Dear SF Social Patron,

At first I was reluctant to share the full story of the SF Social. The story is very personal, and I worried that it might cloud the event in sadness if people knew its origins. In the end however, I decided that it was better to share my inspiration, in the hopes that it may help others find theirs.

At the age of 20, I unexpectedly lost my father to pancreatic cancer. He was my role model and mentor, and many years ago he made a life-long commitment to the support of charitable organizations. At the time, I couldn’t say the same for myself. I always thought that I could give back later on, but I abruptly realized that this was not the way to live my life. As I searched for a way to move on, I eventually came upon the idea of the San Francisco Social.

The San Francisco Social would be an event that would honor my father and teach young adults about local charities – and my father’s most important lesson – that giving back can start at any age. It would raise awareness and money for worthy causes. It would also be an event that supported more than just one cause- thus allowing young adults to choose the charities most inspiring to them. To achieve this, the San Francisco Social would rotate causes every two years, exposing different charities to the young professionals and future philanthropists of San Francisco and encouraging them to become lifelong supporters.

For the first San Francisco Social, I chose a cause close to my heart. My parents had just recently founded the non-profit Sonoma Jazz+ Festival, a celebration of food, wine and music that benefitted the local Sonoma school’s music education program. The inaugural year of the San Francisco Social has set the tone of every SF Social since- a high-energy, sold-out crowd, having a blast and getting behind good causes.

Since those first two years, many things have changed, including the charities that we have supported – from Sonoma Jazz+ Festival to the Fine Arts Museums of SF to KIPP Bay Area Schools to Larkin Street Youth Services. Yet the core attraction remains the same: civic minded young people getting together to learn about, be inspired by and support causes they believe in. The message has also remained consistent – that giving back is a life-long endeavor. My father helped me realize this, and the San Francisco Social hopes to create lifetime benefactors for the charities it supports.

I hope to see you at this year’s San Francisco Social, which will benefit Larkin Street Youth Services and inspire a new generation of philanthropists for this worthy cause.

Yours truly,

Anderson Pugash