Did I tell you I used to be a foster care social worker? No? That’s so strange; I thought we had no secrets…
Anyway. Having spent untold hours working to improve out-of-home care for anywhere between 300-500 Los Angeles youth, there are certain organizations that hold a particularly soft place in my heart. Ocean Park Community Center (OPCC) is one of those organizations.
From the OPCC website:
OPCC (Ocean Park Community Center) is the largest and most comprehensive provider of housing and services on the Westside to low-income and homeless youth, adults and families, battered women and their children, and people living with mental illness, particularly homeless mentally ill women. OPCC currently operates 257 emergency and transitional beds in six facilities, and has over 150 individuals living in apartments throughout the region with rental subsidy vouchers obtained by OPCC.
You can imagine how thrilled I was, then, to accept an invitation to the 2011 Vintage Hollywood charity event on June 11 – a major fund-raising gala for OPCC.
Held at the private home of Mr. and Mrs. Alex Kouba, the grassy lot adjacent to the house was spotted with white lanterns and seating, and ringed with tables offering star-quality wine and food, like oysters from Blue Plate Oysterette and Oyster Gourmet; Waterloo & City’s foie gras chicken liver mousse; Mozza’s burrata and pesto with roasted tomato; steak tartare from Bouchon; and desserts from Valerie Confections, Florentino Ice Cream and simplethings. There were only 350 tickets available, so securing the best from the attending 22 wineries and 19 restaurants wasn’t much of a problem. For these perks, guests paid anywhere from $250 (for an individual ticket) to $25,000 (at the “Vineyard Sponsorship” level). In-between, celebrities such as Ben and Christine Stiller, Courtney Cox and David Arquette, Marcia Cross and Thomas Mahoney joined an assortment of donors – from banks to private philanthropists – to support OPCC’s cause.
Again, from the website:
Since 2002, the Vintage Hollywood event has raised more than $1,100,000 to benefit organizations including Children’s Action Network, JDRF, Save the Children and United Friends of Children.
A food and wine event, benefiting one of my champion charities? For me, there couldn’t have been a better pairing.
List of wineries from 2011:
Ampelos Cellars and Vineyard • Arrowhead Mountain • Baxter Winery • Bodegas M • Captûre Wines • Center for Wine Origins • Clos Pepe • David Family Wines • Forlorn Hope Wines • Hitching Post Wines • Kristine Ashe Vineyards • La Fenêtre Wines • L’Aventure Winery • Les Deux Chats Cellars • L’Objet Wines • Malibu Family Wines • Martian Ranch & Vineyard • Peters Family Winery • Skipstone • Terra Valentine • Terry Hoage Vineyards • Tres Sabores
2011 restaurants in attendance:
Akasha • Blue Plate Oysterette • Bouchon • Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf • Florentino Ice Cream • The Foundry on Melrose • Jar • La Sandia • Literati Bar and Grill • On Sunset • Mozza • Oyster Gourmet • simplethings • Tavern • BAR Toscana • Valerie Confections • Waterloo & City • Whist • Zengo