ABOUT TOWN: Cool night didn’t faze hospital fundraiser crowd – San Jose…

10 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on ABOUT TOWN: Cool night didn’t faze hospital fundraiser crowd – San Jose…
Honda Faze

ABOUT TOWN: Cool night didn’t faze hospital fundraiser crowd

Enjoying the Evening Under the Stars Gourmet Food and Wine Festival are, Steve Morikawa, American Honda Motor Company’s assistant vice president for community relations and his wife, Mary Morikawa; Junko Iwamura and her husband,Tetsuo Iwamura, president and CEO of American Honda Motor Company Inc.; and Craig Leach, president and CEO of Torrance Memorial Medical Center and his wife, Judy Leach. Photo by Meredith Grenier

American Honda Motor Company Inc. rolled out its red carpet for 900 guests attending the 25th annual Evening Under the Stars Gourmet Food and Wine Festival.

The event, hosted by Honda and the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce, was the place to be Aug. 6 as attendees braved a cold ocean breeze – some in strapless dresses – to sip and sup while six-time Grammy-winning Hawaiian slack-key guitarist Daniel Ho performed on stage.

The evening’s proceeds – $100,000 – will benefit Torrance Memorial Medical Center’s new main tower and pediatric services. It was the fifth consecutive year that TMMC was selected as the festival’s beneficiary.

It’s so wonderful to see the community rally together for this festive South Bay celebration each year, said Craig Leach, president and CEO of TMMC. We are extremely grateful that American Honda continues to support the advancement of exceptional health care to serve our growing community.

Guests enjoyed gourmet samplings from 27 area restaurants and tastes from among 80 varieties of wine, including Honda Classic/PGA professional wines, and selections from Riboli Family Wine Estates and from the Napa Rose restaurant at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel.

Loyal supporters also bid on more than 100 silent auction packages organized by the hospital’s Luminaries, a volunteer support group of parents and their teens.

Judy Grohne and a friend have attended the festival annually for 15 years. I love everything, she said. We always have a good time.

Welcoming guests to the Honda campus was Tetsuo Iwamura, president and CEO of American Honda Motor Co. Inc. with his wife, Junko. Also greeting visitors was Honda’s assistant vice president of community relations, Steve Morikawa, who was accompanied by his wife, Mary.

The festival provided some guests an excuse to dress to the nines while others opted for warmth against the evening’s chill.

Rosa Madera, wearing a sleeveless dress with a V-neckline insisted she wasn’t cold, although her husband, Jesus, admitted that the top of his bald head was getting a bit chilly.

Elsewhere, Phyllis Mackie donned a fascinator in her hair featuring black feathers with a chartreuse flower to match a handsome jacket from Nepal. This is a la the royal wedding, she said, pointing to her feathered chapeau.

Meanwhile, Volunteer Center’s president and CEO De De Hicks incorporated a coat into her ensemble, keeping her snug all evening.

Torrance Mayor Frank Scotto gave high marks to Ortega 120’s margaritas, which quickly ran out.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse’s grilled filet and shrimp and the Red Car’s pulled pork are to die for, he said, adding that it was really heartening to see so many people supporting TMMC and the Torrance Chamber.

It’s great that we were able to attract all these restaurants even in this bad economy, Scotto said. People may not realize how much the restaurants and wineries donate to this charity event. It is really great.

Lots of people voted as their favorite the pan-grilled basa fish served by Michael Shafer, owner-chef of the Depot and Buffalo Fire Department.

Not surprisingly, the biggest crowd lined up in front of the Gourmet Grindz booth, where the aroma of fresh coffee wafted through the air. Owner and festival committee member Maryanne Brooks hustled to make vanilla cappuccinos for goose bump-covered guests.

Fellow committee member Judy Gibson declared the pastries and cookies from Doubletree by Hilton Torrance-South Bay as her favorite. Other high praise went to Gaetano’s Restaurant for its fantastic mushroom ravioli and certainly the most creative presentation went to Gonpachi at Miyako Hybrid Hotel for its salmon served in mini cones.

Carl Kaemerle, who was on hand with his wife to support Torrance Chamber president Donna Duperron, a new, fellow Redondo Beach Rotarian, praised the sushi offered by Sushi Boy and the succulent shrimp and filet mignon from Fleming’s in El Segundo.

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The wine vendor who traveled the farthest to staff the festival was Penny Waugh from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. who offered guests wine from professional golfers. Honda will sponsor the Honda Classic at the PGA National Resort Spa’s Championship Course in Palm Beach Gardens, Feb. 27 to March 7.

Duperron said the list of guests had grown from last year, and she expressed hope that they and the rest of the community would patronize all these wonderful restaurants.

For more information, call the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce at 310-540-5858.

PVP Artists Studio Tour

The working studios of 10 Palos Verdes Peninsula artists will be open for touring from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 10 and 11.

Guests are invited to enjoy a progressive lunch at each studio throughout the day.

Private studios on tour include those of Pauline Falstrom, ceramics, paintings and photography; Ghislaine Gargaro, oil paintings; M.C. Armstrong, ceramics; Karen Pester, fused glass and steel; Dawn Quinones, abstract paintings and hand-painted silk wearable art; Don Crocker, oil paintings; Nancy Backes, pen and ink drawings; Carrie Lieb, wearable art; Phil Earl, photography; and Kathie Reis, oil paintings.

In addition, other artists will demonstrate their crafts at The Village shopping center, 627 Silver Spur Road, Suite 214, in Rolling Hills Estates. They include Robin Bott, mosaic art; Lynne Haggard, ceramics; Jill Kollmann, polymer jewelry; Suzanne Kuuskmae, botanical paintings; and Justine Parish, wearable art.

Tickets to the self-guided tour, including lunch, are $20 in advance or $25 on tour day. Proceeds will benefit the programs of the Palos Verdes Art Center’s Artists’ Studio Galleries.

For more information or to purchase tickets by credit card, call 310-544-8072 or 310-265-2592.

Meredith Grenier is a freelance writer. She can be reached at meredithgrenier@

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