Kevin Costner and Olivia Newton-John Headline Thomas Fire Benefit Festival
- by Jordan Okumura
VENTURA, CA - The impact of California's wildfires this past year have affected many, and, as we move through the first part of 2018, a group has come together to address the impacts of one of our state's most severe and largest fires in the state's history—the Thomas Fire. Local community members and organizations in the region are uniting to bring the Thomas Fire Benefit Festival to Southern California, which will be held on February 3rd at Plaza Park in Downtown Ventura, California, according to festival information. The goal of this benefit is to raise funds to assist deserving fire victims as quickly and directly as possible, while also helping Ventura County recover from this disaster.
Produce companies are rallying for the cause and jumping on board to generate awareness for the event. 100 percent of proceeds from the Thomas Fire Benefit Festival will be put toward disaster recovery for the fire that had a reach of 281,893 acres, and charred over 1,000 structures, leaving hundreds without homes.
"Since Mission's home is in Ventura County, and the Thomas Fire had an impact on so many residents in the area—including many of our employees—we wanted to be a part of the upcoming benefit event," Steve Barnard, President & CEO of Mission Produce, and a sponsor, shares with me. "In times like these, it is important that we focus on our community and our people. The area is in recovery mode, and the benefit will help with financial recovery as well as pulling the community together for a good cause."
So, what can we expect from the event? The Thomas Fire Benefit Festival will kick-off with a VIP Chef Experience from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. where guests can wine and dine with local and Michelin starred chefs! According to the benefit's website, these VIP guests have access to an unlimited sampling of wine and craft beer and the chance to sample specialty dishes alongside World Central Kitchen Founder and Michelin-Rated Chef, José Andrés.
The benefit is also generating excitement with a high-caliber lineup of artists. General admission gates opening at 4 p.m. for the concert portion of the festival. Performances will include:
- Three-Time Golden Globe & Academy Award Winning Actor, Producer, Director, and Musician, Kevin Costner—and his band Kevin Costner and Modern West
- Four-Time Grammy Award Winning Singer/ Songwriter and Actress, Olivia Newton-John
- Grammy Award Winning Singer/ Songwriter, Colbie Caillat
- Ventura Local and Three-Time Platinum Hip Hop and Rap Artist, Super Duper KYLE
- Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, known for their hit songs "Go Daddy-O" and "Mr. Pinstripe Suit"
...and there is so much more to check out.
"We are very happy to be assisting the many great individuals that are organizing this community event," Alex Teague, Limoneira's COO, who additionally is a sponsor, tells me. "There is a great deal of talent and compassion in Ventura County and we are proud to take part."
Also a sponsor of the Thomas Fire Benefit Concert, Gary Clevenger, Managing Principal of Freska Produce, shares that the company's thoughts go out to all those impacted by California's wildfires and the Freska team saw this benefit as an opportunity to do their part.
"We are proud to be a part of this benefit concert, and hope others in our industry will rally around such a good and necessary cause as well," Gary says. "We wanted to extend our hand of help to the community in hopes that we can change the lives of those affected."
According to the festival information, all fire victims will be able to register for a one-time monetary gift, the amount depending on the total money raised. The Festival is partnering the Ventura County Human Services Agency, the Ventura County Community Foundation, Ventura Education Partnership, Ventura College Foundation, Help of Ojai, Downtown Ventura Organization and the World Central Kitchen to achieve this incredible gesture. The website also noted that The WCK, who provided thousands of meals to first responders, are now assisting the relief effort in and around Montecito.
To learn more about the sold out event and how you can donate, please make this your next click of the day.