By SHANE RICHARD BELL
Staff writer/Cd’A Press
Typically you’ll hear them before you see them.
“We’re a very close group of friends who really enjoy getting together,” said Ellen Jaeger, member of Coeur d’Alene’s Dining Divas social and philanthropic group. “We laugh, have dinner, drink wine, plan events, and above all else, we have fun.”
The Dining Divas are advocates of the Coeur d’Alene Library Foundation and the Festival of Trees. “We’re very involved with both of these organizations,” said Jaeger.
Their latest project is a pirate-themed tree, which they will donate to the Festival of Tree’s live auction. The guest with the highest bid will win the tree and a two-hour private cruise with up to 110 guests on one of the Resort’s cruise boats, the Kootenai, around Lake Coeur d’Alene.
Dining Divas’ member, Brenda Garcia, came up with the idea when a Pirates of the Coeur d’Alene cruise boat passed by her lake home this summer. When Garcia approached her Dining Diva friends, they were thrilled and immediately started brainstorming ideas for the pirate tree.
“Lots of glitz and glitter,” said Jaeger. “We’ll have a model pirate ship on the very top,” added Deanna Goodlander, another longtime Dining Diva. From top to bottom, the pirate-themed tree will promise passersby a pirate’s booty.
“It’ll have costume jewelry, coins, a pirate hat with lights, and a treasure chest with beer and wine,” said Jaeger. “And it’s going to rock back and forth like the ocean!”
The ladies are excited and expectant for their tree, the Festival, and the cause. “It pulls on your heart strings,” says Jaeger, referring to the Festival’s cause: Kootenai Health’s neonatal services which will help infants receive specialized care at Kootenai.
“We are so fortunate to have Kootenai Health in Coeur d’Alene. It’s top notch,” said Jaeger. “It’s a magnet hospital and an award winning hospital,” added Goodlander. “They make such a difference in our community.”
Three years ago, Deanna Goodlander’s heart stopped five times. Each time they were able to restart her heart. “I’m very fortunate to live here,” said Goodlander. “If it weren’t for Kootenai Health, I would not be here.”
Goodlander and the Dining Divas enjoy giving back.
“We’re so excited,” says Goodlander.
“Yes, we are,” says Jaeger. “We work hard, give service and have fun, and that’s the vision of who and what we are.”