Staff Report

Linda Burrows, Chair of the Santa Ynez Valley Summer Classic has announced that the event is set for Sat., June 30 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. with the goal of “advancing community and inspiring generosity.” She revealed some delicious details about the benefit open to the public scheduled on the beautiful shaded grounds of St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Church located at 2901 Nojoqui Avenue in Los Olivos. The courtyard and Stacy Hall will be the setting for an elegant alfresco meal. Chef Jeff Olsson of New West Catering will provide gourmet delights such as albacore charred tuna, golden beets on chick pea crackers with goat cheese, grilled Angus top sirloin steak with sauce verte, heirloom tomatoes with watermelon, mint and cilantro; and a summer berry tart dessert. This year’s dinner wines sponsors are Lucas & Lewellen and Evans Ranch with reception beverages provided by Clos Pepe, El Rancho Marketplace, Carhartt Vineyards, Bradley Family Wines, along with other favorite Valley wines as well as craft beer from Firestone-Walker Brewery.

The engaging Andrew Firestone, a longtime member of St. Mark’s, will be Master of Ceremonies as well as the auctioneer for the evening. A silent auction will take place from 5:15 to 6:45 p.m. with bountiful lifestyle packages, wine experiences and great meals on offer. Some stand-out items are an exclusive Simon Miller cowhide tote handmade in Milan; an airplane sightseeing flight for three of the Santa Ynez Valley and Gaviota coast; a delightful “Little Red Truck” cooler filled with party beverages; guest house stays in the Valley, a case of priceless 1996 French Bordeaux curated by Judge Royce Lewellen and more.

After the alfresco dinner, there will be a live auction offering remarkable packages including a gourmet luncheon prepared and hosted by owner/winemaker Jim Clendenen at Au Bon Climat;  an adventurous and romantic Catalina Island weekend getaway only available at the Summer Classic; a cooking class & dinner with celebrated Chef Hugh Carpenter; library wines from the cellar of Don and Ann Petroni; a Fiesta celebration hosted by  Pence Winery and Jake Francis of Valley Piggery; plus an exclusive visit to observe filming of one of the most highly regarded dramas on television. Throughout the evening, DJ Marc Dillon of Gavin Roy Presents will provide custom music concluding with tunes for dancing.

Proceeds from the Santa Ynez Valley Summer Classic support local community programs and services provided by St. Mark’s including hosting more than 100 area non-profit and civic organizations, meetings, programs and special events throughout the year.  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 concerts, arts and cultural events. In the coming year, St. Mark’s will also complete the professional certification of the on-site kitchen on campus and begin the Community Kitchen collaboration to help address food insecurity in the area.

The Santa Ynez Valley Summer Classic is coordinated by all volunteer leaders including Linda Burrows, Kathryn Wrench, Laura DeJohn, Bill Hurbaugh, Kate O’Neill, Cathy Pepe, Frances Schultz and Pat Fallin with invaluable help from Leslie Zuller, Silvia Lucatero, Randall Day and many other community members.

Reservations are available for $150 per person donation including wines, beverages, hors d’oeuvres, gourmet dinner and music. Reservations are available by sending a check and contact information with the notation “2018 Summer Classic” to St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley, Post Office Box 39, Los Olivos, CA 93441; or securely online at