SAN MARCOS — Under a festive tent on the site of its new campus at 555 Deer Springs Road in Twin Oaks Valley, the Training, Education & Research Institute, or TERI, raised funds at its Cuvee delle Vite gala Dec. 5.
The event focused on “The Blending of Lives,” and hosted parents, professionals and the community to benefit the $50 million Charles R. Cono Center Research & Life Planning.
At the event, an anonymous donor gave a lead gift of $500,000 with an additional $95,000 raised that day. The center, which officially broke ground on Phase 1 of six phases Oct. 1, to support the lives of special needs children and adults, and their families, by providing services and support programs.
The Harriet E. Pfleger Foundation awarded TERI $1 million to build the Harriet E. Pfleger Therapeutic Equestrian Center.
“For nearly 10 years, we have worked to make the Center for Research & Life Planning a reality, and today’s fundraiser has brought us one step closer,” said Cheryl Kilmer, founder of TERI. “The center is a new model for delivering the services we’ve developed over the past 30 years, and a venue to incorporate the ever-evolving programs we develop to meet the changing needs of our clients and their families. This university-like campus will be an internationally recognized resource for research, education, training and life quality — something that simply doesn’t exist today.”
Guests of the event enjoyed fresh Italian dishes donated by Vigilucci’s Restaurant Group and Chef Mario Gutierrez from Bellagio Ristorante & Bakery; as well as wine tasting with Sommelier Derek Alten and pouring by Leonesse Cellars. Live music was performed by the Rey Vinole Big Band, with a special performance by the San Diego Master Chorale. There was also a client art exhibition and sale, with all proceeds benefiting the center, as well as the world premiere of the “I am TERI” video, which highlights experiences of TERI clients, parents, staff and volunteers.
Other major donors and attendees included parent and donor Salah Hassanein with his guest, international fashion designer Zandra Rhodes; Capital Campaign Committee Chairwoman Dawn Hummel; Maj. Jim Desmond of San Marcos and his wife Keri Desmond; Capital Campaign committee member Cathe Burnham of the Burnham Foundation; Tom Tomlinson of the Tomlinson Foundation; Roberto Vigilucci of Vigilucci’s Restaurant Group and Pablo Rios, owner of Bellagio Ristorante.
Cuvee event sponsors included Vigilucci’s, Bellagio Ristorante, Leonesse Cellars,
Local Focus Photography, Sommelier and owner of Signature Wine Services, Derek Alten; Allie’s Party Rentals, San Diego Master Chorale, Crystal Catering, artwork of Steve Barton of Barton Studios, Briggs Tree Company, Inc., a wholesale nursery and
United Site Rentals.
The 20-acre campus will include a variety of state-of-the-art facilities; fitness; arts and education; childhood development; equestrian therapy; horticulture; culinary arts; extensive vocational training opportunities and aquatics. The center will also be home to the TERI-led International Association for Life Quality, offering Special Needs Life Quality Plans and Special Needs Life Quality Coach training, applied research, and onsite and online training programs, serving children, adults and their families. The center is named in honor of the late Charles R. Cono, a San Diego entrepreneur and philanthropist who contributed $5 million toward the center’s construction. An additional $42 million is currently being raised for the next five phases.
For more than 30 years, TERI has been committed to improving the quality of lives for
children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities, and their families. TERI believes every individual with autism and other developmental and learning disabilities has the right to lead a valued, meaningful, and fulfilling life of uncompromised quality in their community.
For more information on TERI or how to make a donation to the Charles R. Cono Center for Research & Life Planning, visit www.teriinc.org or call (760) 721-1706.