Staff Report

Linda Burrows, 2017 St. Mark’s Summer Classic event chair, was pleased to reveal some delicious details about the benefit open to the public scheduled for Saturday, August 26, 2017, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in the church’s beautiful shaded grounds located at 2901 Nojoqui Avenue in Los Olivos.

“The courtyard and Stacy Hall will be the setting for an elegant alfresco meal in the playful and vivid lights of growing dusk and sunset. Longtime friend of St. Mark’s, Chef Jeff Olsson of New West Catering will provide gourmet foods including creative appetizers, entrees, sides and desserts such as heirloom tomatoes with watermelon, mint and cilantro, pan-roasted Alaskan halibut with summer corn relish and oak-smoked Angus beef brisket with ancho-Syrah glaze just to name a few. Following a varied selection of top local wines during hors d’oeuvres, the wines served during dinner are co-sponsored by Andrew Murray Vineyards and Rusack Vineyards to complement the fare,” shared Burrows.

The engaging Andrew Firestone, longtime member of St. Mark’s, will be Master of Ceremonies for the evening as well as the auctioneer. A silent auction will take place from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. offering a tempting and varied collection of lifestyle packages, wine experiences, cultural events and great meals. Some stand-out items are a stay at The Island Inn in San Juan Islands, a Lompoc Wine Ghetto collection, beautiful goods from First Street Leather and intimate dinners with Santa Barbara county winemakers, famous chefs and elegant hosts.

After dinner, there will be a live auction with some “top-secret” items along with a Santa Ynez Valley vacation home for a five- night stay including some pre-booked activities for up to six people; an elegant dinner party with a concert of Italian opera arias; and an exclusive visit to observe filming of one of the most highly regarded new dramas on television and so much more. With a nod to the storied St. Mark’s Cellar Classic held 2010-14, there will be exquisite and rare private collection library wines at auction as well as a trio of “Black by Black” double magnums created by Jim Clendenen from Au Bon Climat Winery with connoisseur Tom Black. Throughout the evening, DJ Marc Dillon of Gavin Roy Presents will curate custom playlists to underscore each part of the evening concluding with music for dancing.

Proceeds from St. Mark’s Summer Classic support local community programs and services provided by St. Mark’s –  including hosting more than 90 area non-profit and civic organizations, meetings, programs and special events annually.  Among many others, St. Mark’s welcomes the Santa Ynez Valley Jewish Community, Food Bank of Santa Barbara County, Arts Outreach, Buellton Senior Center, SYV Humane Society, Veggie Rescue, Solvang Festival Theater, First Five Santa Barbara, support networks, recovery groups and county-wide commission meetings.  St. Mark’s also offers a professional preschool and a venue for music, arts and cultural events.

St. Mark’s Summer Classic is coordinated by an all-volunteer planning team led by Linda Burrows, Kathryn Wrench, Renee Kelleher and Cathy and Steve Pepe with invaluable help from many other community members.

Reservations for the 2017 St. Mark’s Summer Classic are available for $150 per person donation including wines, beverages, hors d’oeuvres, gourmet dinner and music. Reservations are available by sending a check and contact information with the notation “2017 Summer Classic” to St. Mark’s, Post Office Box 39, Los Olivos, CA 93441 or securely online at