The 2008 God of Fire Charity Dinner


for

Children in Need

   
The 2008 God of Fire Woman of the Year: Barbara Sinatra

 
 
Left to Right, Johnny Lopez, Robert Torti, Richard Gilliland, Jean Smart, Paul Feig, Frank Mancuso Sr., Barbara Sinatra, Carlito Fuente, Joe Mantegna, Denise Shurtleff, Keith K. Park, Bobby Newman, Frank Mancuso Jr., Matthew Grey Gubler
 

THE WORLD'S MOST REFINED-, AND INSPIRING-, CIGAR EVENT!

by Brent Butterworth, Cigar Lover and Writer, who attends the God of Fire Charity Dinner every year
Los Angeles, September 13, 2008
    
Cigar dinners rank among the most surefire of affairs. After all, when you invite a dedicated group of cigar enthusiasts to enjoy great cigars, fine food, and exceptional wines, what's not to like? But the annual God of Fire Charity Dinner in Los Angeles elevates the cigar dinner to new heights.
    
The dinner takes place at the outdoor dining patio of the world-famous Hotel Bel-Air (www.hotelbelair.com). This year's dinner, which was held on September 13th, featured a menu created by the hotel's Chef de Cuisine, Bruno Lopez, accompanied by wines from the Cambria Estate Winery and Vineyard (www.cambriawine.com), which was generously sponsored by Eric and Robert Newman of JC Newman Cigar Company. Guests received a selection of award-winning God of Fire, Don Carlos Edicion de Anniversario, and Fuente Fuente OpusX cigars.
   
Although extraordinary food, drink, and cigar were the main draws for the 2008 dinner, the main events of the evening were the presentation of the God of Fire Woman of the Year Award to Barbara Sinatra, and the auction of some of the world's finest cigars and humidors produced by Prometheus to benefit Barbara Sinatra Children's Center (www.sinatracenter.org) and Cigar Family Charitable Foundation (www.cf-cf.org). Both charity organizations strive to help children in need. Barbara Sinatra Children's Center provides children, who are victims of sexual, physical and emotional abuse, with counseling and care they deserve regardless of a family's ability to pay for services. Cigar Family Charitable Foundation provides education and health care to children in the Bonao region of the Dominican Republic where Chateau de la Fuente tobacco farm is located.

Celebrity guests included master of ceremonies Joe Mantegna (Criminal Minds, The Simpsons); fellow actors Jim Belushi (According to Jim), Richard Gilliland (24, The Unit), Matthew Gray Gubler (Criminal Minds), Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Sons of Anarchy), Jean Smart (Designing Women, Samantha Who?) and Robert Torti (The Suite Life of Zack & Cody); director Paul Feig (The Office, 30 Rock, Mad Men); producer Frank Mancuso, Jr. (I Know Who Killed Me, Ronin); and Frank Mancuso, Sr. (former President of Paramount Pictures). Carlito Fuente, the legendary cigar maker who has blended God of Fire cigars, also attended the event with Bobby Newman of JC Newman Cigar Company. The Fuente and Newman families founded Cigar Family Charitable Foundation.

 
 
THE BEGINNING
   
The 2008 God of Fire Charity Dinner began with cocktails and God of Fire cigars on the front lawn. After the guests moved to the dinner tables, they were welcomed by Keith K. Park, founder and CEO of Prometheus and God of Fire.
   
"We live in the world of abundance," Park said. "However, tonight somewhere in the world, so many children are going hungry and neglected. We cannot solve all the problems of our children in one night. However, they are the future of our world and I am so happy that we have gathered here tonight to make our best effort to help the less fortunate children of the world."
   
Park then introduced master of ceremonies Joe Mantegna, and together they presented the winners of the God of Fire Golf Tournament, which took place earlier in the day at the Lost Canyons Golf Club, a course in nearby Simi Valley co-designed by Masters Champion Fred Couples. Winners of the tournament were the team from Maple Grove, Minnesota:
 
Jeff Haugen, Jeff Johnson, Joel Rogers and Perry Peterson
         
 

BARBARA SINATRA SPEAKS
    
Mantegna then presented the 2008 God of Fire Woman of the Year Award to Barbara Sinatra, widow of the legendary Frank Sinatra and founder of the Barbara Sinatra Children's Center (www.sinatracenter.org). Founded by the Sinatras in 1986 in Rancho Mirage, California, the Center provides therapy and support for abused children. During his introduction, Mantegna reminisced about his first celebrity golf tournament, which he attended mainly to gain proximity to his idol. "For an Italian kid, there's Jesus, then there's Frank," he said. "But I don't have Jesus on my iPod."
    
After presentation of a short video about her efforts at the Children's Center, Barbara Sinatra then took the stage to accept her award. She began by noting how appropriate it was to receive this award at the God of Fire Charity Dinner. "I knew a pretty fiery guy once," she said. "His name was Francis Albert Sinatra." She then described how her husband had devoted much of his personal and professional life to the Center, and explained why its work is so important. "Recovering is nothing," she said. "A broken arm or leg heals quickly. But memories of abuse don't go away."

 
Video: Barbara Sinatra and Her Charity Work for Children
Narrated by Joe Mantegna, Written and Edited by Dan Ramm
Video: Cigar Family Charitable Foundation
Narrated by Carlito Fuente and Eric Newman
   
 
 
Left to Right, Johnny Lopez, Wayne Suarez, Frank Mancuso Sr., Barbara Sinatra, Joe Mantegna, Carlito Fuente, Bobby Newman, Paul Tucker, Frank Mancuso Jr., Jim Belushi, Ron Perlman, Keith K. Park
 
 
FOR THE CHILDREN
   
Joel Rogers of the Tobacco Grove cigar store in Maple Grove, Minnesota then took the stage to introduce a short video describing the work of the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation. The Foundation's 23-acre complex includes primary and high schools, a health center, sports and recreation facilities, and an organic farming area. It currently serves more than 5,000 families.
   
After the video, Rogers introduced Carlito Fuente and Bobby Newman, whose families co-founded the Foundation after noting that their employees' children typically wandered the area barefoot rather than attending school.
   
"On my first visit to the Dominican Republic, I asked Carlito why the children were walking with pails on their heads instead of being in school," Newman explained. "Most of them were living in shacks with no running water, and they had to walk up to two miles to carry water from the river."
 
 

"Five years ago, parents were asking that I put their children to work in the fields, because whatever these kids earned was what they ate," Fuente said. "But I couldn't-it would have been immoral and illegal. So we started the Foundation, and now they're in school, learning English, learning computers. They get two meals a day at the school. They have a health center they can go to; many of them had never seen a toothbrush. They used to run up to my car begging. Now they run up to thank me for making a better life possible for them."

"When we were breaking ground," he continued, "I asked God to give me enough time in this life to see the first graduation of students from the school. In 2009 the first graduation group of Cigar Family will take place, and I will be there."

Movie producer Frank Mancuso, Jr., who has been the great supporter of the God of Fire Charity Dinner and visited Cigar Family Community Complex in Dominican Republic with his family, then took the podium to congratulate the Fuente and Newman families for their efforts. "Hundreds of kids who would spend their childhood working in the fields are now going to school thanks to the Foundation," he noted.

 

THE CHARITY AUCTION
  
Mantegna then began the auction to benefit the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation-aided by Jim Belushi, who roamed among the dining tables with a microphone taking bids.
   
Many of the auction items featured ultra-exclusive God of Fire humidors by Prometheus, packed with rare God of Fire, Fuente Aged Selection, and Fuente Fuente OpusX cigars. Other items included a day on the set of the TV show Criminal Minds, and a round of golf with Mantegna and fellow actor Andy Garcia at Los Angeles' exclusive Lakeside Country Club. "I guarantee you're going to win," Mantegna quipped.
   
The charity auction raised over $250,000.00 for Barbara Sinatra Children's Center and Cigar Family Charitable Foundation.

 
 
BENEFACTORS OF THE 2008 GOD OF FIRE CHARITY DINNER

During the dinner, Keith K. Park, Founder and CEO of God of Fire and Prometheus, expressed his greatest appreciation for the support and contribution made by the special God of Fire and Prometheus dealers, who made the event such a success. The following special God of Fire and Prometheus dealers attended the 2008 event with their customers (in the order of their last names):
     
Albert and Arseen Chrikjian
Old Oaks Cigar Company
Thousand Oaks, California
Albert Espinoza
Taylor's Tobacco House
Long Beach, California
Mike Fayerverger
Casa Fuente
Las Vegas, Nevada
     
Robert Gregorchuk
Smoker's Castle
Ventura, California
Jeff Haugen and Joel Rogers
Tobacco Grove
Maple Grove, Minnesota
Matt Lanford
Santa Barbara Cigar
Santa Barbara, California
     
Angela Mostashari and Sean Shabani
Club Aficionado
Lake Forest, California
Jimmy Previti and Jeff Newman
Azucar Cigar Lounge
Corona, California
Bill Singer
Smoke Shop
Miami, Florida
     
Paul Tucker
Oxmoor Smoke Shoppe
Louisville, Kentucky

 

 
        
God of Fire and Prometheus would also like to thank the below benefactors of the 2008 God of Fire Charity Dinner. Without their support, the event could not have been possible (in alphabetical order of their last names).
     
Vincent Albanese and Andre Zabitsky Distribution GVA
Laval, Quebec, Canada
Jean-Pierre Boladian, Principal
BOLADarck Design Corp.
Glendale, California
Rick J. Caruso, President and CEO
Caruso Affiliated
Los Angeles, California
   
Carlito Fuente
Arturo Fuente Cigar Company
Tampa, Florida
Hugo, Mark and Wendy Cassar
Kretek International
Moorpark, California
Johnny Lopez, Partner
Platinum Equity
Beverly Hills, California
        
Frank Mancuso, Jr., President and CEO
360 Pictures
Beverly Hills, California
Eric and Robert Newman
JC Newman Cigar Company
Tampa, Florida
 
     
 
THE 2008 GOD OF FIRE GOLF TOURNAMENT

Earlier in the day, the 2008 God of Fire Golf Tournament was held at Lost Canyons Golf Club (www.lostcanyons.com). The winners of the tournament received the trophies and special prizes before the dinner started.
 
All photographs in this page by J.J. Williams.
Copyright © 2008. Prometheus International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
 
 

SPECIAL APPRECIATION

God of Fire and Prometheus would like to thank (in alphabetical order):

Brent Butterworth for writing the article for the 2008 God of Fire Charity Dinner.
   
Denise Shurtleff and Brett Neighbors of Cambria Winery and Vineyards (www.cambriawine.com) for their generous donation of auction items. The exquisite wines produced by Cambra Winery were paired with fine food and God of Fire cigars.
   
Forbidden Johnny with Cigar in the Bottle for their donation of Grand Pommier XS Calvados (www.cigarinthebottle.com), which was served at the end of the dinner.

Hotel Bel-Air (www.hotelbelair.com) and their staff, whose service and support have made the event so pleasant and spectacular.
   
Sean Knutsen and Tim Swail with Humidipak, Inc. (www.humidipak.com) for donating their Boveda (humidity control) products to keep the cigars in a great condition during the dinner and golf tournament.
  
Kevin Griner for serving as Chairman of the 2008 God of Fire Golf Tournament and making sure that everyone had a great time.  
   
Albert Espinoza of Sonic Excellence (www.sonicexcellence.com) for providing Audio and Video Presentation at the 2008 God of Fire Charity Dinner. Sonic Excellence specializes in Audio, Video, Design, and Installation.

 
 
 
 
Copyright © God of Fire, Inc. All Rights Reserved.