PHS sophomores hold SIP gourmet dinner event, raising over $11K for local nonprofit

The Garden Fest Foundation, a non-profit started by Toby Jacob and Anabel Loucks, both PHS Sophomores, raised over $11K with their annual event on Saturday, May 9th.

For the past 3 years, The Garden Fest event has been a community-building backyard dinner consisting of a multi-course meal and included music performances and servers from PMS and PHS. The event benefits a specific non-profit each year.

With SIP, the duo had to get creative this year. In the interest of supporting local businesses hurting from the shelter-in-place orders, the Foundation partnered with local favorite Oliveto to deliver a 4-course gourmet dinner for four to donors’ homes. The goodies included an additional cheese course from Market Hall Cheese, wine from Obsidian Winery, and a special cocktail crafted by local hospitality veteran Danny Ronen, using kits from cocktail delivery company Shaker and Spoon.

Later on in the evening, over 150 diners were treated to a Zoom call with special guests who talked about the food, cheese, cocktail and wine. The $11K raised by the event will go to Mercy Brown Bag, a local charity that delivers healthy groceries to low income Alameda County seniors who cannot leave their homes. Mercy Brown Bag has seen a 20% increase in need since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis and lost many of their regular volunteers who are also seniors.

“What an amazing evening!” said attendee and Piedmont resident, Liz Behrens. “We sat outside and enjoyed the meal and it was like being transported to Europe. The meal from Oliveto was fantastic and the cheese flown in from France was such a treat. My whole family enjoyed the experience. Knowing that we were raising money for Mercy Brown Bag was a great feeling.” The Garden Fest Foundation was started to help raise money for local non-profits through creating community events. This year’s event was a big success.

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