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Once again, the Our Nicholas Foundation (ONF) friends and supporters gathered under the stars at the unique and inviting location of Rancho Bella Sante in De Luz, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. Guests were ferried into a fall harvest setting, thanks to Tiffany’s Party Designs, with subtle hints of sunflowers, hay bales, pumpkins, gourds, and welcome glasses of wine and mixed drinks served in mason jar glasses. On this first day of fall, with a brisk breeze from the west, guests inhaled the cool air, buzzed around the silent auction tables to support ONF, which does so much for Temecula’s Autism community.
The silent auction boasted unique items from local artisans, to autographed electric guitar from Big Bad Voo Doo Daddy, and touring bikes. Area businesses also offered their wares and services for the silent auction, engaging each bidder to seek great deals and bump each other up in support of the ONF mission, a journey of awareness and acceptance for those with autism.
With arrivals at 5:30 p.m., the silent auction ran seamlessly until closing at 7:15 p.m., with awarding of the winners announced over dessert, coffee, and the live auction that followed. As always, the Anselmo family touched hearts of many with their message of love and gratitude for those who make this event possible.
City of Temecula Recreation Supervisor Dawn Adamiak, and husband Steve browsed the auction tables, bidding in support of the event. “It’s a beautiful, cool night and we’re so glad we came.” Dawn Adamiak said. The Adamiak’s took home a business package auction item, from a local printing company.
“This year has been amazing,” said Mark Anselmo, founder of ONF, and father to Nicholas, for whom the foundation is named. “Once again, we are so thankful to all who help us provide support and hope to the children and families impacted by Autism in the Temecula area.” Anselmo said.
“It’s a great turnout.” Agreed Anselmo’s wife, Kathy. “Everyone’s worked very hard to put this event together. We are so grateful to Debbie and Scott McIntyre for sharing their beautiful home with us once again.”
Subtle touches of fall included orange cloth draped tables, hollowed birch tea light holders, burlap and straw bale accents, with bare strung bulb lights strung over the event spaces.
Visitors who have attended the event regularly have come to expect and look forward to the key features of this glorious event, and the estate that holds it. Excellent wine offerings from Leoness Cellars, owner Mike Rennie in attendance, and ONF’s Speranza winery,* as well as the golf competition over the citrus groves. The “Man Cave” for cigars and whiskey.
The amazing spread of delicacies by Chef Volker of Vineyard Gourmet Catering.
Poolside, guests plated Caprese display, of heirloom tomatoes, English cucumber, fresh water mozzarella, and Temecula Olive Oil Company blood orange olive oil and balsamic reduction and micro Italian basil. Topped with melt-in-your-mouth-able Kansas City style carved beef brisket with avocado or espresso barbecue sauces, as well as Kahlua style Hawaiian pulled pork, and sweet, smoky roasted corn succotash and mini corn muffins.
Below, in the wagon-wheel garden, the lazy windmill turned in the cooling night breeze while chef Volker and crew served up Mac ‘n Cheese stations worthy of his reputation. Rotini and elbow macaroni, served with apple-wood bacon crumbles, sauteed wild mushrooms, pesto grilled chicken breast strips, caramelized onions, smoked blue cheese crumbles, shredded cheeses of aged Gruyere and smoked Gouda sauce, or the petite shrimp, scallions, diced tomatoes, herbed bread crumbs, with a sharp cheddar and Parmesan sauce.
Up above, the outdoor pizza ovens blazed while guests stood in line for the assorted Brick Oven Pizzas, of brie, arugula pear and walnut pizza, Wiens L’amour champagne and citrus smoked salmon pizza, the six cheese Alfredo, or classic pepperoni and mozzarella pizza.
All the while, guitarist sang classics as the pool fountains splashed, the sun set, and stars appeared over the De Luz sky and the Sierra Pacific Farms orchards below. Gathering for the desserts, provided by Sweet Layers cakes and pastries, and coffee by Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. Guests did what they do best at the ONF Auction for Autism, bid for live auction items.
“We come every year, and wouldn’t miss supporting ONF.” Carrie Peltzer said, as she and husband Charlie left their opening day of Peltzer Farms for the evening’s event.
Celebrating with the Peltzers, Shawn Halverson, who with wife Tiffany of Tiffany’s Party Designs, worked to coordinate the evening’s event. “It’s a labor of love out here,” Halverson said. “We’re grateful to be a part of this.”