The Coast News Group
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Community braves chilly temps for heartwarming cause

ENCINITAS — On an uncharacteristically cold evening Dec. 17, the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce hosted a fundraiser at the Rancho Santa Fe Plaza for Conner’s Cause, a charity for families who struggle to pay for their children’s medical expenses for life-threatening diseases.
The chamber worked in tandem with Karen Gliner, a chair member of Conner’s Cause, to do a smaller, more intimate fundraiser rather than a large gala at a golf course or country club.
After checking in, most guests immediately flocked to the wine table and then one of the heat lamps spread around the courtyard to take the edge off the chill.
It was so frigid that you could see steam coming out of Keith Jacobson’s saxophone as he entertained the crowd with Christmas and holiday songs.
However, the atmosphere was lively as people mingled and tasted new cuisine underneath the clear sky.
Between the tables of food arranged by Bentley’s, Firenzi Trattoria, Meritage Wine Market and The Champagne French Bakery were other businesses that were selling their wares to help donate to the fundraiser. Encinitas Orchids, Childish Couture, Costco and Icons Salon were among the other businesses adding their proceeds to the total collected by the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce.
Conner’s Cause was established more than 15 years ago when a 4-year-old Conner Freese was diagnosed with fatal brain cancer. As his family dealt with his diagnosis and treatment, they also had to contend with thousands of dollars of hospital bills their insurance wouldn’t cover. The charity was founded to help the families who face the same obstacles today.