Santa Monica Pier (File photo)

Special Olympics Southern California invites residents to “Join the Celebration” at its annual Pier del Sol fundraiser on Sunday, October 11 at 10 a.m. at the Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park.

Pier del Sol features Chef Alain Giraud’s VIP Brunch with cuisine from 35 Los Angeles restaurants, including Maison Giraud, Melisse, Spago, Mistral, and Providence.

VIP Tickets are $150 each or $500 for five and include access to the VIP Brunch, unlimited rides, and 12 game tickets. Child VIP tickets are $50 (ages 5-12 and are only available at the door). General Admission tickets are $60 and include unlimited rides, ten game tickets, and a meal coupon for Pacific Park’s food plaza.

The event will feature music, entertainment, all the rides and games of Pacific Park, and prizes. Attendees will have their chance to bid on fabulous silent auction prize packages from shopping sprees to local entertainment. Participants will also enjoy arts and crafts, karaoke, and cupcake decorating.

“Pier del Sol is a family, fun day for the community, our Special Olympics athletes, and supporters of our movement,” said Bill Shumard, President and CEO of Special Olympics Southern California. “This year’s theme ‘Join the Celebration’ embodies the inclusive environment that Special Olympics strives for, and we hope the public will continue to come out and enjoy the food, rides, games, and supporting Special Olympics at the historic Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park.”

Special Olympics will honor Joshua Grode, partner at Irell & Manella, LLP and a member of Special Olympics Southern California’s Board of Directors, at the event. Grode has been a board member since 2012.

“The support and enthusiasm our Board of Directors brings to Special Olympics Southern California is extraordinary,” said Shumard. “We couldn’t be more grateful for the efforts of Joshua Grode, and all of our board members that go above and beyond to support people with intellectual disabilities.”

The 2015 Honorary Chef for Pier del Sol is Chef Alain Giraud, of Maison Giraud in the Pacific Palisades. Chef Giraud is the inaugural honoree, and as the honoree, the VIP Brunch is named after him. He has participated at Pier del Sol since the inception of the fundraiser in 1997. Year-after-year, Chef Giraud has presented dishes that enlighten fundraiser attendees with French tradition infused with California’s farm to table lifestyle.

Handfuls of celebrities and sports figures will visit the pier for the fundraiser, with Maria Shriver and Bobby Shriver attending as honorary chairs. Since 1997, Pier del Sol has raised nearly $8 million, benefiting and changing the lives of more than 19,625 Special Olympics Southern California athletes.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Submitted by Selena Devore, Special Olympics Southern California

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