Festival of Flavors

By Lynda Millner   |   October 4, 2018
New Braille executive director Susan Cass, Braille student Meghan Downing, and honoree Dr. Dennis Clegg

Braille Institute Auxiliary of Santa Barbara (BIA) held its 4th annual “Festival of Flavors” at the Braille Institute Santa Barbara Regional Center. It’s a charming venue with its large courtyard in the center of their facility. Event chair Sydney Tredick welcomed everyone by telling us, “The event committee are all the ladies with jewels on their name tags.” Many of us tried the signature cocktail by mixologist Patrick SheppardReynolds or sipped Zaca Mesa wines. Montecito Jazz Project provided the music. Sydney thanked all the teens who helped set up the party. More dollars were raised from the silent auction.

Auxiliary president Sandy DeRousse presented Dr. Dennis Clegg, professor, department of molecular, cellular, and developmental biology at UCSB with an award of excellence, the Elizabeth Skene Award. His current emphasis is in stem-cell research focusing on therapies for ocular disease. He has many credits in his field, and as Braille student Meghan Dowling said, “He’s the man who is working on curing my eye disease.” She shared the presentation with Dr. Clegg. Meghan is an active 16-year-old who sings in the a capella choir and plays water polo. Her mom, Pearl Francis, is an auxiliary member.

Braille Auxiliary silent-auction person Mary Romero, event chair Sydney Tredick, and president Sandy DeRousse at the Festival of Flavors tasting

The delicious food tastes were from The Black Sheep, Bluewater Grill, Brasil Arts Café, Lure, and the Palace Grill. Dessert was made by the Braille students and served in the state-of-the-art kitchen, where they learn culinary skills.

This evening was under the eye of the brand-new executive director Susan Cass. Braille Auxiliary members present besides the president were first VP Tredick, second VP Barbara Toumayan, treasurer Diane Pannkuk, arrangements secretary Lynn Duncan, recording secretary Sally Faulstich, sustaining representative Linda Chapman, advisor Mary Romo, and parliamentarian Pat Andersons.

Braille Institute is a private, non-profit organization that is funded primarily by individual gifts, grants, and bequests. Your gifts help with programs such as Kitchen Confidence, Orientation and Mobility, and Daily Living Skills. For information, call (805) 682-6222.


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