difficult time deciding on a cat painting during the silent auction, said many of her friends are involved in the tea. She said she's impressed with the event each year.

"They always do a good job," Piwowarski said.

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