Tag ‘ Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden ’

Farewell to the Event of the Summer

For thirteen years the Food Bank has celebrated An Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden with many friends and supporters. The end of last month marked our final fundraiser at the Mare Island venue with the historic mansion as our backdrop.

The event was a rousing success, with generous guests and donors providing $140,000 that will enable us to provide 280,000 meals to people in need in the coming months. Guests jammed to the music of Big Cat Tolefree and the Hipnotics, engaged in bidding wars over silent and live auction items like trips, dinners and spa days. They sampled fine wine and food from local vendors before the gourmet lunch, which has been a tradition that never disappoints.

Thank you to all of the attendees, staff, sponsors and volunteers who have helped provide over 5.7 million meals by participating over the last thirteen years.  Those of you who completed our online survey by July 17 were entered into a drawing to win a $25 Safeway gift card. And the winner is… (drum roll)… Paul Clancy of Walnut Creek. Congratulations Paul!

Look for a new and exciting event from the Food Bank in the Fall of 2014.

Food, Fun and Friends in the Admiral’s Garden

A heartfelt thank you goes out to the hundreds of guests attending the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano’s 12th annual An Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden presented by Pacific Service Credit Union, for making the day a fantastic success!   Even the weather was on board, giving us a beautiful sunny day with a cooling breeze drifting off the water.

One of our lucky Soroptimist guests won $2,500 in the California Pacific Federal Credit Union raffle!

Our guests enjoyed gourmet appetizers crafted by our celebrity chefs paired with fine wines in the Tasting Tents, and grooved to the soulful blues sounds of Big Cat Tolefree. Vigorous bidding took place in the Silent Auction Tents and in the Live Auction, and happy winners claimed their treasures.  Englund’s Catering served a delicious lunch in the garden while our creative auctioneer Donnie Schwartz played FUNdraising games with our guests. A wonderful treat after lunch was a variety of delicious cookies from the Family Cookie Company and Ice cream by Fentons Creamery!  Many guests took the opportunity to tour St. Peter’s Chapel with its beautiful Tiffany stained glass windows, and the Naval Museum as well as both historic mansions.

Chef Michael Dunn of Yankee Pier in Lafayette served up the “Filet Mignon of oysters”.

The day wrapped up with our second annual Cupcake War, where guests sampled scrumptious mini-cupcakes while our celebrity judges had the difficult task of picking a winner!   The day couldn’t have been more perfect, the icing on the cupcake being that the Food Bank raised over $121,000!  That’s the equivalent of 241,000 meals for those in need in our community. We hope you join us for next year’s extravaganza!



Bring on the Cupcake War!

Back by popular demand – the Cupcake War at the Food Bank’s annual Admiral’s Garden event on June 24th on Mare Island in Vallejo!  There is a new twist this year.  Thanks to Tesoro Golden Eagle Refinery for their sponsorship, the winner of Cupcake War will receive $500!  A panel of celebrity judges will pick the winner, and guests will sample  scrumptious  mini-cupcakes.

Do you know a chef or master baker who would like to participate in the Food Bank’s Cupcake War 2012?
Please contact Kathy Gleason  for details.

Supporting the Food Bank Pays Off!

Meet the lucky winners of the 2011 Roger Weiss Memorial “Beat the Recession” Drawing held at the Food Bank’s Tropical Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden fundraising event on June 26th. Congratulations to our winners and thank you to all who purchased drawing tickets! The drawing raised over $15,000 for the Food Bank. Special thanks to our major drawing donors: California Pacific Federal Credit Union, Target, Walmart, Tesoro Golden Eagle Refinery, Aliene Adamson and Meyer Corporation.

Grand prize $2,500 cash  –  Darlene Bruno
$1,000 Target gift card  –  Karen & Jeff Vesely
$1,000 Walmart gift card  –  T. Lam
$750 American Express gift card  –  Lola Blomquist
500 $1 gold coins  –  Michael Bartlett
$300 American Express  gift card  –  William Hinson
Paula Deen Cookware  –  Don Nathlich
Baking Basket  –  Celinda Bustos
Ravenswood Wine  –  Ron Grant
$50 Visa gift card  –  Dan Rubio
$50 Safeway gift card  –  Robert Blain
Jump Sky High tickets  –  Elizabeth Karplus
Concord Chevrolet oil change  –  Rosalie Rowsey
$25 Safeway gift card  –  Letitia Robbins
$25 Safeway gift card  –  G. R. Smith

Those of you who completed our online survey by July 17 were entered into a drawing to win a $25 Safeway gift card and the winner is… (drum roll)… Brenda Mooney of Vallejo. Congratulations Brenda!

Again, thank you to everyone who helped make the 11th anniversary of An Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden such a huge success! With your support, we were able to raise over $100,000 to help fight hunger in our community!

Having Fun While Raising Funds for the Food Bank

Another successful Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden has come and gone and the Food Bank wishes to thank everyone involved in helping us stock our warehouse shelves as we head into summer.

Over 500 guests mingled with media and Survivor celebrities as they sampled appetizers and wines from local vineyards, while listening to the cool sounds of Shabang!, northern California’s premiere steel drum band. Guests played games of chance, purchased raffle tickets in hopes of winning one of the many fabulous prizes, bid on beautiful and indulgent silent auction items and enjoyed perfect weather for an outdoor event. One guest happily reported that he found the perfect gift for his wife’s upcoming 60th birthday.

“Looks like Cabo”, a guest mentioned as he made his way into the lunch buffet area, commenting on the tropical color scheme and decorations that adorned the lunch tables. As guests enjoyed another outstanding meal prepared and served by Englund’s Café and Catering, Executive Director Larry Sly welcomed everyone and thanked our sponsors for their support, beginning with Presenting Sponsor Pacific Service Credit Union. The crowd participated in two rousing games of Heads ‘N Tails, with each winner receiving a $500 gas card! The Swinging Blue Stars entertained the lunch crowd with their nostalgic sounds. Food Bank clients spoke movingly about their experiences with food insecurity and how their lives have been transformed. Next up was the live auction, where unique, one of a kind fantasy packages were auctioned off to the highest bidder.

With the opening of the dessert tasting tents, guests had trouble deciding on which decadent confection to try first. The inaugural Cupcake Wars drew many observers, as guests cheered while judges sampled the various entries and awarded Best of Show to Mitchell Hughes.

Photo by Mike Dunn

Close to 100 volunteers and Food Bank staff had one goal in mind at the event – to make our guests feel welcome and enjoy a wonderful afternoon of food, wine, music and fun. If you missed out, there is always next year! Please save Sunday, June 24, 2012 and plan to attend the event of the summer!

It’s the Final Countdown!

Six days and counting until the event of the summer! New vendors Whole Foods, Quady Winery and Fresh & Easy will join many other vendors to delight your taste buds in our Appetizer and Dessert Tasting Tents. Watch four local master cake decorator/pastry chefs compete in our first ever Cupcake War! We have nine fabulous Live Auction prizes and over 110 Silent Auction prizes including baskets, garden items, get-a-ways, fine wine and more. You will love the island music provided by northern California’s premier steel drum band Shabang!, and the Swinging Blue Stars of the USS Hornet will take you back to the good old days.

Enjoy A Tropical Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden and help feed your neighbors in need. Don’t miss this spectacular once a year event! For complete event details and to make reservations, visit

2010 - Afternoon in the Admiral's Garden

Treasures Await You in the Silent Auction

In addition to all the great food and wine at the Food Bank’s Tropical Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden fundraising event on June 26th there are over 100 items to bid on in our silent auction!

Here are the highlights of the Silent Auction:

– More than 50 baskets of home and garden items from Sur La Table, Pier One, Bill’s Ace Hardware and others
– Toys, clothes, games and princess fare for kids and families
– Holiday delights for dining and decorating
– Golf and tickets to A’s and Giant’s games
– Jewelry from David Yurman, Tiffany and Brighton
– An AMAZING wine collection from premier and boutique wineries including Arrowood, Cline, Domaine Carneros, Esterlina, Mantra, Pine Ridge, Rombauer, Roth, Shafer, Siduri, Turnbull, Viansa and many more. The highlight of the collection comes from Saxum James Berry. We have 3 bottles of Syrah from 2005, 2006 and 2007. The 2007 is the star of the vertical. It was rated 100 points by Robert Parker and was named 2010 Wine of the Year (number one in their annual Top 100 ranking) by Wine Spectator magazine.

More to come…

For complete event details and to make reservations, visit

Bid on acclaimed wines from Domaine Carneros by Taittinger, a handmade quilt donated by our friends the Tole Bridge Tolers, decor for your home and garden and a kit with all the tools you need to be a master pastry chef at home! Only some of the hundreds of auction items at
A Tropical Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden.

Swing and Dance with us on June 26th!

Take a musical trip back in time to the 40’s and 50’s as the fabulous Swingin’ Blue Stars of the USS Hornet join us again at our “Tropical Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden” annual fundraising event.  Audiences of all ages get a thrill from their fun performances that mix saucy and romantic WWII tunes. You don’t want to miss it! Register today at Learn more about the Swingin’ Blue Stars

Just added to the line-up: BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse!

If you love a cold beer on a summer day you will love the newest addition to our Admiral’s Garden Tasting Tent line-up, BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse!

Sample BJ’s handcrafted Brewhouse Blonde and Jeremiah Red beers, Root Beer and Orange Cream handcrafted sodas, paired perfectly with delicious Thai Shrimp Lettuce Wraps.

Learn about our other tasting tents and get your tickets at See you at “A Tropical Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden”!

Find BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse on Facebook.

Announcing Shabang Steel Drum Band at the event of the summer!

We are so excited to announce the authentic Caribbean calypso steel drum music of Shabang Steel Drum Band will be joining us at our annual fundraising event on Sunday, June 26, 2011 at Mare Island in Vallejo.

Their engaging melodies and lyrics set to the infectious rhythms of Calypso, Reggae, Zouk and Soca, and highlighted with the indigenous sound of steel drums or steel pans, will take you on a virtual Caribbean vacation.

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, these steel pan players have been the darlings of the corporate party scene in Northern California, Tahoe and Reno for more than a decade.

Please join the Food Bank and local TV and radio personalities, and sample a multitude of delicious foods and beverages at our 11th annual “Afternoon in the Admiral’s Garden”. Learn more:

Shabang Steel Drum Band