Updates for the First Annual Firefighters Charity Ball

VIP Host Committee and Event Updates Announced for the First Annual Firefighters Charity Ball with Special Firehouse Cooking Competition Awards to be held on

Saturday, October 19, 2024


May  2024. Monterey, CA.   Don’t miss the First Annual Firefighters Charity Ball with the first ever Firehouse Cooking Competition Awards.

The VIP Host Committee for this event includes Ted Balestreri, CEO, Cannery Row Company; Daniel W. Bursch, NASA Astronaut; Don Chapin, President, Don Chapin Company; Dan Green, Anchor, KSBW TV; Al Jardine, The Beach Boys: Leon Panetta, Former U.S. Secretary of Defense; and Tene Shake, Event Chair, The Shake Group Realty.

The event’s Culinary Directors include Chef Bert P. Cutino, CEC, WASC, AAC, World Master Chef, Co-Founder Sardine Factory Restaurant; Chef Jacques Wilson, CEC, President ACF Monterey and Chef Robert Mancuso.


The Executive Committee includes Tene S. Shake, Chairman, The Shake Group Realty; Sarah Ward Murphy, Executive Director, Owner of Sarah Ward Events; Captain Raul Pantoja, CEO For Monterey Firefighters Community Foundation, Monterey; Fire Engineer Matt Murphy, Community Outreach Director for Monterey Firefighters Community Foundation, Monterey Firefighter


The Board of Directors includes Michele Allen, Monterey Co. Underwriting Executive for KAZU; Kelly Beshore, Care Improvement & Innovations Manager at Montage Health;  Zoe Carter, Executive Director, Santa Cruz County Business Council; Bill Cox, US Foods Director of Emergency, Services; Will Ekladi, CEO & Publisher for elab Communications & What’s Up Monterey; Robert Klemek, Monterey Fire Captain; Molly McVeigh, MFCF Communications Director; Trevor Rackley, Monterey Fire Engineer; and Samantha Richards

Realtor, Sotheby’s International.


At a Glance:

What: First Annual Firefighters Charity Ball with special Firehouse Cooking Competition Awards sponsored and judged by the American Culinary Foundation

Benefiting the Monterey Firefighters Community Foundation

Event Chair: Tene Shake

Where: Monterey Marriott Hotel, 350 Calle Principal, Monterey, CA 93940

When: Saturday, October 19, 2024

5:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Semi-formal attire

Event  Activities:

  • Mixing and Mingling during Cocktails & Hors d’Oeuvres and Photo Opportunities.
  • Seated gourmet dinner curated by Chef Tene Shake and expertly crafted by Marriott Executive Chef
  • Presentation about the Mission of Your Local Firefighters and Meeting the Heroes Behind It.
  • Awards Ceremony to Celebrate Winners of the First Firehouse Cooking Competition Sponsored and Judged By The American Culinary Federation
  • Silent Auction, Live Auction and Raffle. Support your Local Firefighter Foundation and Make Dreams Come True with Every Dollar Raised!
  • Dance the night away to top hits spun by one of the Monterey Peninsula's most sought-after DJ (name?)

Sponsorship Information:

Current sponsors include Big Sur Land Trust, Carmel Gives, Disaster Kleenup Specialists , Whitson Engineers, Montage Health, Paul's Drapery, Fleurs du Soleil, Big Time Video and Congressman Jimmy Panetta.

Additional sponsors are being sought to underwrite the costs of this very special event and to support the Monterey Firefighters Community Foundation.

For Sponsorships and Donations, please contact Sarah Ward at [email protected] or call (831) 641-9067.

Tickets: $225.00 per person if purchased before September 19, 2024.

After September 20, 2024, tickets are $250.00.

Info: Learn more and purchase tickets at:  Montereyfirefighterscommunity.betterworld.org

Event Contact:  Tene Shake - phone: 831-224-4874 or email: [email protected]

Event Chair Statement:

According to Tene Shake, Event Chair, “The Firefighters Charity Ball holds a special place in our hearts as it symbolizes our collective commitment to supporting our community and honoring the brave men and women who serve as our first responders. It is a celebration of unity, compassion, and the unwavering spirit of giving back. Sponsorships for our first Firefighters Charity Ball are truly invaluable. With the community’s generosity the Monterey Firefighters Community Foundation can host an unforgettable evening that not only brings joy and camaraderie but also enables them to launch new initiatives and expand their outreach efforts. This year, as we come together for this inaugural event, we are filled with hope and anticipation for the positive impact we can make together. The community’s partnership is instrumental in turning The Monterey Firefighters Community Foundation’s vision into reality, and we are deeply grateful for your support. Thank you for believing in our mission and for joining us on this remarkable journey. We look forward to celebrating this momentous occasion with you at our First Annual Firefighters Charity Ball!”

About Monterey Firefighters Community Foundation

Since 2014, the Monterey Firefighters Association, serving as the official collective bargaining and labor representation for the dedicated men and women of the Monterey Fire Department, has tirelessly organized fundraisers and community events. Recognizing the growing importance of our non-profit endeavors, in late 2020, they proudly established the Monterey Firefighters Community Foundation—a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Monterey Firefighters Community Foundation was created for the benefit of our community, and they greatly encourage the participation of our community. Their mission is to protect and strengthen our community through continued stewardship, education and outreach.

Comprising of 78 members, including Captains, Engineers, and Firefighters from the Monterey Fire Department, their foundation is a beacon of compassion and service. Their mission extends beyond traditional roles, as they strive to educate, engage, and empower the community in fire prevention and safety. They serve the residents and visitors of the City of Monterey, City of Pacific Grove, Carmel by the Sea, Monterey Airport, City of Sand City, and the Naval Post Graduate School.

Through impactful activities such as fundraising, organizing community events, distributing emergency relief funds, and providing accurate and up-to-date fire information and resources, the Monterey Firefighters Community Foundation members are woven into the fabric of our beloved community. This is not just an organization; it's a collective of passionate individuals committed to the well-being of our neighbors.

For more information, go to http://www.montereyfirefighterfoundation.org/