For $25,000, Mario Lleverino will name a cocktail after you and put it on the menu of Ciano's Modern Latin Flavors, his new restaurant in downtown Campbell. That sounds a little much for a drink, doesn't it? Well, the five-figure price tag would actually be a donation to Viva Fest, the valley's annual Mexican heritage festival.
Lleverino -- a Santa Clara University grad and restaurant executive with 20 years experience -- is on the board of the Mexican Heritage Corporation, which produces the September festival, and has put up a matching amount. He hopes a Silicon Valley CEO or entrepreneur will rise to the challenge to support the event and get some unique name recognition at the same time.
On Tuesday, Ciano's (pronounced with a "ch") will be the venue for a fundraising dinner and tequila tasting to support Viva Fest's education and arts programs. Tickets for the prix-fixe menu are $100 for a wine-paired dinner and $200 with the tequila tasting. The menu for the dinner, by the way, is like taking a little trip through the Americas, with dishes from Mexico, Peru and the Caribbean. Tickets for the 5:30 p.m. event are available at http://vivafestbenefit.eventbrite.com.
And don't forget to bring 25 grand if you want that drink.
BARTZ GIVES NONPROFIT A BOOST: You can take Carol Bartz out of the boardroom, but she's still a take-charge person at her core. The former Yahoo CEO hosted a garden party to benefit Cancer CAREpoint at her Atherton home this past Sunday and helped the San Jose nonprofit raise more than $500,000 that afternoon.
After hearing about how valley patients are being helped by Cancer CAREpoint, Bartz, a breast cancer survivor, took the microphone and challenged the 200 guests for their support.
Dave and Noelle Henderson were first to respond with a large pledge, followed quickly by another from Rick and Debi Justice. Things really took off when Business Wire founder Lorry Lokey said he would match $12,500 donations up to $50,000 -- prompting even more donations. Cancer CAREpoint Board President Gay Crawford says the nonprofit will use the funds to provide counseling, assistance, resources and education to cancer patients, their families and caregivers in the region.
ROCKIN' FOR FISHER HOUSE AT CLUB FOX: After a successful event last year, there's a follow-up benefit for the Palo Alto's Fisher House planned for July 27 at Club Fox in Redwood City. Greg McMorrow and his band Mick & the Big Dawg Patriots will be headlining the show, and other entertainment will include comedians Michael Slack and Reggie Steele from Rooster T. Feathers in Sunnyvale as well as vocalist and pianist Megan Gluhan.
There's also a fun opportunity for donors at the show who give $500 or more to the Fisher House, which is a place for people to stay while their loved ones in the military are being treated at the nearby VA hospital. The concert is being recorded for release later in the year, and those $500 donors will be invited to the studio at a later date to help select the songs and will be listed on the album as "honorary executive producers." Bet that credit spruces up your LinkedIn profile.
Doors open at 8 p.m. at 2209 Broadway. Tickets are $17 in advance and $21 at the door. Go to www.clubfoxrwc.com for details.
MEMORIALS: I was sad to hear Friday morning that longtime radio DJ Bill Kelly had passed away. Kelly, who had been diagnosed with colon cancer, co-hosted the morning show at Mix 106.5 FM in San Jose with Marla Davies, but he took a medical leave of absence this summer. While he'd been at Mix 106.5 for the past 15 years, lots of South Bay listeners -- including me -- remember him all the way back to his show with Al Kline at KWSS in the mid-1980s.
Meanwhile, the Santa Cruz wine community is mourning the death of Katy Lovell of Poetic Cellars, also to cancer, on July 10. There's a fundraiser at 2 p.m. Sunday to help her family with expenses at Vinocruz in Santa Cruz (go to www.vinocruz.com for details), and a tribute tasting in her honor is planned for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Viva restaurant in Los Gatos.