By Matthew Rodriguez
Pasadena Weekly Deputy Editor

After nearly two years without in-person events, Union Station returns with its annual gala, Evening for the Station.

“I am incredibly excited that this is our first in-person event since 2019,” Union Station spokesperson Dana Bean said. “This will be an opportunity for us to connect with our community supporters and give them a great night of entertainment, and also tell them more about the work that we’ve accomplished during the last year and a half since we saw them in person.”

Union Station has hosted this gala for nearly 30 years; however, just like many events in 2020, the nonprofit held it virtually last year. This year will be a hybrid event allowing guests to attend in person and virtually.

“We know not all of our supporters are comfortable with an in-person event, so we will be offering a hybrid option so people can both purchase in-person tickets as well as virtual tickets and watch from home,” Bean said.

Hosted at the University Club of Pasadena on Saturday, Oct. 13, the event costs $90 for an in-person ticket and $50 for a virtual ticket. Guests can also sponsor the event starting at $500. The ticket includes a three-course meal and automatic registration for the silent auction. Virtual attendees will be registered for the silent auction and can pick up their two-course meal the day prior.

Guests can place their bids for many items, such as a collection of wines, a private suite in the Staples Center and a one-night stay in the The Ritz-Carlton in Marina Del Rey. The silent auction is not limited to attendees, and anyone can bid on the items online. All proceeds will go to support Union Station.

During the event, guests can enjoy a wide variety of dances from Todd Elliot Entertainment and music from the Gerry Rothschild Band.

“We’re thrilled to have Gerry, not only because he’s an amazing performer but also because he is a longtime volunteer in our adult center kitchen,” Bean said.

Rothschild, who earned a master’s degree in music therapy, is also an Emmy Award-winning musician who has played throughout the world, including the Rose Bowl, the Playboy Jazz Festival and the Fete Americaine in Geneva, Switzerland. He also has music credits in several hit TV shows such as “Friends,” “The Drew Carey Show” and “The George Lopez Show.”

Rothschild first started volunteering with Union Station almost a decade ago on Thanksgiving. Since then, he’s worked every Thursday helping prepare food for Union Station’s homeless clients.

“The people who work there are just fantastic,” he said. “I’ve been through about three generations of people who’ve worked in the kitchen and they’re all just one better than the other.”

Rothschild hand-picks the members of his band, curating the group to the specific wants of each event planner.

“To do the kinds of music and the kinds of jobs that we’ve done, it means you have to know how to play a wide variety of genres,” Rothschild said. “I can take it from Fats Waller in 1920 to Pharrell today and everything in between and build a band based on what you need.”

Rothschild is a firm Union Station supporter, always featuring them on his social media and persuading his peers to donate to the nonprofit. Rothschild is glad to help drum up support for the event through his music.

“I love the fact that I can help Union Station,” he said.