Kate Mulgrew hosts "Tea Party" to benefit Alzheimer's Association
On February 8th, 2004, Totally Kate and her Transcriber were part of a very special "Tea Party" at the Cuillo Centre for the Arts in West Palm Beach, Florida. Held to benefit the South East Florida Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, the event was a delight from beginning to end.
Upon arrival at the Cuillo Centre guests were ushered upstairs to a room most people hadn't known existed.  It’s another very small theatre often used by local workshop and theatrical groups.  But on this day, it had been converted to a reception room, and was lit and decorated in a warm and welcoming fashion.  Wine and cheese was offered by volunteers from the Alzheimer's Association - all of whom were cheerful and helpful throughout the afternoon. 
At 1:45 everyone was invited to go downstairs and take their seats in the theatre, and at 2:00 p.m. "Tea at Five" began.  As always, Kate Mulgrew's performance in Matthew Lombardo's play was riveting - she definitely 'channels' Katharine Hepburn!
After a very brief curtain speech, during which she talked a bit about Alzheimer's and thanked the staff and volunteers who had worked on the planning and implementation of the event, Kate called upon Bob Cuillo, the theatre's owner, to say a few words.  He too spoke briefly, and then guests were invited out into the lobby for 'tea'.
In the interim between the intermission and the end of the play, the lobby had been transformed into a tearoom.  Two large tables were set up along the walls facing the auditorium's entrance, and a third, smaller one a little off to one side.  The large tables each held a silver samovar and several dozen white china teacups, etc., the smaller one a selection of cheeses and crackers. 
From the moment everyone re-entered the lobby, the Alzheimer's volunteers were at the ready with trays full of traditional and not quite traditional tea sandwiches, provided by Unique and Unusual Catering.  Cucumber and fresh dill, avocado and watercress with lime, crab salad with tarragon and smoked salmon with horseradish and cucumber - just some examples of the sandwiches we were offered.  The teas, donated by Reading Etc., a West Palm Beach emporium, were Earl Grey and a delicious chamomile mint.  And later on, when deserts were served – mini cheese cakes and fruit tarts, scones, and chocolate truffles, the consensus was that the caterer had outdone himself!
Throughout the reception Paula Ewin, Kate Mulgrew's talented understudy entertained us, singing songs both new and old.

Photo ©Prints Charming Photography
Kate with Paula Ewin
Part of the fundraiser package was a photo opportunity and autograph with Kate, and throughout the reception each guest was invited to return to the auditorium.  The stage had been cleared and reset, but the main “Tea at Five” set was intact.  Kate was seated on a sofa in the middle of the stage, a coffee table set with a silver tea service in front of her.  Each guest was ushered up onto the stage and invited to sit next to her on the sofa. The photographer from Prints Charming Photography snapped a photo or two as Kate, charming, interesting and interested as always, chatted with each person for a good few minutes.  When it was our turn she thanked us for coming, and for our support, and autographed our programs and before we knew it, our time was up.

Photo ©Prints Charming Photography
Kate with the volunteers from the Alzheimer's Association
During the week leading up to the benefit, as well as the day of, a hand painted teapot, autographed by Kate Mulgrew was being offered as the main prize in a raffle - all proceeds to benefit the Alzheimer's Association.  The winning ticket was drawn during the reception and Linda Logan walked away with the prize.
We would like to thank Kate Mulgrew and the staff of the Cuillo Centre for inviting us to their wonderful "Tea Party".  It was obvious from the moment we arrived at the theatre until the moment we left, that great care and attention was given to every aspect of the event.  Our congratulations to all of them for a job well done!

Photo ©Prints Charming Photography
Kate with Cuillo Centre and Tea at Five Staff
Photos used with permission
Please do not repost or reproduce
Many thanks to Prints Charming Photography!
Our 25th Anniversary with Kate Mulgrew and "Tea".