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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Classic Feast Dinner Tickets GOING FAST

The Southern Oregon Classic

An inaugural event that promises a great time supporting Southern Oregon

Story by Lynn Leissler


Save the date and mark your calendars for the finest premiere event of the summer season, the party of the year—The Southern Oregon Classic on July 15 and 16 at Centennial Golf Club. This inaugural event is founded and operated by Southern Oregon Magazine, also founders and operators of The Ghost Tree Invitational in Bend, held in August ten years running and the largest golf and culinary event in the state. The Classic is all about giving back to the community. A non-profit event, The Classic donates 100% of its net proceeds to two Southern Oregon charities—CASA of Jackson County and Resolve Center for Dispute Resolution and Restorative Justice.

The list of people and businesses featured in these pages doesn’t count the many others working behind the scenes, with more to come on board over the next few months. 

Southern Oregon can be proud.

For the Friday golf event, put a foursome together to challenge up to 50 other teams in the morning or afternoon shotgun, or enter as an individual and get paired up with some new friends. The round of golf at Centennial—a top-notch award winning course with a view—starts off right with a continental breakfast (Buttercloud Bakery and Cafe is providing pastry items prior to the morning round) and a barbeque lunch by Centennial Grille before the afternoon round. Event format is a shamble with gross and net scoring, hole-in-one prizes, a skins game, and various contests on tee boxes with prizes awarded. A special long drive offers one more way to help the designated charities. Complimentary refreshments will be available at various holes, and Caldera Brewery plans carts with canned beers such as IPAs, pale ale, Pilot Rock and Ashland Amber. Players need to pre-register on the tournament website (www.southernoregonclassic.com).

Those enjoying golf on Friday will be joined by 1,000 other guests at The Feast—the main event—on Saturday evening. Starting at 4 p.m., guests may enter a culinary and beverage paradise. Your one-time ticket price allows you to sample a variety of amazing food prepared by chefs from almost a dozen of the Valley’s finest restaurants. The servings are small plates and you can go back as many times as you wish. It won’t take long to understand why the event is called The Feast. As you sample, be sure and note your favorites and visit those establishments later. The all-inclusive tickets are required and can be purchased at www.southernoregonclassic.com.



Not every chef knows yet what he or she will be serving. Josh Dorcak, chef at Public House in Ashland, does, and plans to showcase egg yolk gnocchi with a garnish of wild leaves and flowers—eye popping, simple and clean. Bambu’s Adam Ward also has his menu, a Kalua pulled pork taco with pickled vegetables. Alchemy’s chef, Billy Buscher, wants folks to try something unique—a brown butter crostini with foie gras torchon and a crème fraîche. As well as hosting The Classic, Centennial’s restaurant (Centennial Grille) plans a pulled-pork build-your-own sandwich station.

As you wander from station to station, you’ll likely wish you had a bigger appetite. Many, including Larks in Ashland and Medford, use local, fresh ingredients, and will draw on seasonal provisions for a mouthwatering presentation. Skye Elder, a native Oregonian and chef at the Brickroom in Ashland, intends to use wild Oregon salmon for his inspiration. Elements serves Spanish tapas with a Northwest influence and chef Mike Hite wants to prepare something along those lines using seasonal local ingredients. While Stefano Cipollone can’t bring along Belle Fiore’s breathtaking vista, he will bring quality cuisine, perhaps arepas or empanadas. Nor will Porters serve from the historic train station, but they, too, intend a plate representing their excellent food. Chef Mario Chavez from Onyx at the Nunan Estate will be serving something along the lines of his gastropub menu. Fusion in Medford has decided to keep us all in suspense, so be sure to see what they have to offer.

The cuisine, guaranteed delectable and memorable, will suit everyone’s taste, whether you like straightforward food or lean toward gourmet. Come check it out.  




Guests can enjoy local wines representative of the burgeoning industry in Southern Oregon. Wine Enthusiast Magazine recently named Ashland, and by association the entire Southern Oregon wine region, one of the ten best wine travel destinations in the world. Take a look at those who will be pouring, and a glimpse of their stories. 

Weisinger Family Winery is one of the oldest in the region; John first planted vines in 1978. His son Eric grew up there and is currently the winemaker. Valley View Winery, also associated with early wine ventures in the area, feels their history is reflected in the wines they create. Schmidt Winery is proud of its three generations (four if you count little ones with trails named after them) working together. Roxy Ann Winery sits on an estate that’s family-owned since 1908, four generations, and plans to serve one of their staples, a Claret. Though not a wine-related memory, one of Ledger David Cellars’ owners recalls childhood memories made on property next to their tasting room. They will share from their reds. Agriculture has changed in the region, epitomized by Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards, situated in what was once the timber capital of the world. Their recent international award garners further recognition for the region. Local wineries come in all sizes. The largest, Del Rio, boasts wines made by two French winemakers. 30 Brix, in downtown Medford, concentrates on small lot port-style wines, and will serve a re-release of an orange Muscat. Quady North, which has a tasting room in the heart of Jacksonville, will pour their famous Pistoleta, their white Rhône blend “with a little pop.” Rounding out the group, Applegate Valley’s Serra Vineyards plans to release a new wine to the public during the event, allowing guests at The Classic the first taste. Folin Cellars, located in Sams Valley, creates a traditional Rhône-style GSM blend from 100 percent estate grown fruit. Belle Fiore Winery will be pouring from their artisan wines made from their unique varietals.



If beer is your preferred beverage, Caldera Brewing Company, one of the first craft brewers on the West Coast, is ready to share half a dozen of their over 42 beers. They’re looking at summer beers such as pilsner and Lawnmower Lager.



There will be a spirits tent as well. If you like gin, vodka or whiskey, stop by and try some Crater Lake Spirits by Bendistillery. Delicious concoctions will be waiting!



Throughout the evening, people are invited to visit the silent auction tent. There will be something for everyone—vacation packages to Cabo San Lucas, Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, Portland, San Diego, Mexico, Bend and Hawaii, as well as gift baskets, art pieces, and gift certificates for local eateries, salons, art suppliers, theater and sporting events (including a Duck game). And so, so much more. Your participation here is huge for the charities. They receive much needed funds and you receive a trip, a service or an item—a total win/win.



Later in the evening at The Feast, get ready to move as Grammy winner Lonnie Chapin and his band Precious Byrd start the evening’s entertainment. Boasting quality that could easily land them a spot at Britt, this funky, high-energy four-piece band from Bend, Los Angeles and Portland takes the floor at The Classic. Their sets include classic and decade hits, old standards and jazz, covers and originals—something for every age group and music taste, all played to entertain, satisfy and lure you to the dance floor.



What to wear? On the golf course, it’s collared shirts for the guys. For Saturday evening, pack away the shorts and think resort casual. It’s not a formal event, but flexible Southern Oregon. Still, women, here’s your chance to get dolled up. Wear that favorite dress, or buy a new one. It’s a party. There’s dancing. And if you wear heels and your feet hurt, kick off your shoes and keep dancing.



The evening is guaranteed to be one of exhilarating fun, but fun with a purpose. The charities selected for our inaugural event are CASA of Jackson County and Resolve: The Center for Dispute Resolution & Restorative Justice (formerly Mediation Works). CASA of Jackson County is an organization of judge-appointed, rigorously trained volunteer advocates who help abused and neglected children through the legal and social services systems. These volunteers stay with each case until the child is placed in a safe, permanent home. For many of these children, their CASA will be the one constant, positive adult presence in their lives.

Resolve’s mission is to transform the way the people and communities manage, resolve and heal from conflict. They consist of professional mediators, educators and volunteers dedicated to building safer, healthier communities at home, work, and at school through conflict resolution education and services. Youth programs work with at-risk children involved in juvenile justice and in K-12 schools to foster safer learning environments through student peer mediation and bullying intervention.



An event of this magnitude would not be possible without the help and support of the community. Many individuals and businesses have come forward as sponsors in order to make The Classic happen, offering financial support, planning aid and hands-on assistance.

SkyOak Financial has taken the lead as title sponsor. Their corporate philosophy is to help companies and individuals make money so they in turn can make a difference. Their personal philosophy follows suit, as they strive “to do everything we can to serve the community where we live.” That is why Jennifer and Derek Davis became involved, and as Derek says, “we intend to roll up our sleeves and get dirty,” to go beyond financial support. “We have staff members serving on the planning committee and helping with silent auction procurement.”

Southern Oregon Magazine, first published in 2008, has become the regions' leading lifestyle magazine, showcasing local restaurants, wineries, recreational opportunities, home fashion trends, individuals who make a difference, medical advances, and more. Owners Ryan and Heidi Chackel want to give back to the community they feature and promote, and The Classic is a way to achieve that goal.

“At Propel, [formerly United Risk Solutions], we believe there is a lot of room to do a lot of good,” says Lance Reyes. Propel’s owners and employees live, work, and play in the communities they serve and feel a responsibility to give back wherever they can. “We are thrilled to be involved with such an impactful event,” he adds, “one that benefits Southern Oregon children and their families.”

Jake Rockwell of the Rockwell Group at John L. Scott Real Estate says, “I am an avid golfer and hang around with a golfers. And I’m always ready to offer help and assistance when the cause is kid oriented.”

Southern Oregon Orthopedics, the region’s largest orthopedic group, has fellowship-trained surgeons who offer the highest quality care, and are trained in the use of cutting-edge robotic equipment. They feel that healthy people contribute to a healthy community.

Caldera will not only pull beer taps, but have stepped in as a sponsor. They’ve experienced amazing growth in the region, and want to help out as a thank you.  

Southern Oregon Cardiology, the top cardiology group in the expanded region, always welcomes opportunities to support local charities. It seems fitting that those who take care of hearts, have a heart to reach out to others.

Steve Boyd of Medford BMW recently moved to the Rogue Valley from a much larger community. He notes, “I like how things are done here.” He is pleased to be part of this inaugural event, especially when “it’s taking care of our kids.”

Nor could the event succeed without broad media coverage. Southern Oregon Magazine is grateful to partners such as KOBI-TV5, KMED Newstalk, The Valley 106.3, and Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau. And of course, Southern Oregon Magazine and its parent company Rogue 5 Media.

The Neuman Hotel Group will provide lodging and travel expertise for out of town folks who are part of the event presentation, such as the band. “We like the idea of an event that combines golf and culinary and benefits the community. A perfect fit,” says Karolina Lavagnino.

Now in its 40th year, Triple AAA RV Center is a family-owned, four-generation business in Medford offering an RV lifestyle. They, too, want to see healthy community members as they recreate and reach out.   

To make the golf tournament more entertaining, the following supporters have stepped up as Hole Sponsors. They will be present on tournament day, making their assigned hole even more exciting than normal.

Lincoln Financial Group, www.lincolnfinancial.com

LVSYS, www.lvsys.com

Million Air, www.millionairmfr.com—The preferrred FBO for anyone flying in to Medford for The Classic

Pacific Power, www.pacificpower.net

Southern Oregon Cardiology, www.socardiology.com

Valley Immediate Care, www.valley-ic.com

VS Custom Hats, www.vintagesilhouettes.com


Put July 15 and 16 on your calendar and check out the event website for details, www.southernoregonclassic.com. The site includes pictures of the Ghost Tree Invitational in Bend, allowing a hint at what’s in store for Southern Oregon. Then, get ready to party.




On Saturday July 16th, at Centennial Golf Club’s event lawn, The Feast begins.


Event Schedule

4 p.m. Gates Open & Silent Auction Begins

5 p.m. Dinner Service Begins

6:30 p.m. Golf Awards and Announcements

7 p.m. Precious Byrd Starts

8:30 p.m. Silent Auction Ends 

9 p.m. Pickup for Auction Items Begins

9:15 p.m. Alcohol Service Ends

10:30 p.m. Events Ends (Approximate)


The Southern Oregon Classic

Held at Centennial Golf Club

Friday July 15, 2016—The Invitational

Saturday July 16, 2016—The Feast



For golf registration and dinner tickets, see:


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