Two Incredible Women Take Lead at the Third Annual Santa Barbara Event

Family Service Agency is pleased to announce that Meredith Garofalo and Emily Nordee have been named Event Committee Co-Chairs for Cooking Up Dreams, a “flavorful” benefit for at-risk youth served by Family Service Agency. The annual event is scheduled the evening of March 31, 2017 at the Fess Parker Doubletree Resort in Santa Barbara.

Meredith Garofalo is a meteorologist and reporter for Newschannel 3 where her forecasts can be seen every morning on KEYT and Fox 11. She also produces a weekly segment every Friday, Meredith’s Weekend Picks, which highlights community events and other feature reports for the newscasts.

Garofalo is very passionate about giving back to the community, and donates her time and talents to many causes including Big Brothers Big Sisters (where she is also an Advisory Council Member), Boys & Girls Clubs, Make-A-Wish, Foodbank of Santa Barbara County and the American Red Cross. Garofalo also enjoys giving classroom talks to students including career days at local high schools. She is an accomplished singer and actress, performing different venues of music at local charity and community events. In September 2013, she starred as “Rizzo” in “Grease” and was a finalist in the 2014 Star Voice Competition.

Emily Nordee is the public relations director for Evans Hardy + Young, a local communications agency specializing in food and hospitality. As an industry expert, she has been behind many successful national marketing campaigns and events including The California Walnut Board, Little Caesars Pizza Veteran’s Program, the James Beard Foundations Awards and Campari USA “The Year of the Negroni”. Emily is a true passionista of food and beverage. If it’s happening in the food or wine world, she has heard about it, knows the people behind it or is making it happen herself.

“We are very fortunate to have two experienced and dedicated professionals leading our signature fundraising event,” said Executive Director, Lisa Brabo. “Our event committee is putting together a very unique event that is certain to be a great way to have fun while helping at-risk kids achieve their dreams!”

Cooking Up Dreams is a unique fundraising event featuring a culinary competition between leading local chefs. Celebrity judges and up to 300 guests will taste the thoughtfully prepared food made by each chef to vote on the top dish for the People’s Choice and Judge’s Awards. Guests will also enjoy complimentary wine (provided by Grassini Family Vineyards and Touring and Tasting) and beer, full bar, music by DJ Scott Topper, silent and live auction, a red carpet entrance, a premium photo booth experience by RUMOR Photo Media, and much more.

Competing chefs and restaurants include:
• Angel Oak at Bacara Resort & Spa
• Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach
• Chef Michael Hutchings
• Convivo
• Finch & Fork
• First & Oak at the Mirabelle Inn
• Les Merchands Wine Bar
• Nimita’s Cuisine
• Oveja Blanca/Black Sheep
• Patxi’s Pizza
• Persona Woodfired Pizzeria
• Renaud’s Patisserie & Bistro
• Santa Barbara FisHouse

This year, the event is being presented by Union Bank. Additional sponsors include Les & Zora Charles, John & Jill Bishop, Michael & Marni Cooney, Jim & Shirley Ann Hurley, Bob & Susan Manning, Montecito Bank & Trust, Maryan Schall, Jeff Slay / Woodruff-Sawyer FKA Neovia, Bergquist Wang, LLC, Tim & Ginny Bliss, Hugh & Kelly Boss, Bunnin Chevrolet Cadillac, Liz & Andrew Butcher, Coast Village Chevron Wine, Grotto, Foundation for Santa Barbara City College, Ghita Ginberg, Jim & Chana Jackson, Jim & Mary Morouse, Price, Postel & Parma, LLC, Sybil Rosen, David L. Smith and Fred & Jane Sweeney.

Proceeds from Cooking Up Dreams support Family Service Agency’s youth enrichment programs including Big Brothers Big Sisters, school-based counseling, and youth behavioral health—all programs targeting low-income at-risk youth who, with the help of counseling and mentors, are able to improve their personal growth and academic experience. There are many ways to participate!

To learn more about the event, purchase tickets or to become a sponsor with reserved seating, please visit www.cookingupdreams.org.