AbilityFirst Festival of Fall is Scheduled for Oct. 15

Photo courtesy AbilityFirst AbilityFirst Festival of Fall steering committee members include (front row, from left) Mark Fedde, Kris Bacani, Cynthia Amerio and co-chair Greg Wood. Back: co-chair Amit Patel, Samuel McRoberts, Joseph Longo and Paige Parris. Not pictured: Michael Hawkins, Jacqueline Kibler, Gale Kohl and Todd Johnson.
Photo courtesy AbilityFirst
AbilityFirst Festival of Fall steering committee members include (front row, from left) Mark Fedde, Kris Bacani, Cynthia Amerio and co-chair Greg Wood. Back: co-chair Amit Patel, Samuel McRoberts, Joseph Longo and Paige Parris. Not pictured: Michael Hawkins, Jacqueline Kibler, Gale Kohl and Todd Johnson.

AbilityFirst will hold its 43rd annual Festival of Fall Gourmet Food and Wine Event from 4-7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15, on the grounds of the majestic and historic Laurabelle A. Robinson estate in Pasadena.
Jeff Michael, co-host of “This Morning on CBS-2,” will emcee the event and Lauren Potter, best known for her role as Becky on the hit TV show “Glee,” will serve as honorary chair.
Other noteworthy supporters expected to attend include AbilityFirst honorary chairs and actresses Jaclyn Smith and Lee Meriwether, plus “American Horror Story” actress Jamie Brewer and Miss Teen USA ambassador Mily Cunningham.
The event, which has become a destination for foodies and wine connoisseurs, benefits the AbilityFirst Lawrence L. Frank Center, located in Pasadena and the AbilityFirst Business and Employment Services Center, also in Pasadena.
Since 1968, the Lawrence L. Frank Center has provided programs for individuals with developmental disabilities to help them reach their personal best. Those programs include after-school and social recreation to help individuals build social connections, gain valuable life skills and promote independent living.
Since AbilityFirst’s first Business and Employment Services Center opened in 1946, the program has grown to include two Business and Employment Services Centers in Los Angeles County that offer paid work to adults with developmental disabilities, providing jobs tailored to the skills and abilities of each individual.
Now in its 43rd year, the Festival of Fall Gourmet Food and Drink event offers guests the chance to sample cuisine prepared by more than 30 prominent greater Pasadena restaurants, including Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Sushi Roku and Gale’s Restaurant, sip wine from Loring Winery and San Antonio Winery and enjoy craft beers and signature cocktails from local purveyor the Raymond Restaurant.
The evening will also feature live and silent auctions, including a Tesla X for the weekend, a two-night stay with private wine tastings in Sonoma Wine Country, a week-long trip for six adults and two children to Diamond Resort in Nuevo Vallarta and a private helicopter ride-along, sponsored by the Pasadena Police Department.
The 2017 AbilityFirst Gourmet Food and Wine Event is hosted by Phaedra and Mark Ledbetter, who have donated the use of their home overlooking the Arroyo Seco. Rarely open to the public, the Laurabelle Robinson house was commissioned in 1905 by lawyer and financier Henry Robinson and his wife, Laurabelle, and was designed by architects Greene and Greene.
This year’s Festival of Fall Steering Committee is co-chaired by Greg Wood and Amit Patel and led by Pasadena-area residents and business leaders Cynthia Amerio, Gale Kohl, Jacqueline Kibler, Joe Longo, Kris Bacani, Mark Fedde, Michael Hawkins, Paige Parrish, Samuel McRoberts and Todd Johnson.
Top sponsors include HomeStreet Bank, Longo Toyota-Lexus and Wells Fargo, along with Alison & Harlan Thompson, Beverly Hills Rotary Club, Bolton & Co, Green Hasson Janks, Jennifer and John Kelly, Kaiser Permanente, Lawry’s Restaurants Inc., Mary and Bill Urquhart, RSM, the Longo Family, Universal Discover a Star Foundation, Wendy Lees and Tom Boyle, Comerica Bank, Commonwealth Business Bank, Fedde Furniture, Kevin Chase Executive Search Group, LATHER, Pasadena Tournament of Roses with media sponsors CBS-2, Outlook Newspapers and Pasadena Now.
For more information, visit AbilityFirst.org.

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