Alta Bates' Thunder Road Hosts Food Tasting Fundraiser
Plethora of local restaurants to provide food for event supporting Alta Bates' substance abuse center.
Good cuisine for a good cause, that’s what’s on tap March 20 as Alta Bates Summit Medical Center hosts Taste of the East Bay at the historic Berkeley City Club.
The event will treat visitors to an array of culturally diverse foods coming from 28 East Bay restaurants and boast four live bands in addition to a silent auction. Some of the restaurants and companies stepping up to the plate are Bucci’s, Bakesale Betty, Havana, Wood Tavern, Mama’s Royal Café, Knoxx, and Bay Wolf. Proceeds support the medical center’s Thunder Road, a substance abuse clinic designed to help teens.
Heidi Stornetta, Director of Development for Thunder Road, couldn’t be more excited for this inaugural event and says that the support will be put to good use as funding for substance abuse has been declining in recent years, forcing some clinics to close.
“Thunder Road is very honored to have such an outpouring of support and we hope that visitors will be exposed to a wonderful community program and know it’s money well spent,” Stornetta says.
A unique aspect of Thunder Road is its relationship to fine cuisine. While the program uses traditional therapy techniques to develop self-esteem, anger management skills, and confidence, it also uses the culinary arts program to reinforce principles and give participants solid skills in the food industry. In fact, Thunder Road youth will be preparing a few of the hors d'oeuvres that will appear at this tasting event.
Currently, the teens who participate in the catering program serve about 100 meals a week for conferences and meetings at the medical center. Daily, Thunder Road teens serve up about 150–180 meals, including breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for staff and other visitors to the center.
“These kids have really overcome a lot of adversity, and I’m inspired by the staff that work at Thunder Road; many of them have been in place for decades,” Stornetta says.
Bob Merritt, the Chair of the event and board member of the Alta Bates Summit Foundation, said he was looking forward to Taste of the East Bay, in particular the dancing and food and wine, as well as the venue.
“There’s going to be a lot to do; its going to be a fun evening,” Merritt says. “The venue is just outstanding. If you’ve never seen the Berkeley City Club, you should come; the ceilings are something to admire. It’s just going to be neat.”
Merritt added that the night would be a great combination of entertainment, with charitable service intertwined.
“I hope people come away feeling good that they’ve contributed to a good cause."For more information and to purchase tickets, go to altabatessummit.org/thunderroad/programs/tasteofthebay09.html