On Saturday night I was invited to the sixth annual San Francisco Social, a charity event that benefits KIPP Bay Area Schools. It was a swanky soiree in the Pavilion Room at the Fairmont Hotel complete with a DJ, martini bar, spread of classic, crowd-pleasing finger foods (mushrooms in puff pastry, crab cakes, sliders, chicken skewers, etc.), and one of my favorite California sparklers, JCB by Jean Charles Boisset No. 21.
At the party Anderson Pugash, the 25-year founder of the event, took some time to tell me his fascinating story. Several years ago, Andy’s father suddenly and unexpectedly died of cancer. While he planned on donating to charities later in life when he was more grown up, his dad’s passing made him realize that there’s no time like the present. He came up with the idea to throw an event that would get young people excited about donating to a good cause. The first social benefited a local charity that his father had founded. From there, the annual party grew to what it is today, an event with over 400 ticketed attendees and a new benefactor chosen every 2 years.
As the holidays approach, it’s a great idea to follow Andy’s lead. There’s no better time but now to volunteer at a soup kitchen, donate to a fair trade coffee company, or pick up and move to a third world country.