Ability First’s Festival of Fall 2018

Ability First’s

Festival Of Fall 2018

THE REASON   AbilityFirst friends and supporters gathered at a Pasadena estate overlooking the Arroyo to raise a record-breaking $270,000 at the annual Festival of Fall, on October 14, 2018. This year’s event saw more attendees than ever before and introduced a new segment, “Lights Camera…AbilityFirst” featuring students from “College to Career,” an individualized educational program where students are supported in an academic and/or career-focused setting with the goal of transitioning to a job in the community.

THE REVELERS   The event was emceed by veteran journalist and co-anchor of CBS2 “This Morning,” Jeff Michael. Honorees included Assembymember Chris Holden, longtime AbilityFirst supporters Lena Longo and the Longo family along with the Los Angeles Chargers. U.S. Representative Judy Chu presented an award to Ability First for the organization’s contributions to bettering the lives of those with developmental disabilities. Welcome remarks by Co-Chairs Steve Brockmeyer and actress, Jane Kaczmarek rounded out the evening’s festivities.

THE RECAP  Festival of Fall featured dozens of delicious food and wine vendors including Sushi Roku, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Gale’s, Bristol Farms and Blaze Pizza, with AsomBroso Fine Tequila, New Belgium Brewing Company, Loring Winery and San Antonio Winery. Highlights from the live auction were a 2-night stay in a New York City luxury hotel plus two pairs of the best seats in the house for “Frozen” live on broadway, a 7-night stay in luxurious accommodations in Mexico, an adorable puppy named, “Marshmallow” from Hand in Paw Rescue, as well as private phone calls with Kaczmarek’s friend and Breaking Bad star, Bryan Cranston.

“Contributions from this year’s Festival of Fall will positively impact AbilityFirst participants’ lives. The money raised will be used for programs to help participants build independent living and social skills and gain confidence, while helping participants develop skills that are important for them to achieve their personal goals,” shared AbilityFirst CEO Lori Gangemi. “We could not do this important work without the help from our donors, corporate partners, volunteers and the generosity from so many supporters in the community.”

For more information on the services and programs of Ability First, visit www.abilityfirst.org.

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Photos by Effie Magazine Staff & courtesy of Ability First.

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