Festival of Fall: Taste the Gourmet

Sep 30, 2014

Festival of Fall_cGale’s Restaurant, Claud & Co., Green Street Restaurant, El Cholo Cafe, Trattoria Neapolis, Seco New American, Bella Sera Trattoria in Monrovia, and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse are a few of the eateries who will be providing gourmet tastes at the Festival of Fall on October 5th, to benefit Ability First nonprofit.

San Antonio Winery, Loring Wine, Stone Brewing Company, Hangar 24 Craft and Eagle Rock breweries, and The Bruery will be on site for sips, while Jones Coffee Roasters and Poppy Cake Baking Company will offer delicious coffee and delectable treats.

A live and silent auction include items such as a 7-night stay in an ocean front villa estate in Panama, flying a WWII pilot trainer, a 10-day Holland America Line cruise, two orchestra level seats to the People’s Choice Awards, tickets to hear Magic Johnson or Fabian Cousteau at the Distinguished Speakers Series event, a psychic reading, a private dinner party catered by Julienne, a case of wine, a horse racing meet and greet at Santa Anita Racetrack, Trojan tickets, Rose parade tickets, and five nights along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, just to name a few.


A BT-9; one example of a "basic trainer" for training pilots in WWII

A BT-9; one example of a “basic trainer” for training pilots in WWII



Ability First helps kids and adults with physical and developmental disabilities to realize their potential with after school programs, aquatics, job training, and job placement. Job training such as learning soft skills, which means arriving at work on time and getting along with coworkers, then moving on to working within the community with Ability First coaches. After-school enrichment programs help kids become more social and learn life skills and “prepare them for a more inclusive life in society,” says Ability First CEO Lori Gangemi. The organization’s summer camp is about having fun and making friends.


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“My daughter had the opportunity to go on a 3-masted sailing ship to Catalina,” says Paige Parrish, parent of an Ability First participant. “She slept with the giraffes at the San Diego Wild Animal Park—fabulous opportunity; things she would never be able to do if it hadn’t been for Ability First and their fabulous staff.”

“I think one of the greatest obstacles people with disabilities face,” says Ability First Center Director Michael Barkyoumb, “is perceptions, because we think, well, there’s a limit to what these children can do—and there isn’t. There’s not a limit. There’s only a limit in what they can do when we give them limited opportunities.”

Ability First: Looking beyond disabilities, focusing on capabilities, and expanding possibilities.

Chuck Henry, NBC Southern California co-anchor will be host for the evening, which is held at the private home of Mary and Bill Urquhart in South Pasadena.


Chuck Henry


Festival of Fall
Location: Private home of Mary & Bill Urquhart
Sunday, Oct. 5th, 4-7 p.m.
Tickets: $150 per person
For details, visit


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All Festival of Fall and Ability First images courtesy of those organizations.



The founding of The Bruery was rather meager. It started as the first homebrew batch brewed by Patrick Rue, while his wife Rachel was wondering if he was actually going to clean the kitchen stove once the batch was finished. This first batch was an amberish ale with Cascade hops, consumed after four days of fermentation, one day of crash cooling, and a few seconds after force carbonating. These were proud moments. Patrick started homebrewing as a diversion in the first year of law school. As the years went by, his skill and passion for brewing came to a point where the only thing he wanted to do with the rest of his life is make beer. Thus, money was raised, grey hairs were formed, and the rest is history (at least to us). (



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