From Sea Biscuit to Secretariat, Santa Anita Park has seen its share of winners. On Saturday, June 27, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., the racetrack will play host to yet another ‘champion’ when Rosemary Children’s Services (RCS) returns to the historic Art Deco venue to hold its long-running benefit, “An Evening with Star Chefs.”
“There’s a reason we’ve continued to hold Star Chefs for 46 years,” says Jennifer Radics, Director of Development for the agency, which serves abused, abandoned and neglected children throughout Los Angeles County as well as portions of San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange Counties. “The community loves it! I can’t think of a more magical way to spend a summer evening than sampling dishes prepared by ‘star chefs’ from some of the area’s finest restaurants, then dancing under the stars on the grounds of one of the most beautiful and unique landmarks in Southern California.”
Participating restaurants at this year’s Star Chefs gala include Castle Catering, Celestino, Charcuterie, Choctal Ice Cream, El Cholo, Front Runner, Il Fornaio, McCormick & Schmick’s, Mi Piace, Nikki C’s Restaurant and Bar, Pasadena Baking Company, The Raymond Restaurant, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, and The Terrace at the Langham Huntington. Bacardi USA, IZZE Beverage Company, MillerCoors Brewing Company, Peet's Coffee and Tea, San Antonio Winery, Quady Winery Stockholm Krystal Vodka and Whole Foods will provide beverages.
“There’s something for everybody,” says Greg Wessels, Executive Director. “But whether we’re partial to pasta or steak, beer or vodka, we share one desire – to help the troubled and at risk children in our community.”
Joining RCS supporters and staff at this year’s benefit, as Honorary Chairperson, is Congressman Adam Schiff.
"For decades, Rosemary Children's Services has done great work providing a brighter future for Southern California's most vulnerable children," says the Congressman. "I am happy to be a part of this worthwhile event which is vital to improving the lives of so many youth in our communities."
Additional special guests include world-renowned opera singer, Suzanna Guzman, who has appeared on opera stages from the Metropolitan Opera in New York to the Spoleto Festival in Italy and, as an Associate Artist for LA Opera, has performed over 33 principal roles in productions to date. In June 2008, Guzman – a Pasadena-area resident – made a unique ‘special appearance’ as commencement speaker at graduation ceremonies for The Rosemary School, the agency’s non public school. This year, she will introduce her fellow ‘stars’ – each of the “star chefs” participating in An Evening with Star Chefs – to those attending the event, thank them for their generosity and announce the recipient of the “Best Booth Award.”
Emmy Award winning television reporter, anchor and host Wendy Burch will play a leading role at Star Chefs as well – appearing as Master of Ceremonies. Burch, who has worked as an Entertainment Correspondent in Hollywood for CBS News and E! News Daily, is currently employed as a freelance reporter for KABC’s Eyewitness News. In 2006, Burch – a longtime volunteer in the community – founded The Good News Foundation, a non-profit organization of television newswomen that awards grant money to individuals and organizations creating ‘good news.’
The Foundation also offers academic scholarships and mentoring programs for young women aspiring to become the next generation of television journalists.
“When we learned about Wendy’s work with the Good News Foundation, we realized that she was a perfect fit for Star Chefs,” Radics explains. “Like Wendy, we’re committed to fostering – and celebrating – good news. There’s nothing that thrills us more than hearing a success story about one of our children.”
Currently RCS’s programs include a Foster Family and Adoption Agency, which helps nearly 400 children annually; a Non-Public School, the Rosemary School, providing specialized education in a small structured environment; a Mental Health Program to provide individual and group therapy and training in various life skills; and a Residential Program for teenage girls. The girls live at either Rosemary Cottage, which houses 19 girls, or one of four smaller group homes located throughout Pasadena.
The agency also supports a Transitional Housing program for emancipated Foster Youth as well as a 24-month program for women ages 18 to 24 who are no longer part of the foster care system but need help increasing their job skills, education, and life skills.
Tickets for An Evening With Star Chefs are currently available for $150/person. For more information, visit www.rosemarychildren.org or call 626.844.3033 ext. 211.
Santa Anita Park is located at 285 W. Huntington Drive in Arcadia.
Founded in 1920, Rosemary Children's Services provides compassionate and therapeutic support to help children, adolescents and families heal from their pasts and move towards productive and fulfilling futures. To arrange a tour or learn more about RCS, visit www.rosemarychildren.org or call 626.844.3033