Mission Dolores Academy | The education of tomorrow rooted in tradition.

Top Chefs Benefit Luncheon 2016

February 1, 2016
Luncheon Honorees Bob & Millicent Lalanne with Chef Charles Phan and Fr.Charles Gagan

On March 16th our community and supporters gathered for a very special celebration of the school’s success, our students’ achievements, and the tremendous contribution made by our very special honorees Bob & Millicent Lalanne. Our annual Top Chefs Benefit Luncheon at the Four Seasons Hotel, with thanks to a phenomenal level of support from our friends in the community, was a huge success. Funds raised at the luncheon are critical to the school, and the money raised will go directly to helping San Francisco's inner-city children. 

Our annual luncheon is must-attend in part due to our unique Top Chefs lineup. Our guests enjoyed a three-course lunch prepared by some of the city’s best loved chefs, led once again by Chef Charles Phan of the Slanted Door. Half of the room enjoyed dishes prepared by Gerald Hirigoyen of Piperade, Charles Phan, and Craig Stoll & Jessica Sullivan of Delfina, while the other half enjoyed dishes prepared by Mourad Lahlou of Mourad, Salvatore Cracco of Trou Normand, and Alexander la Motte of the Four Seasons. Our guests get to enjoy wonderful food while also helping to support undeserved youth in the Bay Area. 

Our Top Chefs - (L to R) Craig Stoll, Morad Lahlou, Gerald Hirigoyen, Charles Phan 
not pictured - Alexander La Motte, Salvatore Cracco. 


The on-stage program was once again hosted by Kate Kelly of CBS Eyewitness News who guided our guests through a program of inspiring speeches, a performance from our youngest students, and our exciting live auction and fund-a-need led by Damon Bruce of 95.7 The GAME. 

We were also thrilled to be joined by Nikie Abillano who was the very first graduate from Mission Dolores Academy in 2012. Nikie who is now thriving at St. Ignatius College Preparatory gave an inspirational speech on the impact Mission Dolores had on her life, in enabling her to enter one of the City’s top high schools with confidence, and a passion to learn and to succeed.  

Nikie Abillano 


A highlight of the event was the opportunity to honor very special friends of the school, Bob and Millicent Lalanne, for their many years of service to the school. 

Currently the Vice-Chancellor Real Estate at UC Berkeley, Bob served as Chairman of the school's board from 2009-2015 and was instrumental in facilitating Megan Furth Academy's merger with the school at Mission Dolores. Bob and Millicent worked for many months on campus renovating the school buildings and grounds in time for the new Mission Dolores Academy to open in 2011.

Bob took to the stage to tell the story of Mission Dolores Academy – its history, its mission, its successes and its future. An important message imparted by Bob was that of the importance of the funds raised at the lunch. Money raised at the event are critical to fund the school, academic programs and provide generous scholarships for those in need. The school is an essential resource for working-class families in San Francisco, enabling hard-working parents to provide a brighter future for their children. 

As always, a real highlight of the program was our students. At the pre-event reception our guests were entertained by our String Program students, and had the opportunity to meet with our 7 and 8th Grade students and talk to them about their current school projects. On stage, our Kindergarten and 1st Grade students delighted our guests with their performance of “The Whole World is a Rainbow”. 

Kindergarten and 1st Grade in action

The event concluded with an exciting live-auction and fund-a-need hosted by Damon Bruce.

We are overwhelmed by the level of support shown by our friends and supporters at the luncheon. The funds raised will be used to fund scholarships and other programs such as our summer school, reading program for our English language learners, art and music, nutrition and athletics. See you all again next year! 

If you have any questions about the event, please contact our Development Office at 415 638 6212 or Development@mdasf.org

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