AbilityFirst’s 45th Annual Festival of Fall

THE REASON   Over 500 guests attended and celebrated this year’s 45th Annual AbilityFirst Festival of Fall on September 29th at Pasadena’s Historic Laurabelle A. Robinson House owned by hosts Phaedra and Mark Ledbetter. The proceeds from the evening’s various fundraising efforts totaled over $260,000.

THE REVELERS   Guests included Congresswoman Judy Chu, Pasadena Police Chief John Perez, and AbilityFirst Champion Awardee 5th District Supervisor Kathyrn Barger, BG and Joe Casas, Tina Forrestel, Leslie and Rob Levy, Monique Montano, Ann Moore, Chris Serrano, Ed Solorzano, Alice Taylor and many more. Jeff Michael of CBS2 serving as Emcee for the evening.

The featured Gourmet Restaurants/Desserts included Bone KettleBristol FarmsBuca de BeppoBacchus’ KitchenCelestino Ristorante & BarEl Cholo CaféGale’s RestaurantGreen Street RestaurantHope Café & CateringJulienne Fine Foods & CelebrationsKensington CaterersMi PiaceNOORNothing Bundt CakesRoy’s RestaurantSuperCool CreamerySushi Roku, and Tam O’Shanter.

The featured Beverage Tastings included spirits and cocktails from Dulce Vida TequilaKrafted Spirits, and The Raymond 1886, along with specially curated Wines from Loring Wine CompanySan Antonio WinerySouthern Glaziers Wine & Spirits, and The Estates GroupGolden Road Brewing poured their California inspired craft beer, and Jones Coffee Roasters served their globally sought and locally roasted coffee.

THE RECAP   While enjoying delicious dishes and drinks, guests witnessed a live culinary demonstration featuring liquid nitrogen from Super Cool Creamery, perused the many coveted silent auction items and explored the beautiful estate, which was fit with a basketball court, teepee, infinity pool, and gorgeous landscaping all around. As the sun set, guests sat down to prepare for the program which featured a personal story from an AbilityFirst program participant, and the main fundraiser of the evening – the live auction of luxury trips, culinary experiences, and much more by Auction Master Mark Schustrin.

“AbilityFirst provides a variety of programs designed to help people with disabilities achieve their full potential throughout their lives. AbilityFirst does this by creating targeted programming to help an individual successfully transition from childhood to adult life; providing employment preparation, training, and experience; building social connections and independence; and offering both their participants and their caregivers an opportunity to refresh and recharge through their recreational activities. AbilityFirst’s person-centered programs empower individuals to discover what is important to them in their lives, and to develop the skills that are important for them to achieve their goals.”

Proceeds from the Annual Festival of Fall will directly benefit AbilityFirst. For more information, visit www.abilityfirst.org.

Photography by Effie Magazine Staff & Nancy Newman Photography.

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