Saturday, August 18 , 2018, 9:29 am | Overcast 70º


Summer Classic Gives Church a Hand in Extending Its Community Outreach

Event proceeds benefit several organizations and programs served by St. Mark's-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church in Los Olivos


The Santa Ynez Valley Summer Classic recently raised funds to support community programs and services provided by St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church in Los Olivos. The community-minded church hosts more than 100 area nonprofit and civic organizations, meetings, programs and special events throughout the year.

“The goal of the event is to advance community and to inspire generosity,” Summer Classic chairwoman Linda Burrows told Noozhawk.

Burrows was assisted by committee members Kathryn Wrench, Laura DeJohn, Bill Hurbaugh, Kate O’Neill, Cathy Pepe, Frances Schultz and Pat Fallin with help from Leslie Zuller, Silvia Lucatero, Laura Kath, Randall Day and other community members.

The sold-out event featured an early evening silent auction and outdoor dining held in the church’s Stacy Hall and patio followed by an enthusiastic live auction and paddle raise conducted by emcee and auctioneer extraordinaire Andrew Firestone.

“I grew up at this church. I got married here. My family members got married here,” Firestone said. “St. Mark’s has grown so much. There is a lot going on between Sunday services. It’s about a place where everyone is welcome. We are here for kids who need to be loved.

"If it is cold, we offer warm beds. If people are hungry, we are there to make sure bellies are full.”

St. Mark’s rector Father Randall Day stated: “All of us are connected. Over 200 individuals and businesses contributed to this event. Monies raised help our fellow community members in need. We are very grateful for this community support.”

Summer Classic
Emcee and auctioneer Andrew Firestone shows his enthusiasm. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

Chef Jeff Olsson of New West Catering provided the dinner, which included gourmet delights such as albacore charred tuna, golden beets on chick pea crackers with goat cheese, grilled Angus top sirloin steak, heirloom tomatoes with watermelon, and a summer berry tart dessert.

This year’s dinner wine sponsors were Lucas & Lewellen and Evan's Ranch with reception beverages provided by Clos Pepe, El Rancho Marketplace, Carhartt Vineyards, Bradley Family Winery, Gainey Vineyard and Evan's Ranch, along with other valley wines and craft beer from Firestone Walker Brewing.

After the alfresco dinner, the live auction offered remarkable packages, including an exclsive luncheon prepared and hosted by owner/winemaker Jim Clendenen at Au Bon Climat, a Catalina Island weekend getaway, a cooking class and dinner with celebrated Chef Hugh Carpenter, library wines from the cellar of Don and Ann Petroni, and others.

Throughout the evening, DJ Marc Dillon of Gavin Roy offered custom music, concluding with tunes for dancing.

Summer Classic Table Sponsors included Kate and Brooks Firestone, Genevieve and Lew Geyser, Jeanne and Gary Newman, Cathy and Steve Pepe, Frances Schultz and Tom Dittmer. Circle Sponsors included Vickie and Robert Baehner, Louise and William Connell, Nancy Englander, Hayley Firestone Jessup and Dennis Patrick, Priscilla and Roger Higgins, Sarah and Arthur Ludwick, Janice and Richard Nagler, Nancy O'Keefe and John Reese, Ann and Donald Petroni, Judy Etchelecu Prutzman, and Eileen and Charles Read.

Event proceeds benefit organizations and programs such as the Santa Ynez Valley Jewish Community, the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, Arts Outreach, the Buellton Senior Center, the Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society, Veggie Rescue, the Solvang Festival Theater, First 5 Santa Barbara County, support networks, recovery groups and countywide commission meetings.

In the coming year, St. Mark’s will complete the professional certification for an on-site kitchen and will begin the Community Kitchen collaboration to help address food insecurity in the area.

Click here for more information about St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley, or call 805.688.4454.

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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