In addition to the awarding of a "Building Future" tribute to state Assemblymember Sandre Swanson, this year's event includes a VIP reception 6-7 p.m., followed by the general event featuring both a silent and live auction. Bay Area radio personality Sterling James will serve as the fundraiser's mistress of ceremonies.
"This event is critical for the organization since it brings in a significant amount of unrestricted funds that go to support our programs," said Nathaniel Foster, the center's development director. "The funds raised from Culinary Starts of the Bay go directly to our kids and families."
Founded in 1883, the Lincoln Child Center is a respected provider of children's services for Bay Area kids and families. The community-based services include early intervention programs that aim to stop the cycle of violence and abuse, as well as address mental health problems for at-risk children and families.
In Alameda County, Lincoln provides support to severalhundred caregivers through its Kinship Support Services Program. Lincoln also provides services and care to more than 50 daytime students on its campus.
Last year, about 450 guests attended the center's 20th annual spring fundraising event. The gathering featured a celebration of the center's recent achievements, as well as the accomplishments of state Sen. Loni Hancock and Oakland native Leon Powe, who now plays for the Memphis Grizzlies. It raised about $75,000, a jump of roughly $12,000 over the 2009 event.
The 2011 food donors include Aidell's Sausage Company, Dreyer's Ice Cream, Just Desserts, Kincaid's, Ozuma, Scott's Seafood, Soleil's African Cuisine and Uncle Willie's Barbeque. Representatives of several Bay Area vintners will be at the event, including Artesa, BR Cohn, J Lohr, Mill Creek, Quady, Rosenblum Cellars and Vino Noceto. The beer makers and brews that will be on tap are Buffalo Bill's, Pyramid Alehouse, Sierra Nevada and Trumer Brauerei.
During the evening guests can tour exhibits at the Chabot Space & Science Center, including Bill Nye's Climate Lab Exhibit, says Jill Kunishima, Lincoln Child Center's development and marketing manager.
"We always have around 400 to 500 guests and would love to have more people come to the event at any time," Kunishima said. "The more, the merrier -- always."
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