Popular Chef Helps Kids Field Their Dreams | Uplift Family Services

On April 24, Nick Difu and his chef de cuisine Ryan Soden, co-hosted a fundraising dinner for EMQ FamiliesFirst at Nick’s Next Door. The purpose was to help kids of all ages discover and pursue their passions and interests, whether it be sports, art, music, science or computers.

Nick opened up his restaurant and prepared a gourmet meal for more than 80 guests, including 49er Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott and his wife Karen, to raise money for underserved children in Santa Clara County. The fundraiser, which is called “Nick’s Summer Fund,” was co-sponsored by Caryl Pozos, Sandi Kile and volunteers from the EMQ FamiliesFirst Auxiliary, which operates the Butter Paddle in downtown Los Gatos.

Guests mingled in the patio, enjoying hors d’oeuvres and wine before being seated to a three-course meal. A silent auction featured a 49ers helmet signed by Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott and Joe Montana, a one-week vacation at the Mauna Lani Terrace in Hawaii, a multi-night stay at the Highlands Inn in Carmel, a plane ride around San Francisco Bay, and seasonal flower delivery from Citti’s Flowers. Special thanks to all our auction donors: Tina and Jim Jean, Ronnie Lott, Geoff Thomas, Caryl Pozos, Donna Butcher, Citti Florist, Nick Difu, Glenn Kitasoe DDS, and Aerodynamic Aviation.

Nick’s Next Door is a popular restaurant in Los Gatos and within days the tickets were sold out for the event. As the night wound down, it was estimated that $33,450 was raised for Nick’s Summer Fund. That’s enough money to send at least 133 underserved kids to summer camp, which costs approximately $250 per child.

Our heartfelt thanks to Nick and his staff for his many years of support to the children served by EMQ FamiliesFirst!