OFFBEAT: 'Buds and Blossoms' charity event is 'flower power'

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2013-04-11T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: 'Buds and Blossoms' charity event is 'flower power'By Philip Potempa, (219) 852-4327

I'm not old enough to remember the days of hippies and "flower children," other than media depictions from the late 1960s.

And of course, television's portrayal of this set, especially personalities captured and catapulted into the spotlight by shows like "Laugh-In." I especially love clips of the classic TV memory from the Mike Douglas talk show in 1967 featuring funny friends Bob Hope and Phyllis Diller dressed as "flower children hippies" to turn-the-tables on singers Sonny and Cher, with the latter, who were also guests, purposely dressing "conservatively" for the occasion.

While talking with event organizer Sue Crisman about this month's "Buds and Blossoms Evening," she promised a return to "flower power" and petals of all sorts celebrated, while raising money for a great cause.

The Bridges Development Foundation and Friends of The Arc Northwest Indiana, Inc. are hosting the 10th Annual Buds and Blossoms Evening Wednesday, April 24h at Avalon Manor in Merrillville.

It starts at 5 p.m., with guests browsing a variety of specialty boutiques, before enjoying a delectable dinner and the keynote speaker presentation by Radio One Communications broadcast personality Laura Waluszko. The host for the event is Times music columnist Tom Lounges, who is also heard on air at 89.1 FM Lakeshore Public Radio.

Auctioneer Jim Lestinsky will help guests navigate the bidding process for several unique live-auction items including a hot air balloon ride for two and a "26 Orange Crush Mountain Bike," along with an autographed Chicago Blackhawks jersey from Patrick Kane.

Reservations are due by April 19 and tickets are $40 or there are sponsorship levels available, including Corporate at $650 (which includes 10 dinner tickets). Donations for auction items are still being accepted. For information or reservations, call (219) 985-6562 or (219) 985-6560.

As for how this event got its name, Crisman told me it came a decade ago with the launch when artist Deleta Siurek of Munster created a special floral print to donate to use on the invites and table theme decor, and it's a tradition that continues. Each table will be adorned with fresh flower centerpieces.

Founded as Arc in 1952, Arc Bridges is a non-profit agency providing year-round comprehensive services to adults with developmental disabilities in Northwest Indiana in center programs, homes, apartments and on jobs. Currently, the program serves more than 770 individuals on a daily basis.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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