|Susan Anthony, Bob Fiese and Sharon Seto at San Francisco Beautiful kick off event. Photo by Claudine Gossett.
San Francisco Beautiful hosted a kick off event - with 300 people responding - at Nordstromâ€™s to promote their â€śInaugural Masquerade Soireeâ€ť to be held at the Palace Hotel on Oct. 14 at 6 pm for dinner, dancing, awards, auction, and a costume contest.
Inaugural Masquerade Chair Sharon Seto introduced Board Chair Robert Friese, who elaborated on the masquerade fundraiser. â€śWe are delighted to see so many new faces here, which we hope will be part of the new generation of people who support the values of San Francisco Beautiful,â€ť said Friese. â€śItâ€™s not just about beauty, but beauty is part of it â€“ the quality of life here, the livability of the City.â€ť He said their organization was the objecting party of what he called â€śthe billboard scam on Market Street,â€ť where â€śyou would have seen the worst version of Times Square you ever saw in your life.â€ť He said SF Beautiful wants to make sure neighborhoods retain their character while having appropriately healthy growth with trees, parks, and a limit on over-commercialization. He joked, â€śYou donâ€™t have to be wearing Birkenstocks to show concern about neighborhoods and the quality of life.â€ť
He added, â€śSuits of the world, unite!â€ť as the crowd laughed.
He explained the nonprofit SF Beautiful has been raising neighborhood grants for over 60 years, along with annual awards dinner fundraisers. â€śWe are going to be around forever, with your help,â€ť he said. â€śAnd we hope you will come on the 14th for our masquerade party and an amazing band.â€ť Friese has been personally involved for over 20 years.
â€śI am so privileged to be part of San Francisco Beautiful, which is the only entity in the Bay Area that protects and enhances the City,â€ť said Seto. â€śThe reason I got involved is because I am fourth generation here â€“ my family has been here since the 1800s.â€ť She pointed to her father, age 79, who was present at the kick off event. â€śI think of the organization as the gatekeeper of the City,â€ť she said. â€śTogether, for San Francisco, we can make community investments to retain the charm and beauty of San Francisco and keep our City on the Bay as one of the top global city destinations.â€ť
The masquerade is an inaugural event that will continue after this year every October from then on. â€śDon a mask or a hat with your outfit, dress as a San Francisco icon (a building, monument, or person) or decorate yourself as a native floral, or come as you are,â€ť Seto said. â€śWe invite you to step into our magical city for an evening of fun, fantasy, and mystery!â€ť
San Francisco Beautiful was founded by Friedel Klussmann in 1947 with her successful campaign to save the Cityâ€™s cable cars. Today, the cable cars are an instantly recognizable San Francisco symbol and SF Beautiful continues to work on projects (such as stopping billboard blight on the Golden Gate Bridge) to ensure that the Cityâ€™s history and natural environment is maintained.
Pre-sale tickets and tables are now available starting at $250, and those under 30 years are $175. Please call Jonathan Goldberg at (415) 421-2608 ext. 13 or visit their website: sfbeautiful.org. San Franciscoâ€™s hat lady and movie maven Jan Wahl says it will be a fun-filled evening with special guests for the event and surprises revealed throughout the night.