On November 5, the 20th Anniversary Authors Luncheon was attended by a sell-out crowd of 650 book lovers who gathered at the Crowne Plaza Cabana Hotel to be entertained by authors Calvin Trillin, Maxine Hong Kingston, Erik Larsen and local children‘s book author, Jennifer Holm. Thanks to the enthusiastic leadership of Carolyn Brennan and Gina Rayfield, the help of 65 volunteers, and the generosity of event sponsors and attendees, the luncheon was a record success!
ABC7 news anchor, Carolyn Johnson, joined us this year as our very enthusiastic emcee. Abilities United Executive Director, Lynda Steele, highlighted 20 years of accomplishments of the Authors Luncheon which included over $2 million raised for services for people with developmental and physical disabilities, 92 world renowned authors who have donated their time and talent, over a thousand community volunteers, and countless community businesses contributing to this popular event!
This year, the audience was moved by Andy Ramans‘ story about his son’s 40-year history with Abilities United – from infancy to independence. Laura Arrilllaga-Andreessen, whose mother Fran Arrillaga was the first honorary chair of the Authors Luncheon, spoke passionately about her mother‘s example of philanthropy and gifted her new book, Giving 2.0, to all of the guests.
Our community partner, Books Inc. provided their expertise and assistance to recruit the authors and manage the Book Salon which featured the 2011 authors as well as books from past Authors Luncheon speakers.
Finally, the event was topped off with the Abilities United Art Auction, which featured original works of art from a dozen artists from Abilities United, 16 pieces of art sold for a total of over $1,600 going directly to the artists!
Can you image a better way to spend a Saturday? Gathering with hundreds of fellow literary aficionados while you support the mission of Abilities United! Please join us at the 2012 Abilities United Authors Luncheon! For more information about the luncheon or how to be a 2012 sponsor, contact Michele@AbilitiesUnited.org 650-618-3330.
Watch your email and mailbox for the date announcement for the 2012 Authors Luncheon. It sells out each year and you won’t want to miss it!