The 24th Annual Reaching for Stars Gala Shines Bright with Culinary Creations and Community Spirit

Prepare to be whisked into a world of culinary excellence, glamour, and boundless generosity at the highly anticipated 24th Annual Reaching for Stars Gala. Nestled against the breathtaking backdrop of Santa Barbara, this gala promises more than just an event—it’s an immersive and unforgettable experience.

The evening, scheduled for May 2, 2024, starting at 5 p.m., will showcase sumptuous delicacies meticulously crafted by some of Santa Barbara’s most esteemed chefs. Each dish serves as a masterpiece, designed to tantalize taste buds and ignite the senses of every attendee.

Originally launched around the year 2000 by a small group of distinguished chefs, including Eric Widmer, Executive Chef at La Cumbre Country Club, the Reaching for Stars Gala has evolved into a celebration of culinary creativity, community spirit, and generosity.

Despite their busy schedules, participating chefs are driven by a shared commitment to give back to the community and provide a platform for culinary students to hone their skills alongside industry professionals.

Leading the culinary charge this year are renowned chefs such as Executive Chef Humberto Perez of Santa Barbara Club, who will be tantalizing taste buds with appetizers, and Executive Chef Josh Brown of Intermezzo, Wine Cask, who will be orchestrating the salad course.

Paul Osborne, Director of Restaurant and Retail Operations at Santa Barbara Fish Market & Restaurant, will present the fish course, while Pastry Chef Christine Rosell of Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage, will provide a delectable dessert.

Students from the SBCC Culinary Arts program, under the guidance of faculty member Stephane Rapp, will have the opportunity to work alongside these culinary maestros, gaining valuable experience and potentially forging future collaborations.

Yet, beyond the gastronomic delights and glamorous attire, the Reaching for Stars Gala serves a deeper purpose. By attending, guests not only treat themselves to an unforgettable evening but also contribute directly to the vital mission of Youth & Family Services YMCA (YFS). This support provides essential resources and opportunities for at-risk and homeless youth, fostering hope for a brighter future.

Distinguished guest speaker Jill Sharkey, Ph.D., from the UCSB Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, will share insights into her work with community youth, while District Attorney John Savrnoch serves as this year’s honorary chair.

The excitement peaks with a live auction, led by dynamic auctioneer Andrew Firestone, offering exclusive experiences and one-of-a-kind items—all in the name of charity. (Channel Islands YMCA Photo)

Throughout the evening, attendees will be inspired by heartwarming stories showcasing the impact of YFS’s work in the community. The excitement peaks with a live auction, led by dynamic auctioneer Andrew Firestone, offering exclusive experiences and one-of-a-kind items—all in the name of charity.

The venue, Rockwood Santa Barbara Woman’s Club at 670 Mission Canyon Road, will be transformed into the epicenter of philanthropy and celebration. Don’t miss your chance to be part of something truly extraordinary.

Secure your tickets and join us at the 24th Annual Reaching for Stars Gala for an evening of culinary delights and philanthropy. For tickets and further information, visit  Let’s come together to support a noble cause and shine a light of hope for the youth in our community.