Rebecca Haussling sees the AbilityFirst 2020 Festival of Fall Comes to You as an epic playground of beautiful gardens intertwined with great food and company.

The Sunday, September 13, event is an interactive, virtual version of Festival of Fall. Some ticket packages include gourmet cuisine prepared by top chefs like Michael Hung of DTLA’s Faith & Flower, Lawry’s The Prime Rib and Gale’s Restaurant in Pasadena, paired with a signature cocktail from Barman Nathan Baker from Pasadena’s The Raymond 1886 and specially select wines. All the while, participants are raising funds for AbilityFirst programs supporting people with disabilities.

The event starts at 6 p.m. on the AbilityFirst YouTube Channel, Facebook and various homes throughout Los Angeles County.

VIP ticket holders, table hosts and sponsors will receive an exclusive, behind-the-scenes virtual tour of the Historic Laurabelle A. Robinson Estate in Pasadena, which is rarely open to the public. The home was commissioned in 1905 by lawyer and financier Henry Robinson and his wife, Laurabelle, and was designed by famous Pasadena architects Greene and Greene.

“We have a couple different options,” said Haussling, AbilityFirst’s senior director of communications.

“The first one is a VIP package. They will tour the Historic Laurabelle A. Robinson Estate. It’s a really magnificent home. It’s a well-known home that is built by a famous Pasadena architect. It’s an epic playground of beautiful gardens. The grounds are magnificent. The home is magnificent.”

VIP ticket holders also receive a DIY pizza kit from Blaze Pizza and a six pack of beer from Golden Road Brewing.

The table package allows guests to gather their friends in a socially distanced and safe space with delivered gourmet meals for two to eight guests from participating top restaurants and a behind-the-scenes virtual tour of the estate. 

“The table host can order from any of those restaurants,” she said. “The idea is they host these people in their home. We’re encouraging people to hold the event outside, in their backyard or front yard, and practice social distancing.”

The third choice is free general admission tickets.

“It’s shown on the AbilityFirst YouTube Channel and we’ll encourage people to text to bid or support us with online auction items,” she said. “We’re hoping it’ll be a bigger, broader audience.”

Proceeds from the AbilityFirst 2020 Festival of Fall Comes to You benefits the organization’s programs. AbilityFirst creates targeted programming to help individuals successfully transition from childhood to adult life. It provides employment preparation, training and experience; builds social connections and independence; and offers their participants and their caregivers an opportunity to refresh and recharge through their recreational activities.

AbilityFirst’s person-centered programs empower individuals to discover what is important to them in their lives, and to develop the skills that are important for them to achieve their goals.

For tickets, call 626-243-4845.