SAN DIEGO -- The Hyatt Aventine Hotel in La Jolla was transformed into a culinary paradise Friday night as community members came together in support of Mama's Kitchen for the organization's annual Mama's Day event.
Proceeds from the event, which serves as Mama's Kitchen's largest fundraiser of the year, will help the organization continue its mission of preparing and delivering three meals a day, seven days a week, at no cost to hundreds of San Diegans who are affected illnesses such as AIDS and cancer.
More than 500 people attended the event and were treated to food and beverage samples from over 50 restaurants such as Searsucker, Elizabethean Desserts, Cowboy Star, Urban Mo's, Fleming's, Bice, W San Diego, Truluck's and Bertrand's at Mister A's. As guests sampled the various selections they also were able to view and bid on a number of items in a silent auction.
Silent auction items included a champagne and concert package from the San Diego Symphony; a weekend "staycation" package from Bertrand's at Mister A's and the Sofia Hotel; a MAC Cosmetics package; a workout package from the Hyatt Sporting Club; and a package called "Civic Duty," which included lunch with San Diego Police Chief William Landsdowne, a ride-along with Lt. Charles Kaye, and lunch with Congressman Bob Filner.
One auction item, which included a party in a skybox at Petco Park, donated by Sycuan, was purchased by a donor for $4,400.
The event was structured so that guests were able to maximize their time socializing and sampling cuisine with limited interruptions. Time was set aside, however, for Mayor Jerry Sanders to present a special proclamation to Mama's Kitchen, declaring May 6, 2011 to be "Mama's Day" in the City of San Diego.
The mayor told the crowd how much he enjoys attending the event each year, saying "I don't think I have seen a more fun event and I go to a lot of events ... every night."
San Diego District 5 City Councilmember Carl DeMaio was also present at the event, as were other notable San Diegans such as Dion Brown of the San Diego LGBT Pride board; Edith Glassey of Family Health Centers of San Diego; insurance agent David Muscat, president of North Park Main Street; and Tom Luhnow of the Greater San Diego Business Association.
Sam "The Cooking" Guy served as the culinary host for the evening.
While the organization is still calculating the amount of money that was generated by the event, they are hoping to raise nearly $185,000.
Alberto Cortes, executive director of Mama's Kitchen, said the event was very successful for his organization and expressed his gratitude to everyone involved with the event.
“Mama’s Day was a success and we are grateful for the 55 restaurants that participated, the Hyatt La Jolla for once again hosting the event, and for our sponsors and attendees," Cortes said. "It appears that everyone had a wonderful time. Mayor Jerry Sanders' presence and presentation added to the festivities. Thank you San Diego for stepping up in support of Mama’s Kitchen. We are grateful.”
For more information about Mama's Kitchen, click HERE.
Mama's Day volunteers discussing why they support Mama's Kitchen