Wednesday, November 22 , 2017, 9:44 am | Fair 74º

Posted on August 12, 2017 | 9:00 a.m.

Al Fresco Gourmet Meal, Auctions, Dancing on Tap for St. Mark’s-in-Valley Benefit

Source: Laura Kath for St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley

The public is invited to attend St. Mark’s 2017 Summer Classic benefit event 5:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, on the church’s shaded grounds at 2901 Nojoqui Ave., Los Olivos.

St. Mark’s Summer Classic benefit will feature alfresco dining. Click to view larger
St. Mark’s Summer Classic benefit will feature alfresco dining. (St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley)

“The courtyard and Stacy Hall will be the setting for an elegant alfresco meal in the playful and vivid lights of growing dusk and sunset,” said event chair Linda Burrows.

“Longtime friend of St. Mark’s, Chef Jeff Olsson of New West Catering will provide gourmet foods including creative appetizers, entrees, sides and desserts such as heirloom tomatoes with watermelon, mint and cilantro, pan-roasted Alaskan halibut and oak-smoked Angus beef brisket,” she said.

“Following a varied selection of top local wines during hors d’oeuvres, the wines served during dinner are co-sponsored by Andrew Murray Vineyards and Rusack Vineyards,” she said.
Andrew Firestone, a longtime member of St. Mark’s, will be master of ceremonies and auctioneer.

A silent auction will be held 5:30-6:45 p.m. offering such items that include a stay at The Island Inn in San Juan Islands, a Lompoc Wine Ghetto collection; goods from First Street Leather; and dinners with Santa Barbara County winemakers, well-known chefs and elegant hosts.
Following dinner, a live auction will feature, among other items, a Santa Ynez Valley vacation home for a five-night stay including some pre-booked activities for up to six people; a dinner party with a concert of Italian opera arias; and a visit to observe filming of a popular new television drama.

With a nod to the storied St. Mark’s Cellar Classic held 2010-14, there will be rare private collection library wines at auction, as well as a trio of Black by Black double magnums created by Jim Clendenen from Au Bon Climat Winery with connoisseur Tom Black.

Throughout the evening, DJ Marc Dillon of Gavin Roy Presents will curate custom playlists to underscore each part of the evening concluding with music for dancing.

Proceeds from St. Mark’s Summer Classic support local community programs and services provided by St. Mark’s, including hosting more than 90 area nonprofit and civic organizations, meetings, programs and special events annually.

Among others, St. Mark’s welcomes the Santa Ynez Valley Jewish Community, Food Bank of Santa Barbara County, Arts Outreach, Buellton Senior Center, SYV Humane Society, Veggie Rescue, Solvang Festival Theater, First Five Santa Barbara, support networks, and recovery groups.

St. Mark’s also offers a professional preschool and a venue for music, arts and cultural events.

The Summer Classic is coordinated by a volunteer team led by Burrows, Kathryn Wrench, Renee Kelleher, and Cathy and Steve Pepe with help from other community members.

Reservations for St. Mark’s Summer Classic are available for $150-per-person donation including wines, beverages, hors d'oeuvres, dinner and music.

Make reservations by sending a check and contact information with the notation 2017 Summer Classic to St. Mark’s, Post Office Box 39, Los Olivos, CA 93441, or securely online at

— Laura Kath for St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley.

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