Taste & Tribute 2011 [Review]

Taste & Tribute 2011, which took place in the Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco on November 18, was exceptional. The night opened with a silent auction, during which wine and hors d’oeuvres were served. Among the items on auction, there were paintings, tapestries, pashmina shawls, vases and tickets for luxurious trips. Some people lingered around the meat and cheese plates,while others kept a cautious eye on the items they’d bid on, daring anyone else to write a number down. In this jovial atmosphere, attendees chatted and admired the items on display.

When the double doors to the dining room opened, guests were ushered into a dimly lit room full of glittering lights and 11 beautifully set dining tables. The master chefs who would be preparing the evening’s meal were spread around the periphery of the room at their stations, busily preparing plates for the first course. Once everyone was seated, the charismatic Liam Mayclem took the diners through the opening ceremony. Speakers Pema Gellek and Judy Rasmussen thanked the crowd for their support, and spoke about the Tibetan Aid Project’s continued dedication to ensuring the longevity of Tibetan traditions. After the four-course meal prepared table-side, the night closed out with a live auction with auctioneer Greg Quiroga. However, even amongst all of the glittering silverware, heady wine and extraordinary food, I never once forgot that the people who had gathered for this event had done so for the sake of Tibet. Even with all of that splendor around me, being in that room full of good will was perhaps the most pleasant aspect of the night.

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Bridge School Benefit Concert 2011 [Preview]

Every year since 1986 (except for 1987) Neil Young and his wife Pegi along with The Bridge School organize and host The Bridge School Benefit Concert at The Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California. The concert is, as the name states, a non-profit event in which all proceeds directly benefit The Bridge School. The organization is a recognized leader in education for children with severe disabilities.

The Bridge School Benefit Concert always brings an impressive group of musicians together, many of which are personal friends of Young. I discovered at last year’s concert that Young also jumps in to play alongside many of the other bands, the most memorable being his appearance during Pearl Jam’s set.  The band didn’t hesitate to mention the impact that “Uncle Neil” Young had on them as an inspiration and long-time mentor.

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