Thursday, March 29, 2012

Eighth Annual ‘Valley of Heart’s Delight’ by History San José Honors Pioneer Agricultural Families

San José, California – March 19, 2012 — History San José’s (HSJ) eighth annual ‘Valley of Heart’s Delight’ event will honor pioneer families who truly contributed to the thriving agricultural roots of the Santa Clara Valley. Long-time community leaders, the Lester families and the Cilker families, will be honored on Saturday, June 30, at an evening event at History Park from 5 to 9 PM.

The families of Bill Cilker, Sr. and Lee Lester will receive recognition on behalf of the generations of their families who have been, and continue to be, dedicated to the well-being and vitality of the Valley.

“The dinner under the light tower fundraising event has become a History San José signature event,” said Alida Bray, President and CEO, HSJ. “The Cilker and Lester families forged the path of pioneer families who founded this valley on hard work and innovation, and are inspirational and encourage our community to thrive.”

In keeping with the Valley of Hearts Delight theme of abundant harvests, guests will enjoy a move-able feast, visiting food stations filled with sweet and savory creations expertly prepared by Parsley, Sage Rosemary & Thyme. Guests will also enjoy special tastings and demonstrations of locally-produced wine, beer and food products.

Live musical performances, including Fiddle Road and the Dewayne Oakley Blues Ensemble, will entertain the party throughout the night with music under the stars.

History Park will be bustling with activity during the event—attendees may hop on a wagon drawn by Clydesdales, or choose to ride on a historic trolley; design a fruit crate label and visit the fruit barn. Auction items will be offered exclusively in a silent format at a special “Farmers Market” with gift packages for all tastes.

This “open-one-night-only” event has become a tradition. Previous dinners have been held at the now-closed Manny’s Cellar, and the former Mirassou Winery. Previous honorees of the Valley of Heart’s Delight are Pat Loomis, former Mercury News writer, historian Jack Douglas and pioneer Jerry Rosenthal, Helen and Bill DelBiaggio, Jim Salata, Susan and Phil Hammer, and last year Sharron and Carl Cookson.

Tickets to Valley of Heart’s Delight event are $125 each, or blocks of ten at $1,250.

For more information about History San José’s Valley of Heart’s Delight event, call the event line at 408-918-1046 or visit

For information on sponsorship, please contact Linda Spencer at 408-521-5019 or