Some 100 guests gathered at the picturesque Descanso Gardens in La CaÃ±ada Flintridge on the night of June 22 for Hillsides fifth annual Farm to Table Dinner. The event was sponsored by H100, a philanthropic support group of Hillsides aimed at young professionals. This one-of-a-kind event combined friends, fine dining, and a stunning setting while raising funds for Hillsides teen residential homes in the community.
â€œThis Farm to Table Dinner was our most successful to date,â€ said H100 President April Danz. â€œMore than half of the guests were either new H100 members or those interested in learning more about Hillsides and H100. And we raised more than $4,000 for the girls and boys homes’ summer activities.â€
The evening began with a reception from 6:00 â€“ 7:15 p.m. while guests mingled in the garden. Guests then sat down to dinner in the Rose Pavilion, a craftsman-style open air pavilion surrounded by 4,000 rose bushes.
The dinner, catered by Patina at Descanso, was served family style on rows of farm house tables. The multi-course menu consisted of innovative and local farm-fresh foods. Courses were accompanied by wine pairings provided by Mission Wines. For the first course, diners enjoyed a salad of wild baby arugula, fava beans, pecorino, and lemon and a dish of seasonal vegetables in red quinoa. For the entrÃ©e, guests were treated to wild Atlantic salmon and grilled grass-fed hanger steak accompanied by sweet corn ravioli, sautÃ©ed rapini, and caramelized heirloom cauliflower. For dessert, guests had their choice of red raspberry lemon Bundt cake and mini chocolate mousse petit fours.
During the dinner, Danz introduced the rest of the H100 board, which consists of Jennifer Brian, vice president and treasurer; Annie Brose, teen satellite homes liaison; Lauralyn Deringer and Ava Herrera, social co-chairs; David Hitchcock, membership chair; and Kristin Thorell, communications chair. The H100 founders are Scott Steuber and Jeff Welch. Danz also thanked the Farm to Table Committee, which consisted of board members Deringer and Herrera, Leticia Medina, and Nicola Wilkins-Miller, for their hard work.
After dinner, Hillsides Director of Group Homes Ramona McGee spoke about Hillsides teen residential homes, which provide a safe and stable environment for teens in the foster care system or who face emotional or behavioral challenges.
McGee then introduced a former resident of the homes and the teenâ€™s mother. The mother explained that her daughter was â€œdrowningâ€ emotionally without the will to live before coming to live at Hillsides as a young teen. At Hillsides, the staff helped her overcome her difficulties and feel hope and joy again. â€œIt took a team to do what my daughter needed done,â€ said the mother. â€I will be forever grateful for that. It was the absolute best thing for our family.â€ Her daughter agreed, stating that without Hillsides, â€œI would be dead, in jail, or in the streets.â€ Now 17, she recently graduated from high school and will attend college in August.
After the program, guests donated toward specific wishes of the teens in the homes, such as bicycles and summer field trips.
Sponsors of the event included Nadine and Tony Danz, Armen and Katherine Panossian, Rob and Emilie Hoyt, Kristin and Keith Thorell, Annie Brose and Chris Anzalone, April Danz and Kelly Johnson, Lauralyn Deringer, Ava and Ed Herrera, Matthew and Kim Bickell, Jimmy and Jennifer Garcia, Edward and Noelle Aloe, Don and Sally Clark, Elizabeth M. Short and Michael A. Friedman, and Rachel and Scott Steuber.
Hillsides, headquartered in Pasadena, is a premier provider dedicated to improving the overall well-being and functioning of vulnerable children, youth, and families throughout Los Angeles County. H100 is one of three Hillsides volunteer support groups. For more information, please visit www.hillsides.org.