A Taste for Charity Raises Much Needed Funds for Local Organizations

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Caroline Haines and Third Place Realtor Artist Carolyn Skenderian.

Laguna’s 16th Annual A “Taste for Charity” & Silent Art Auction was held Thursday, May 19, 2011at Tivoli Too! Presented by the Laguna Board of Realtors and Affiliates Charitable Assistance Funds, the event netted $50,000!

Highlight’s of the evening’s festivities included delicious samplings from local restaurateurs, pours by Bianci Winery, a wonderful Silent Art Auction and Live Auction, a Realtor Silent Art Auction, an Opportunity Drawing, a Live Painting Exhibit by Artist John Eagle and a Live Potter’s Wheel Demonstration.

Executive Chef Craign Connole, K'ya Bistro and Bar and House of Big Fish with talented crew

And the results are in for the People’s Choice Award. All attendees who went to the Taste had the opportunity to vote for their favorite artist whose art was up for auction. Artists who took top honors were: 1st place – Dagmar Chaplin; 2nd Place – Rachel Uchizono and 3rd Place: Renee Vanelli. Last year’s honoree was Dawn McNamara.

Realtors (many who are also talented artists) had their artwork up for auction, too! Top award winners were: 1st Place – Nick Church, Coast Sotheby’s; 2nd Place – Erin Wilkinson, Coast Sotheby’s; and 3rd Place – Carolyn Skenderian, Surterre Properties. The Realtor art was judged by Michael Gosselin, Tara Blair and Loraine Mullen-Kress. Caroline Haines/Laguna Escrow sponsored the contest.

Executive Chef Jeff Armstrong (left) and his culinary staff at Splashes Restaurant

Recipients of this year’s Taste are: First Thursdays Art Walk, Helping Hands, Laguna Beach Seniors, Laguna Beach High School (scholarships are awarded to two students who are planning on majoring in the art field), Laguna Playhouse, Laguna Plein Air Painters Association, No Square Theater and the Laguna Board of Realtors Charitable Assistance Foundation.

John Eagle paints a landscape

Thank you to the contributing sponsors, artists and galleries; committee volunteers; local restaurateurs; Bianchi Winery from Paso Robles; and to all those who donated auction and opportunity drawing items. A special thanks to Paul Benec, the Community Events Chairperson and Jerry Bieser, the illustrious Master of Ceremonies.