Raising a Glass to Education

Raising a Glass to Education
Dolcissimo Bake Shop offered gourmet cupcakes to guests.
Tom Luer, a faculty member in the Music Department, plays the sax.
Alumna Kathy Tully, right, and her friends enjoy a glass of wine.

Fans of fine wine, gourmet food and Cal Poly Pomona had an abundance to celebrate during the Southern California Tasting and Auction on May 3.

Nearly 700 university friends, alumni and members of the surrounding communities attended to support education at Cal Poly Pomona while indulging in an adventure of tastes, sights and sounds. The afternoon event, in only its second year, netted up to $170,000 for the university.

“We couldn't ask for a better event,” said Rachiel Lucero, director of events and special projects. “The weather was perfect, the food and wine were amazing, and we welcomed hundreds of first-time guests. That's what it's all about — showcasing this university to the campus community and surrounding communities while supporting education.”

Guests entered through the Aratani Japanese Garden, where a trio of music students welcomed them with smooth jazz, before they made their way to the W.K. Kellogg Rose Garden. More than 40 tasting partners representing the area's best restaurants and wineries brought samples of their signature menu items, including ahi tuna poke, braised short ribs, stuffed dates with gorgonzola, panna cota-filled chocolate cups and countless wine choices.

Between samplings, guests enjoyed entertainment on the main stage as well as silent and live auctions. The auction featured hundreds of one-of-a-kind items, including an autographed baseball from President Obama, special travel packages to Hawaii and Italy, and a golden retriever puppy.

Sponsors included the Children's Fund of San Bernardino County, CIRCOR Aerospace, Inc., Western University of Health Sciences, Carl Karcher Enterprises, Verizon, Pepsi Co., Fairplex, and Mickey and Lee Segal. More than two dozen additional sponsors generously supported the event.  

The event was staffed by hundreds volunteers, including students.  Proceeds will go toward scholarships and university-wide academic enrichment. Next year's Southern California Tasting and Auction will be Sunday, May 2.