Santa Cruz Woodies Installation Dinner – Santa Cruz Woodies

Santa Cruz Woodies Installation Dinner

For 23 years the members of the Santa Cruz Woodies Club have gathered together to welcome the new year and to install the officers that would lead the club for the coming year. This year the weather outside was cold and rainy, but there was nothing but warm hugs and glad tidings inside the hall as members gathered to again do just that.

The cocktail hour stretched into two, as we were all busy reconnecting with others in our Santa Cruz Woodies Ohana. Thankfully our Master of Ceremonies, Rowland Baker, restored order and passed the mic to outgoing President Phil Iatomase.  After welcoming all and thanking those who helped to make the past year, and most especially the 21st WOW, such a huge success, Phil asked for a moment of silence to honor those who were taken from us too soon this past year and whom we all miss.

National Woodie Club Vice President, Bill Sampson, and Western Regional Director, Ron Dugger, added their welcomes and thanks for the hard work done by all.


When it comes right down to it, the Santa Cruz Woodies Club Installation Banquet is as much about recognizing the special accomplishments of our members as it is about the installation of officers. This year the list of those deserving of such special recognition was long; so following the introduction of the club’s new Events Chair, Joe Solis, and an overview of the great woodie events we can look forward to in the coming year, we moved on with the presentations.

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In recognition of his years of service as National Woodie Club Western Regional Director, Micky Christiason, and Bill Sampson presented Jim Vickery with a beautiful piece of wood art by Jeff Hobgood depicting Jim in his woodie. The club also honored Jim for his years of service by presenting him with a personalized wooden surfboard plaque.

In thanks for her years of service to the club Phil introduced outgoing Membership Chair, Dottie Teague, and presented her with a beautiful necklace from one of Hawaii’s finest jewelers.

Thanks were also given to Jim Vickery for stepping up to take on the job of membership. Ed Bowman recognized Rowland Baker and Joe Solis as the first graduates of the Floyd Smith Surfboard Shaping School by presenting them t-shirts bearing their personal board logos, and another identifying them as official members of A.S.S., the Association of Senior Surfers.

Connie and Bob Lopez awarded the long lost “Coconut Award” to Barb Bacon, noting that the award had, perhaps due to its more manly foundation, in fact been awarded to more men than women!   So, in the spirit of equality a new counterpart to the Coconut Award, supported by a 48DDD foundation, was conceived and awarded to its first recipient, Tom Walsh.



Bob and Connie also awarded the “What Happens in the Cabin Stays in the Cabin Award” to the Benson Ohana who spent this Christmas at a cabin in Tahoe. Don’t we all wish we knew what that was about!


All in fun, Loren Steck presented outgoing President Phil with a target representing shots fired by the E-Board during his reign (there were no holes in it) and a flack vest to incoming President Arlene Solis for protection, just-in-case. Rowland congratulated Phil on a great year, all while pointing out that the “President’s Curse” continues, as proven by Phil’s woodie breakdown in Santa Barbara. In recognition of the longest article ever published about a breakdown, Rowland presented Phil with the “Whiners Wall of Shame, Feel Our Pain Mopar Award”.

In recognition of his great work on our club website Mike Ginn was presented with an “Official Press Hat” by Rowland, but cautioned that it might not get him into any big events other than WOW.


Rowland also recognized Don Iglesias and Dave Wells with the “Stinky Bootie Award” for a recent plane trip involving dripping surf booties still full of old smelly sea water. Warren Atwood honored Dick Teague with the “No S**t” award for his ability to use that phrase in almost any context.

Always one of the big highlights of the evening is Jim Vickery’s showing of “Santa Cruz Woodies Club Year in Review” photo documentary. Jim certainly didn’t let us down this year as he presented us with photos of our Ohana taken over the past year catching us all in our most memorable moments, and often doing so without our ever seeing the camera. How does he do that?

Past Presidents were introduced, as they paraded into the hall decked out in palm hats and Tiki aprons, and stood by while new officers were installed:

President: Arlene Solis
Vice President: Dorma Baker
Secretary: Cathy Stefanki Iglesias
Treasure: Kathryn Benson




As her first official act and in thanks for his outstanding leadership over the past year, Arlene, with Rowland’s assistance, presented outgoing President Phil with a wonderful framed photo taken by SCWC Past President, Bob Barbour.


The stage was then turned over to our own musical troubadour Bob Lopez to finish off the evening with songs and dancing. All in all, it was another great evening.


Thanks to all who attended and helped to kick off what will no doubt be another wonderful year for Santa Cruz Woodies Club.