American Express is the presenting sponsor of this year’s Taste of Opera series beginning Oct. 22. San Diego Opera is hosting a series of events designed to offer an introduction to the 2011 season in informal and casual settings around themed dinners and events. Taste of Opera will pair up a speaker with “Entertaining Entrees to Opera” at The Palm Restaurant, Vigilucci’s Ristorante, University Club Atop Symphony Towers, Tapenade and Café Sevilla. “By going into the community and engaging our neighbors in casual discussions over dinner, participants get their first taste of opera and a great meal at some of the finest restaurants our city has to offer,” said Ian Campbell, general director and artistic director of San Diego Opera … Marjory Kaplan, president and chief executive officer of the Jewish Community Foundation San Diego, was recognized as one of two KPBS Public Broadcasting Local Heroes for Jewish Heritage Month. She was recognized for her efforts to strengthen and improve the community. Dr. Ellen Beck was also recognized. Beck works with a team of volunteers at UC San Diego’s Student-Run Free Clinic Project to provide comprehensive health care for people who do not receive assistance from government programs … The San Diego Performing Arts League is honoring Molli and Arthur Wagner as recipients of the Gold Star Award. The award will be presented Sept. 20 at the Balboa Theatre. The Wagners have been helping the arts grow and flourish in San Diego since 1972 … The Emilio Nares Foundation is holding its seventh annual Harvest for Hope on Sept. 19 at Stingaree. Sponsors include FreeLife International, Wells Fargo and DJM Capital Partners. Proceeds from the event benefit ENF programs to provide services and support to families of children undergoing cancer treatment … The Neurosciences Institute was scheduled to present Minding the Arts on Sept. 12 at The Institute. The Audrey S. Geisel/Dr. Seuss Fund was the presenting sponsor. Funds raised support scientific research dedicated to learning about the brain for the benefit of mankind ... Torrey Pines Bank donated $10,000 to Neighborhood House Association to support its Virtual Gala. Proceeds from the gala went to fund NHA programs, which assist San Diego families, seniors and individuals through health, teenage pregnancy prevention and other programs … The Make-A-Wish Foundation of San Diego was scheduled to hold its ninth annual Tuna Challenge on Sept. 11 and 12. The event was hosted by the Silver Gate Yacht Club on Shelter Island. San Diego County Credit Union was presenting sponsor. The funds raised go to help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions … John Brannelly, director of corporate relations California, American Cancer Society has been selected to receive the 2010 Quest for the Best award for the Border Sierra Region. The award will be presented at the California Division 64th annual awards luncheon on Oct. 29. Brannelly is recognized for his outreach and income development efforts, his supervision and mentoring of his staff team as well as representing American Cancer Society in the community. Brannelly currently serves as president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals … The Cox Kids Foundation awarded a $10,000 grant for Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County’s Operation Bigs Program. Operation Bigs provides mentors to children of military families who have a deployable parent. Operation Bigs currently serves children at five Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton base schools as well as children of active duty parents at four sites in San Diego
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