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A Hot August Night to benefit senior meals program

Posted: August 1, 2009 9:36 p.m.
Updated: August 2, 2009 4:30 a.m.

From left to right, Ken Roberts, Laurie Morgan and "Z" Abdulkadir load up a Senior Center Home-Delivered Meals truck. A Hot August Night on Aug. 22 will benefit the meals program which relies heavily on public support.

 

Mann Biomedical Park will transform into a jazzy, snazzy Bourbon Street bash on Saturday, Aug. 22 when the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center Foundation presents, A Hot August Night.”  

A vibrant, Louisiana-style gala, the 18th annual benefit’s proceeds will help support the Senior Center’s Home-Delivered Meals program, which feeds many of the frail and homebound elderly of our community.

“This year’s Big Easy-themed event promises to be one of the most fun and festive Santa Clarita Valley events of the year, and it’s certainly for one of the most worthwhile causes in this world, helping seniors in need,” said event chair Jill Bondy.

Guests at A Hot August Night will enjoy delicious Louisiana cuisine, a live DJ and Dixieland jazz, wine tasting from Vino 100, a mystical illusionist, dancing under the stars and live and silent auctions, Bondy said, adding tickets and sponsorship opportunities are currently available.

The fundraiser — formerly known as the Senior Center’s Benefit Wine Auction and until 2008 was held along the idyllic grounds of Chef Juan Alonso’s Le Chene French Restaurant — has long taken place on what often turned into a scorching summer afternoon.

That timing has changed this year to a 6 p.m. start, said Kathy Crone, SCVSC Director of Development, whose firefighter husband Mike is a volunteer HDM-driver.

“People said it was hot last year ... well, it’s going to be really sizzling at this year’s Mardi Gras celebration!” Crone added.  

Prepared and packaged by the Senior Center, home-delivered meals feed approximately 350 local seniors each day. Recipients are typically in their 80s, fragile, disabled with chronic conditions and have inadequate support systems in place.

Monday through Friday, come rain or shine, 39 truck-driving volunteers depart from the Senior Center to deliver the meals.

For some seniors, their HDM deliverer’s friendly visit is the brightest spot of their day.  

About 900 households are served annually within the Center’s 450-square mile radius. Some are only temporary HDM-recipients such as when those recuperating from surgery or illness.

Others are chronic and remain on the program for extended periods of time. Although a suggested donation of $2.50 is suggested, money is never required to receive such a meal.  

“These meals help keep seniors living in their own homes longer, and that means greater independence, dignity, and holding off early institutionalism, which almost always leads to physical and mental decline,” said Brad Berens, executive director of the Senior Center and its oversight agency, the SCV Committee on Aging (SCVCOA), a 501 (c) (3).

Despite the Center’s severe budget struggles — particularly at this time of deep cutbacks in state funding — the Senior Center and SCVCOA are committed to never letting a senior go hungry or winding up on a waiting list for home-delivered meals.

“We will always put our seniors’ welfare first,” Berens declared. “Our elders rely on us, and we in turn rely on the benevolence of a community that won’t allow a homebound senior to go without.”

Senior Center Supportive Services Care Manager Karin Kelly knows first-hand the benefits of home-delivered meals. A registered nurse, Kelly said the meals bring far more nutrition than calories.

“I go into these homes and see the people who are receiving them. The majority are 60 and older, in poor health and of low income, and distressed about living alone particularly amid their circumstances. A lot of them don’t have family around,” Kelly said. “These people are very appreciative of the meals and often comment that they make their lives better and at least they know they’re receiving one hot, balanced meal a day.”

Wine connoisseur Chris Carpenter, who with wife Jeannie are donating many fine wines to the auction, expressed excitement about the upcoming event.

“We have always enjoyed attending and donating to this auction in the past, but we’re both very happy that it has found a home at our favorite venue in the SCV, The Mann Biomedical Park. The best and most successful events happen there.”

Carpenter, an award-winning film industry sound engineer, acknowledged that the cause is vital.

“Now, more than ever, we realize the importance of the home-delivered meals program and its reliance on this event as a fundraiser. Jeannie and I are so happy to contribute,” he stated.

A smattering of event auction highlights include:

  • A trip for two to New Orleans including American Airlines airfare; a four-night stay at the luxurious Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel; two  VIP admissions to Preservation Hall Jazz; a delectable five-course dinner for two at the Commander’s Palace Restaurant.
  • A day with SWAT
  • Autographed       sports memorabilia from famous athletes/sports stars including Eric Dickerson, Jerry Rice, Deacon Jones, Merlin Olsen, Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale and Rosey Grier.
  • Assorted wines
  • A tankless water heater (includes installation)
  • Numerous silent auction baskets for every age and indulgence.  
A Hot August Night’s Louisiana-inspired menu includes: Louisiana crab cakes; Cajun meatballs; Andouille sausage tartlets with cilantro cream; New Orleans style Caesar salad; black bean, mixed green and corn salad; Bayou Mardi Gras slaw; barbeque smoked beef brisket,  New Orleans-style marinated and skewered chicken with green apple; jambalaya; fried green tomatoes with lemon aioli; crawfish mashed potatoes; beignets; chocolate Doberge cake and peach cobbler with whipped cream. For many months the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center Foundation has been busy planning A Hot August Night.

Dedicated to supporting the Senior Center/Santa Clarita Valley Committee on Aging, the foundation’s mission is to enhance independence, dignity and quality of life for senior citizens in the SCV community.

Foundation president Patti Rasmussen encourages the community to heartily support A Hot August Night.

“We know times are tough but we also know that folks still like to get together and enjoy some great food, fun entertainment and still help a worthy cause. For all of us at the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center Foundation, that cause is our home-delivered meals program ... and it needs the public’s help,” Rasmussen said.

Individual tickets to “A Hot August Night” are $75; VIP tickets: $100 (includes VIP tasting & premium parking). Info: www.scvseniorfoundation.org/Events.html or contact the Senior Center at (661) 259-9444.

Mann Biomedical is located at 25141 Rye Canyon Loop, Valencia.

 

 

  • A trip for two to New Orleans including American Airlines airfare; a four-night stay at the luxurious Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel; two  VIP admissions to Preservation Hall Jazz; a delectable five-course dinner for two at the Commander’s Palace Restaurant.
  • A day with SWAT
  • Autographed       sports memorabilia from famous athletes/sports stars including Eric Dickerson, Jerry Rice, Deacon Jones, Merlin Olsen, Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale and Rosey Grier.
  • Assorted wines
  • A tankless water heater (includes installation)
  • Numerous silent auction baskets for every age and indulgence.  
A Hot August Night’s Louisiana-inspired menu includes: Louisiana crab cakes; Cajun meatballs; Andouille sausage tartlets with cilantro cream; New Orleans style Caesar salad; black bean, mixed green and corn salad; Bayou Mardi Gras slaw; barbeque smoked beef brisket,  New Orleans-style marinated and skewered chicken with green apple; jambalaya; fried green tomatoes with lemon aioli; crawfish mashed potatoes; beignets; chocolate Doberge cake and peach cobbler with whipped cream. For many months the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center Foundation has been busy planning A Hot August Night.

Dedicated to supporting the Senior Center/Santa Clarita Valley Committee on Aging, the foundation’s mission is to enhance independence, dignity and quality of life for senior citizens in the SCV community.

Foundation president Patti Rasmussen encourages the community to heartily support A Hot August Night.

“We know times are tough but we also know that folks still like to get together and enjoy some great food, fun entertainment and still help a worthy cause. For all of us at the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center Foundation, that cause is our home-delivered meals program ... and it needs the public’s help,” Rasmussen said.

Individual tickets to “A Hot August Night” are $75; VIP tickets: $100 (includes VIP tasting & premium parking). Info: www.scvseniorfoundation.org/Events.html or contact the Senior Center at (661) 259-9444.

Mann Biomedical is located at 25141 Rye Canyon Loop, Valencia.

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