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Community members celebrate the holiday season at Meet Me Under the Fig Tree event benefiting the Westside Food Bank. From left: Alan Epstein, MSD Capital; Nat Trives, Santa Monica’s Former Mayor; Iao Katagiri, Westside Food Bank board member; Ellis O’Connor, MSD Capital; and Matthew Lehman, Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows.
Courtesy Photo
Community members celebrate the holiday season at Meet Me Under the Fig Tree event benefiting the Westside Food Bank. From left: Alan Epstein, MSD Capital; Nat Trives, Santa Monica’s Former Mayor; Iao Katagiri, Westside Food Bank board member; Ellis O’Connor, MSD Capital; and Matthew Lehman, Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows.

News, Holiday, Santa Monica, Non Profits

The Fairmont Celebrates The Holidays During "Meet Me Under The Fig Tree"

Attendees were encouraged to bring cans of non-perishable food to be donated to The Westside Food Bank.
Courtesy Photo
Attendees were encouraged to bring cans of non-perishable food to be donated to The Westside Food Bank.

Posted Dec. 12, 2013, 8:36 am

Brenton Garen / Editor-in-Chief

Families gathered under the historic Moreton Bay fig tree at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel on Sunday to celebrate the holiday season during the free community event "Meet Me Under the Fig Tree."

The event hosts were KTLA’s Jessica Holmes and Santa Monica City TV’s Greg Goldner.

The afternoon included live performances by The Santa Monica High School Orchestra and Grammy Award Winning pianist Bill Cunliffe.

Guests enjoyed a whimsical ginger bread house display, cookie decorating, hair braiding, yoga classes by exhale Mind Body Spa, a bounce house, as well as meet and greets with members of Santa Monica’s Fire Department and Police Department.

Additionally, families enjoyed furry four legged friends from the Los Angeles based Best Friends Pet Adoption clinic. 

Guests were also treated to a complimentary raffle, with drawings by Mayor Pam O’Connor, Councilmember Gleam Davis, Councilmember Bob Holbrook and Councilmember Ted Winterer, which featured prizes donated by community partners including Brick + Mortar, The Lobster, Del Frisco’s, Season’s 52, Shutters On the Beach Hotel, FIG Restaurant, Pacific Park, Helen’s Cycles, and Whole Foods.

Guests delighted in culinary offerings such as warm pumpkin soup and BBQ chicken sandwiches from FIG Restaurant and delectable sweet treats from Vanilla Cupcake, Sweet Lady Jane, The Butter End, and Nothing Bundt Cakes.

Attendees were encouraged to bring cans of non-perishable food to be donated to The Westside Food Bank. In total, 8,345 pounds of food will be distributed to deserving families in the community.

“We are astounded and appreciative of the amount of canned food we collected during the event,” said Alan Epstein of MSD Capital, representing the owner of the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows. “These donations will greatly impact the lives of the less fortunate in our community. It was our sincere pleasure to host such a spirited community event and we thank those who attended.”

On Monday, Dec. 9, representatives of Westside Food Bank gathered at Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows to load the donated food items onto the Westside Food Bank truck.

Iao Katagiri, RAND's community relations director and Westside Food Bank board member for over 20 years, said generosity shown by the people of Santa Monica Sunday didn't surprise her at all.

“Neither does the fact that the Fairmont Miramar Hotel created such a warm holiday celebration and opened its doors to the entire community to enjoy and join in helping others," Katagiri said. "Sunday's event was right in line with all the things the Miramar has done to support the community for at least the 40 years that I've been here."

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