Bonnie Wilkins Memorial | Around About North County


When I joined Quota International of Atascadero in 2000, the club was already 26 years old, having been chartered in 1974. I remember meeting a very special woman who was a charter member of the club. She was one of those people who simply lit up a room with their welcoming personality. Her name was Bonnie Lyn Wilkins.

Bonnie was an artist in the true sense of the word and her work is her legacy.  I am pleased to own a couple of her works that will now be a constant reminder of her and our friendship through Quota. 

Bonnie and I both graduated from our high schools in 1953. She attended Atascadero High School and I attended Monrovia Arcadia Duarte High School. We often had great discussions, with lots of laughter, about our “growing up years!”

This beautiful woman passed away on July 7 this year and she is missed. Last Saturday, I attended a celebration of her life, held at the Atascadero Elks Lodge where there was a packed crowd of family and friends who gathered to share their memories of Bonnie. Everything about the celebration was beautifully presented — from the photos depicting her life; to a display of some of her art; down to the flower arrangements on each table; and to the friends and family members who spoke about her — it was perfect. 

For those who want to remember Bonnie in some way, the family invites you to donate to Wilshire Hospice, 277 South St. Suite R, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, Attention: Thomas, or  Alzheimers Association, 71 Zaca Lane, Suite 110, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401.

The Committee for Atascadero Public Schools (CAPS) advertised “a magical evening” on Saturday, Aug. 24, and it certainly was that and more. Carol Porter and I attended the event, “Granting Wishes” chaired by two outstanding Atascadero women, Hayley Mattson and Niclole Hider. Donn Clickard acted as Master of Ceremonies while Doug Filipponi led the live auction.

All proceeds from the “magical evening” will fund grants supporting educational programs in all Atascadero Public Schools. Since 2007 CAPS has donated over $880,000 to support educational programs in the Atascadero Unified School District. The funds raised allow teachers to write grants for items that will assist them and allow them to think “outside the box”  when creating their curriculum each year. Grants can range from field trips to technology items — such as Lego Robotic Kits, Battle of the Books, and musical instruments.

It was a lovely evening with entertainment, a buffet dinner catered by Pacific Harvest Catering. and wine provided by Opolo Wine. I’m sure that CAPS met their goal of raising funds for our Atascadero schools!

Just a quick note about fall — I looked up the other day when I was watering some plants under an oak tree here on our property and lo-and-behold, it was loaded with acorns! I haven’t seen a tarantula crossing the road yet, so don’t think it’s officially fall yet. In fact, it won’t be here until Sept. 23 — but who’s counting? The weather sure is mixed up! I heard Shanlee Beavers comment that she “smelled fall” the other day when she left for work — wonder what it smells like? Later that day it was 100 degrees and I’d say it smelled like hot asphalt!

I told you last week about our tomato garden and said I’d share some tomato recipes with you. Our tomatoes are finally ripening — I think they figured out the weather! So here’s a recipe using cherry or grape tomatoes. If you don’t have any of those, just chop up a big one!

Green Bean Salad with Tomatoes and Feta

Note: Serve this as a side dish at your Labor Day barbecue, or as a light salad anytime. If you want to, add a splash of red wine vinegar.

Ingredients:

1 ½ pounds green beans, washed and trimmed (I use Trader Joe’s when I’m in a hurry — they are washed and trimmed)   

½ pint small tomatoes (cherry or grape or a mix)

½ cup crumbled feta cheese

 1 small shallot, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the green beans and cook until barely tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Pat the green beans dry with paper towels. Toss the green beans, tomatoes, feta, shallot, mint, and basil together in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Enjoy the holiday...Cheers!

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