Staff Report

The Santa Ynez Valley Summer Classic, a fundraiser designed to inspire generosity to expand community services and local projects, will take place from 5:30 to 8:45 p.m. Saturday, June 29, at St. Mark’s in-the-Valley Episcopal Church at 2901 Nojoqui Avenue in Los Olivos.

The church’s beautiful, shaded courtyard and Stacy Hall will be the setting for an elegant alfresco meal by Chef Jeff Olsson of New West Catering.

Throughout the evening, DJ Marc Dillon of Gavin Roy Presents will provide music that will conclude with tunes for dancing.

Andrew Firestone will be master of ceremonies and auctioneer. A silent auction will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. with bountiful lifestyle packages, wine experiences and gourmet meals on offer. Some stand-out items are a Simon Miller “Bonsai handbag;” leather jackets from First Street Leather; a Women Winemakers collection; a whimsical metal tugboat cooler from J. Woeste, filled with summer party beverages; a Starlit Nights family package created by St. Mark’s Preschool families; and a case of priceless French Bordeaux wine curated by Judge Royce Lewellen.

After dinner, there will be a live auction of packages including a Stagecoach Dinner at Mattei’s Tavern prepared by Jake Francis of Valley Piggery and featuring live music by Sean Wiggins & Lone Goat; a two-hour tour out of Santa Barbara Harbor for 20 on a private, staffed yacht; a “Love is Love is Love” dinner on Feb. 14, 2020, hosted by Steve and Cathy Pepe;  a cooking class and dinner with celebrated Chef Maili Halme hosted by Madeline and Don Heimark; and a wine country weekend house including a balloon ride and luncheon hosted by Frances Schultz and Tom Dittmer.    

Proceeds from the Summer Classic support local community programs and services provided by St. Mark’s, including hosting more than 100 area nonprofit 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. The church will soon launch the SYV Community Kitchen collaboration to work toward alleviating hunger in the community.

The Santa Ynez Valley Summer Classic is coordinated by volunteer leaders including Linda Burrows, Peter Wright, Kathryn Wrench, Bill Hurbaugh, Margie Larkin, Kate O’Neill, Cathy Pepe, Laurie Wright, Sue Doherty, Peter and Gabi Robbins, Puck Erickson Lohnas, Reneé Kelleher, Pat Fallin and Bill Connell, with invaluable help from Laura DeJohn, Leslie Zuller, Silvia Lucatero, the Rev. Randall Day and many other community members.  

Reservations are going quickly, organizers said. They are available for $150 per person donation including wines, beverages, hors d’oeuvres, gourmet dinner and music.

Reservations are available securely online at or by sending a check and contact information with the notation “2019 Summer Classic” to St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley, Post Office Box 39, Los Olivos, 93441.