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A Fond Farewell: Shakespeare Club’s 63rd Annual Tournament of Roses Luncheon

The Shakespeare Club celebrates the 2015 parade’s success and says goodbye to the exiting Queen and her Court

Published on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 | 1:31 pm

“Inspiring Stories” was the theme of the Tournament of Roses Parade this year and members of The Shakespeare Club were truly inspired by the Tournament of Roses Queen and her Royal Court when they came to visit them for their 63rd Annual Royal Court Luncheon on February 3rd.

The Club Members welcomed the entire Royal Court and many of the Chairpersons of the Tournament to their Clubhouse on Grand Avenue in Pasadena for a “social hour” where all could chat and enjoy appetizers prior to the luncheon. The 2014-2015 Tournament President, Richard Chinen and his wife Kim attended as well as the 2015-2016 Tournament President, Mike Matthiessen who is the son of Shakespeare Club Member, Ginny Matthiessen.

The lovely Queen and Princesses put roses on the lapels of the guests and posed for pictures during the social hour which was followed by a delicious luncheon, prepared by caterer Cynthia Brooks of Pasadena.

The program was officiated by Club Member, Jeanette Parker. She introduced J.T Parker, her gifted grandson who entertained all with a beautiful solo. She also presented the Royal Court with gifts from the Shakespeare Club; a beautiful rose charm.

2014-2015 Tournament President, Richard Chenin spoke of the highlights of his year and the special moments leading up to and including the day of the Rose Parade. Chenin took the opportunity to thank his wife, Kim, then yielded the floor to Mark Leavens, Queen and Court Chairman, who introduced the exiting Queen and her Court.

Each of the young women were such eloquent speakers as they shared their most “inspiring stories” from the past year as well as their hopes and dreams for the future; further education, college and careers. The girls have become very close and were a little emotional as this luncheon is the last “official” event of the 150 events they have attended as a group.

To close, Mike Matthiessen made the exciting announcement: the theme for the 2016 Rose Parade! Next year’s theme, “Find Your Adventure”, was formed from a unique partnership between the Tournament of Roses and the U.S. National Park Service that will help highlight the centennial celebration of our nation’s national parks at the 2016 Rose Parade.

The Queen and Court luncheon, held yearly at the Club, has been a tradition since 1952. One of the oldest traditions of The Shakespeare Club is their association with the Tournament of Roses. In 1897 they contributed towards prizes and served picnic lunches to visitors. They entered their first float, a decorated carriage in 1906 and had four prize winning floats in 1929-1932.

The Shakespeare Club is proud of their philanthropic involvement and cultural traditions within the Pasadena Community. The Club consists of a diverse group of energetic women who enjoy the many social, philanthropic and theatrical opportunities that this organization has to offer.

Another of the Club’s traditions is presenting Broadway Musicals to the community. In keeping with that tradition, the Benefit/Drama department of the Club will be presenting Dan Goggin’s musical comedy, “Nunsense: The Mega-Musical Version” on March 6th, 7th and 8th at their clubhouse on Grand Ave. in Pasadena. This Production of “Nunsense – The Mega Musical Version” will feature a pre-theatre party with food, raffles and silent auction for each of the performances.

Tickets are “sold out” at this time and the net proceeds will fund the scholarship program for graduating seniors in the Pasadena Unified School District and on-going programs of the Shakespeare Club.

The Club accepts new members year-round and encourages those who may be interested in joining to contact Membership Chairman, Rebecca Harris at (626) 375-0759.

For more information about the Shakespeare Club’s philanthropic endeavors, events, membership and past productions, please visit their


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