LIVERMORE -- Barry Taylor was known for his philanthropy, vision and mission to help children with all types of illnesses and disabilities through The Taylor Family Foundation.
That is why those closest to him say it's important to honor everything that Barry -- who died in November at age 74 -- devoted his life to by continuing the tradition of the foundation's "Day in the Park" event.
"It's been a very hard year," said Angie Carmignani, the foundation's executive director. "While we felt it as a family, Barry and Elaine are such entrepreneurs they set up the foundation to survive for the long haul."
The 24th annual event will be held Aug. 24 at Camp Arroyo, the foundation's 138-acre site in Livermore that serves 3,000 children annually. The one-day event -- which typically raises more than $1 million -- will feature a performance by Grammy winner k.d. lang -- with tickets available for a special VIP reception -- food and wine tastings from 70 local establishments, a raffle for a 2014 Mini Cooper, a silent auction playfully dubbed the "Gift Center" and a live auction featuring getaways, rare wines and other items.
The event enables the foundation to showcase Camp Arroyo, the unique facility built in 2000 in partnership with the East Bay Regional Park District. Along with the traditional mess hall and cabins, the camp is replete with a wheelchair-access-
ible pool, climbing wall, ropes course and volunteer-staffed infirmary. The YMCA of the East Bay helps operate the camp, which draws children primarily from Northern California with terminal and critical illnesses, disabilities or other significant issues including cancer, celiac disease and autism.
The "Day in the Park" raises a solid chunk of the foundation's annual budget so the camp can remain free to attendees, Carmignani said. The event began as a simple backyard fundraiser to which Barry and Elaine Taylor invited community members, friends and colleagues from Barry Taylor's successful office equipment business. Eventually it evolved into the large, though casual, benefit that it is today, with local personalities including Doug McConnell and Cheryl Jennings among the anticipated 1,100 attendees.
"Every year, we raised a little bit more and then a little bit more," Carmignani said. "By the early 2000s, we were tipping the $1 million mark and since then we have tipped the $1 million mark each year, and we couldn't do it without the support of the community."
IF YOU GO
What: The Taylor Family Foundation's 24th annual "Day in the Park"
When: 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 24
Where: Camp Arroyo, 5555 Arroyo Road in Livermore
Cost: $200 per ticket, $2,500 per table for 10
Details or to buy tickets: Call 925-455-5118 or visit www.ttff.org