Published : Friday, October 9, 2015 | 2:46 PM
More than 400 supporters from raised more than $160,000 at the AbilityFirst 41st annual Gourmet Festival of Fall presented by Union Bank event, at the South Pasadena home of Mary and Bill Urquhart. The event was hosted by NBC4 Southern California’s award-winning journalist Whit Johnson. The festival is an annual event where guests sample gourmet cuisine and signature dishes prepared by prominent area restaurants
“AbilityFirst could not provide the life-changing programs we do without the generosity of our donors, partner restaurants and beverage providers, as well as the numerous businesses that donated services and auction items,” said AbilityFirst CEO Lori Gangemi. “We are also incredibly grateful to Union Bank and Mary & Bill Urquhart f or their many years of involvement and support.”
AbilityFirst made a special presentation to the Frank Family for their 90 years of dedication and service to the organization and people with disabilities. L.A. County Supervisor Michael Antonovich presented the organization with a proclamation and Assemblymember Chris Holden gave opening remarks. Actor and AbilityFirst Honorary Chair Jane Kaczmarek was in attendance as well.
Funds raised through the event benefited AbilityFirst programs in Pasadena and surrounding areas, including the Lawrence L. Frank Center and the Pasadena Work Center, which for nearly 50 years have provided individuals with physical and developmental disabilities – including autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and Down syndrome – services to help them reach their full potential. These include after-school, adult day, social recreation and community aquatic programs, as well as employment for adults with disabilities.