Greer's OC: Autism benefit seeks at least $50,000

Autism Care and Treatment Today! will launch a national campaign Saturday to benefit military families with autistic children.

Hosted in a Newport Beach home at 2006 Marlin Way, the nonprofit is hosting a food and wine tasting for "ACT Today! For Military Families." Concerned that health insurance for the military covers only a fraction of the research-suggested intensive therapy needed for autistic children, the campaign hopes to bridge the gap for military families until the policy can be addressed.

The event will include 25 Young's Market Company wineries and delicious local eateries such as the Newport Rib Company, the Arches, Bluewater Grill, Soprano's and Haute Cakes. Operation Help A Hero, For Families of Active Military and Warrior Mommies are sponsoring the event, and entertainment will be provided by Mark Wood.

Hoping to engage and educate about this important cause, ACT Today! will also give guests the opportunity to be among the first to view the organization's upcoming public service announcement.

Featuring the star of "Criminal Minds,"' veteran Joe Mantegna, who has a daughter with autism, it is scheduled to air on major news networks. The goal of the launch party is to raise more than $50,000.

Tickets are $100 per person. To purchase tickets, visit http://www.acttodayformilitaryfamilies.org or contact Laura Marroquin at (714) 546-4431 or at laura@act-today.org.

Klassy Art

Laguna Beach's Stephen Frank Garden & Home is launching a new line from artist Betty Klass from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, and the public is invited to meet and greet while enjoying wine and cheese selections from Stephen Frank Table & Pantry (Laguna Gourmet).

Featuring 12 of Klass's newest and one-of-a-kind hand-painted and sculpted gourds, the unique creations are a perfect addition to the store's "sophisticated, yet casual atmosphere," as they are created to reveal a vitality of spirit and celebration of life. Stephen Frank Garden & Home is at 477 Forest Ave. in Laguna Beach. For more information, call (949) 494-2014 or visit http://www.stephenfrank.com/store/sc/home.asp.

The Happiest Hours

Every day deserves a happy hour! Celebrate the workday with the Memphis group with extended happy hours at both locations. The original Memphis Cafe in Costa Mesa now has drink specials seven days a week from 3 to 7 p.m., with the downtown Santa Ana location offering two less days of happy with only Tuesday through Saturday from 3 to 7 p.m.

Find the full happy hour, characterized by delicious comfort food and tasty classic cocktails meet roadhouse ambiance, at the Memphis Cafe (Costa Mesa) at 2920 Bristol St. and Memphis Santora (Downtown Santa Ana) at 201 N. Broadway.

Get into a Twist

New shoelaces that are made from the same material as hairbands are available in vibrant colors from Twistband. The newest product from Corona del Mar-based business lets you tie your shoes once and never have to lace up again. Available in three tie-dye and three neon colors, these are perfect for yoga, pilates, barre class and spin classes. It's only $10 a pair, and you will also receive a free matching hair tie with your purchase.

For more information on Twistband, visit thetwistband.bigcartel.com.

Seasonal, local ingredients

True Food Kitchen is coming to Fashion Island. Dedicated to simple, fresh and pure ingredients, True Food Kitchen uses seasonal, locally grown, organic produce as often as possible.

Developed in partnership with Fox Restaurant Concepts and bestselling author Dr. Andrew Weil, True Food Kitchen set a high standard with the original Phoenix location, and the restaurant is committed to nutritious menu items that keep the environment in mind – wild or sustainably harvested seafood; natural, hormone- and antibiotic-free chicken, turkey and natural angus beef; wheat-free and gluten-free options; and biodynamic, organic and sustainable wine.

Your health isn't the only thing True Food Kitchen worries about. While the restaurant may open Monday, the globally inspired cuisine is already reaching out to the community by benefiting Oceana's SeaChange Summer Party at a preview dinner with all proceeds going to Oceana.

To get a preview of your own, visit True Food Kitchen's website to look at sample recipes and all the health-conscious practices OC residents now get a chance to taste for themselves!

True Food Kitchen opens Monday at Fashion Island, 451 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach. The restaurant's hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday (brunch served until 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday). For more information, call (949) 644-2400.

GREER WYLDER writes Greer's OC for the Huntington Beach Independent each Thursday and the Daily Pilot and Coastline Pilot each Friday. She's the founder and president of greersoc.com, a free daily e-mail service that provides the latest in Orange County fashion, dining, music, events and trends. Her blog can be viewed http://www.greersoc.com and she can be contacted at greer@greersoc.com.

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