The Sunbeam Foundation’s third annual “Cooks For A Cure” fundraiser May 22 raised $29,000 and drew 130 participants. The progressive dinner invited guests to sample appetizers and dine on entrÃ©es at six participating restaurants in downtown Los Altos.
The event, benefiting researchers seeking cures for rare cancers, featured San Francisco 49ers center Eric Heitmann participating in a cooking demonstration, with a major assist from his wife, Emily. The Heitmanns prepared Elizabeth Falkner’s Chocolate Chip Cookies for an ice-cream sandwich. Falkner, of Citizen Cake fame, donated her cookie ingredients for the event.
“It was hilarious, since Eric was quite a novice in the kitchen,” said Brad Wolfe, Sunbeam Foundation president. “His wife was the real chef.”
Heitmann, who has attended the event all three years, was “gracious and funny,” Wolfe said, putting himself in an “uncomfortable situation to help with the cause.”
Highlights included appetizers and entrÃ©es provided, free of charge, by Beausejour, Aldo Los Altos, Pompeii, Mikado, Opa! and Fiesta Vallarta. Participants split into groups of 20 and each stopped at two restaurants, one for appetizers, the other for the entrÃ©e. Then the groups gathered at the Los Altos Youth Center for the Heitmanns’ dessert demonstration.
Interspersed with the dining were short talks and performances by Wolfe, a musician and recording artist, and the group Keeva A Capella.
Speaker Alejandro Sweet-Cordero, M.D., a Stanford-based researcher, discussed developing a mouse model, which Wolfe called “a breakthrough” that would help in efforts to find cures for a host of pediatric cancers. Sweet-Cordero has received funding from the foundation.
Wolfe said the foundation has raised more than $350,000 in its six-year history, and has funded six researchers.
The Sunbeam Foundation’s mission is to fund research in the fight against rare, pediatric cancers. Wolfe’s friend Sara LaBoskey, a Los Altos resident and scholar-athlete, died in 2002 at the age of 21 of Ewing’s sarcoma. Wolfe and members of the LaBoskey family created the foundation to help others with similar conditions. The foundation’s name, “Sunbeam,” derives from Wolfe’s song “Sara’s Got A Sunbeam.” Wolfe has often talked about his singing to Sara and cheering her up during hospital visits.
For more information, visit www.sunbeamfoundation.org.