I hope you are each lucky (and purposeful) enough to spend time with people who impress and inspire you. I’ve been fortunate this month to be in the presence of some uplifting and amazing women. I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone as generous and motivating as Audra Wilford; you can get a tiny introduction to her on Page 32. Even if we devoted the whole magazine to her, there wouldn’t be enough space to share her enormous vision and her complete devotion to the community and her nonprofit, MaxLove Project.
Wilford is a perfect example of connecting like-minded people for a brilliant outcome. In the face of unimaginable news—a brain cancer diagnosis for her 4-year-old son—she and her husband dove into research and action. Their first instinct: “We knew as we were learning, we had to share it with others and build community around what we felt was a void.” They created MaxLove Project to support families affected by childhood cancer and gathered friends and helpers drawn to their passion. She highlights Glenn Tanaka of Tanaka Farms, where children in the program would visit. “We had such special experiences with our families on the farm. We had one kid at end of life, not talking, and he got on the farm and started going on about how much he loved his dad.” She had an idea for a fundraising dinner and had been working with chef Azmin Ghahreman of Sapphire Laguna. Tanaka wanted to donate the venue. “We got them together, and the sparks started flying. They have the same heart.”
This year marks the fifth anniversary of that Farm to Fork Dinner, and the goal is to raise $500,000. Having seen the passion behind this event, I’m certain Wilford will achieve that milestone. Reading her story might move you to set some ambitious goals, too.
—Ms. Alan Gibbons
My Favorite Things In This Issue
1. The dresses featured in the fall fashion spread will shine no matter the season.
2. Outpost Kitchen salads are delectable, and this month a second location opens for you to enjoy them.
3. Check out memories of Disneyland in the 1960s, and keep an eye out next month for our cover story about the resort today.
4. I love Paula Aragone’s energy and passion, and her family’s story is a great one.