Santa Ynez Valley residents can’t go wrong at St. Mark’s Summer Classic Benefit, which combines the blissfully shady, outdoor setting of a local church with a fine gourmet meal, exquisite local wines and a silent auction.
The event takes place on Saturday, Aug. 26, from 5:30–8:30 p.m. St. Mark’s is located at 2901 Nojoqui Ave. in Los Olivos.
“The courtyard and Stacy Hall will be the setting for an elegant alfresco meal in the playful and vivid lights of growing dusk and sunset,” said Linda Burrows, St. Mark’s Summer Classic event chair for 2017. “The event takes place in the church’s beautiful shaded grounds.”
New West Catering chef Jeff Olsson, a longtime friend of St. Mark’s, will provide gourmet foods including creative appetizers, entrees, sides and desserts. The menu features heirloom tomatoes with watermelon, mint and cilantro, pan-roasted Alaskan halibut with summer corn relish, and oak-smoked Angus beef brisket with rancho-Syrah glaze.
Top local wines will be served during hors d’oeuvres, as well as dinner. The selections, co-sponsored by Andrew Murray Vineyards and Rusack Vineyards, complement the appetizer and dinner fare.
A silent auction will take place from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m., offering a varied collection of lifestyle packages, wine experiences, cultural events and great meals. Some stand-out items are a stay at The Island Inn in San Juan Islands, a Lompoc Wine Ghetto collection, beautiful goods from First Street Leather, and intimate dinners with Santa Barbara county winemakers, famous chefs and elegant hosts.
In addition, some “top-secret” items will be auctioned, along with a five-night stay at a Santa Ynez Valley vacation home and featuring pre-booked activities for up to six people; an elegant dinner party with a concert of Italian opera arias; and an exclusive visit to observe filming of one of the most highly regarded new dramas on television.
With a nod to the storied St. Mark’s Cellar Classic held 2010–14, there will be exquisite and rare private collection library wines at auction as well as a trio of “Black by Black” double magnums created by Jim Clendenen from Au Bon Climat Winery with connoisseur Tom Black. Throughout the evening, DJ Marc Dillon of Gavin Roy Presents will curate custom playlists to underscore each part of the event, concluding with music for dancing.
Andrew Firestone, a longtime member of St. Mark’s, will be Master of Ceremonies for the evening, as well as the auctioneer.
Proceeds from St. Mark’s Summer Classic support local community programs and services provided by St. Mark’s including hosting more than 90 area non-profit and civic organizations, meetings, programs and special events annually. Among many others, St. Mark’s welcomes the Santa Ynez Valley Jewish Community, Food Bank of Santa Barbara County, Arts Outreach, Buellton Senior Center, SYV Humane Society, Veggie Rescue, Solvang Festival Theater, First Five Santa Barbara, support networks, recovery groups and county-wide commission meetings. St. Mark’s also offers a professional preschool and a venue for music, arts and cultural events.
St. Mark’s Summer Classic is coordinated by an all-volunteer planning team led by Linda Burrows, Kathryn Wrench, Renee Kelleher and Cathy and Steve Pepe, along with help from many other community members.