Foundation Premiere Dinner Event
The evening began with remarks from the MC for the evening, Christopher Lema, son of David and Linda Lema. Chris thanked all of the guests for being at the inaugural dinner and thanked David Lema, the Chairman of the LMML Foundation, for his drive in making the Foundation possible in honor of Linda Lema. Chris also shared the mission of the LMML Foundation with guests, which is to "research, document, record and preserve, present and publish the personal stories and family histories of the greater area of Elk Grove." Chris then remarked on the importance of knowing the struggles and triumphs of our ancestors so that we can further appreciate our own paths and bring "history into the future."
Lauren Marr, the LMML Foundation Host, then led guests in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Chris Lema spoke again to note to guests that money raised throughout the evening for the LMML Foundation would go towards documenting the history of Elk Grove and, through the Student Fellows who are involved in the Foundation, sharing that history through education. The vast majority of donations raised will go toward funding student scholarships.
Chris then introduced his father and Chairman of the Foundation, David Lema. David remarked to guests that the Foundation is about Linda Mae Mahon Lema and the impact she had on all who were around her. David told guests that Linda spent the first half of her life learning from her elders about their history, and then spent the second half of her life passing that on to her children and family. David further stated that the Foundation is set out to ignite "commitment, passion, excitement about our history and our future. History into the future is more than a tag line. It's our driving force. Through current techniques, mediums, and methods and with an eye on the realities of the culture of today, we will strive to bring forward to a new generation the elements of history from which we are all derived. If we can do that, we will continue Linda's passion and we'll add to the richness of the community."
Chris then welcomed Elk Grove High School graduate and longtime Elk Grove resident and descendant of a pioneer family, Mel Pierson, to the stage to speak to guests about why history is important. Mel spoke about how family history allows us to get a sense of who we are and a sense of respect for what our ancestors went through to get us here today. Mel also commented on the beginning stages of the Foundation when he was first approached to record a podcast about his family history. "I want each and everyone of you to consider your family's story," Mel stated, stressing that "everybody has a valuable family story."
Chris Lema then introduced his sister, Michelle Lema and fellow Sheldon High School Visual and Performing Arts program graduates Marina Majkovica, Tereza Majkovica, Deejay Arnold, Trisha Arnold, Jeremy Wayland, and Lauren Marr. The group performed a reading in a radio play format, centering around the fictional show "History Tonight" on the fictional station "Elk Grove Radio." The premise of History Tonight is to tell a story each week about a historical figure. This particular performance focused on Linda Mae Mahon Lema and a few moments in her life that are all a part of Elk Grove History.
Chris Lema then discussed the 2017 action items of the Foundation. He also pointed out the Collector Coasters made by the Mahon Ranch and branded with Linda's livestock brand, being offered as gifts for each attendee. The 2017 action items include:
Student Fellowship Program
Working with Mrs. Elizabeth Pinkerton
Designating the Greater Elk Grove Area History Week
Guests then partook in a dinner from Rayna's Gourmet Catering, selections of Miner's Leap wine, an exciting silent auction, and live music from Gold Star Band.
Later in the evening, professional musician and singer Gary Mendoza sang a tribute to
Linda Lema with the song "Remember When" by Alan Jackson.
It truly was a gorgeous evening that marked an important moment in the beginning of the Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundation.