California Nonprofit Covenant House Becomes "Beacon of Hope" for Homeless Youth

Mixology Event - H 2015
Getty Images/Courtesy of Covenant House California

Mixology Event - H 2015

Skybar at Mondrian hosted a cocktail competition to raise awareness for Covenant House California.

On Wednesday evening, 250 people gathered for the third annual All-Star Mixology competition at the Skybar at the Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood, where Liza Pano and Paul Hanneman served as event co-chairs for the third annual event.

The All-Star Mixology competition and spirit-tasting event was hosted by Tasting Panel Magazine in partnership with The Hollywood Reporter to raise awareness and funds for the 7,000 homeless youth served annually by Covenant House California.

Panelists included: Brandi Glanville, Courtney Sixx, Lisa Gastineau, Jeremy Sisto (Break Point, Suburgatory), Mimi Gianopulos (Baby Daddy, What to Expect When You’re Expecting), Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark (Cooking Channel’s Unique SweetsRachel Burkons (senior vp, Tasting Panel) and Amber Briggs (Albertson's/Vons/Pavilions), while the hosts of Unique Sweets, Ward and Hardstark, returned to emcee, along with comedian and actor Heather McDonald.

Each mixologist was allowed only one brand of alcohol, and was assigned to create a unique cocktail for the competition.

“I went with a farm-to-glass concept. I did a little hand picking on Monday. I grabbed locally sourced blueberries from Claremont Farms in Los Olivos,” said Ron Macalon of Cobalt brands. “Claremont Farms grows the lavender and has a locally sourced honey producer. Then they infuse that honey with that lavender.”

But not all of the drinks sounded so sweet. One mixologist paired arugula with tequila, while another used jalapeno-honey flavored whiskey.

When asked what was unique to the All-Star Mixology event. Covenant House executive director Bill Bedrosian said: “This is an event where we want to connect with the younger crowd. It’s great to expose new people to our cause, and raise some awareness about homelessness in Hollywood.”

Covenant House associate executive director Ami Rowland believes Covenant House makes an impact beyond events like All-Star Mixology.

“Covenant house is a part of a federation in America, Canada and Latin America,” she said. “We offer youth shelter from the street, we do career and educational services. We are a beacon of hope.”

Rowland also mentioned that Covenant House does an annual gala, but that the executive sleep-out is one of their most influential events.

“All executives have to get sponsored to sleep out on the street. It just speaks to our youth.”