It’s too late to get in on the farm-to-table dinner but there are still plenty of thrills to be had with the upcoming Farm to Table(aux). The annual event, like many this year, has gone virtual but organizers are hard at work for a lively broadcast on Oct. 9.
The annual event has made a name for itself among local fundraisers, combining an evening of entertainment, living art tableaux, a farm-to-table dinner and exciting live and silent auctions.
Heather Frank, who has been part of the event since its inception in 2016, said organizers held out until August before deciding to adjust the event for current conditions. Moving from an in-person gala to an online silent auction and digital broadcast required some brainstorming.
“Immediately when we made the decision, we decided what we could bring to life,” Frank said. “Because it was a fundraiser, the focus is on revenue, with the silent auction, mystére box and live auction during the broadcast.”
Because the fundraiser benefits the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County, club members are an important part of each year’s festivities. That remains the case this year with young artists providing works for the silent auction and a performance by club members that has been recorded safely in advance to be aired during the evening broadcast.
In addition to the broadcast, the event offered VIP tickets ($2,000 for “tables” of eight) that sold out on July. On the night of the event, meals from Lisa Borda of Bord A Petite Catering will be delivered to watch parties for those viewers.
Those attending virtually should register at the event website (event.gives/farmtotableauxbako) for details including the silent auction, which began Wednesday.
Many items and packages are up for grabs, some of which Frank and colleague Alison Hickman have shared on the event’s Facebook page.
“We tried to really put packages together that were outdoor-focused, like the CSUB outdoor (high ropes) course, and wine tasting outdoors at vineyards.” Frank said. “We have more experience packages, and we’re also very family-driven. We haven’t gone as family-oriented in a long time.”
There are also packages with wines, home items, restaurant gift certificates, jewelry, electronics and more.
During the broadcast, there will also be a live auction, run by Zach Krone of California Coast Auctions.
Four lots will be up for grabs including a trip to Napa Valley and Italian dinner with a virtual cooking lesson and wine tasting with Caymus Vineyards.
A winner will also be drawn for the mystére box, with a prize valued at $5,000 or above. Only 100 tickets ($100 each), which are available now, will be sold. As of press time, half were already claimed.
As the name implies, the prize details remain under wraps until the drawing. But Frank did share some hints, including a case of Caymus wines.
“It’s awesome,” she said of the box. “It’s focused on the times … with one of the most popular things people are doing right now.”
Organizers are intent on making the broadcast exciting, Frank said.
“Right now our focus is to have fun, to recreate the atmosphere of our event.”
That includes a cameo from a mystery celebrity, the aforementioned recorded performance by club members and the living art that gives the event its name.
The tableaux vivant, performers posed in recreations of art by Norman Rockwell, will be incorporated into the broadcast.
“He’s known as America’s illustrator,” Frank said of the painter known for his iconic Saturday Evening Post covers. “We think he’s a beautiful artist.”
“It takes our event back a bit, to good ol’ boy America. Takes us back to a time of true American spirit.”
Frank said they’re hoping to net $250,000 from this year’s event, which she said is thanks to sponsors like Highgate at Seven Oaks.
“Even in this time of crisis, these amazing companies are still supporting us.”
The event team is hard at work to bring the fun from their studio to viewers’ homes.
“Hopefully they join us and have a good time that night,” Frank said. “I’m kind of biased but I’m super excited to bring it to Kern County.”
Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter: @realstefanidias.