All proceeds of the event support programs and operations at the Paso Robles Children’s Museum

PASO ROBLES — After being postponed for two years, the Paso Robles Children’s Museum brought back their Cioppino and Vino fundraising event on Sunday, Oct. 9. The event returned for its 11th year, selling out tickets and raising close to $40,000.

The fundraiser is the museum’s largest and only fundraiser of the year, with proceeds supporting the museum’s programs and daily operations. The museum’s executive director, Sarah Parsons, says this year, all proceeds from the event will be able to go back to the children.

On Sunday, chefs and judges met at the Paso Robles Inn Ballroom to first make the cioppino — an Italian strew of fish, shellfish, tomatoes, and seasonings. Judges were kept in a separate room to ensure a truly blind taste testing. 


Paso Terra Chefs Cristina and Andre Averseng, Pappy McGregor’s Chef Rigo Valdez, The Restaurant at Justin Chef Rachel Haggstrom, KelleCo Project Catering Chef Gregg Wangard, Jeffry’s Wine Country BBQ Chef Jeffry Wiesinger and Pier 46 Seafood Chef Tony DeGarimore all competed in the cioppino contest on Sunday. 

KJUG Radio Host Pepper Daniels, Eberly Winery Owner Gary Eberle, Edible Magazine Owner/Publisher Gail Cayetano, Cookbook Author Bridgit Binns, and Actor, Writer, and Producer Casey Biggs were the lucky judges.

In the end, Chef DeGarimore won the Judges Choice Award. 

Following the judges’ tastings, guests had their turn to judge and taste the cioppino for themselves. Judge Daniels, who also emceed the event, suggested the method of tasting one cioppino followed by two wines and then repeat.

Ultimately, Chef Wiesinger came out on top, winning the People’s Choice Award.

“The event was really fun … I think everybody had a blast,” said Parsons.

The rest of the afternoon was filled with camaraderie, wine tasting from the 11 participating wineries, and auctions. 

Using the funds raised at the event, Parsons says the museum is looking forward to purchasing a new post office play exhibit to add to its already engaging set of activities. And now, museum visitors can look forward to themed holiday crafts throughout the next few months, and they are giving out goodie bags to the kids for Halloween.

“We’re trying to work hand in hand with our community partners right now … ways that we can continue to be out there in the community,” said Parsons, who added they plan to have a float in the Paso Robles Christmas Light Parade this December too.

The museum will be open throughout the holidays, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

About the Paso Robles Children’s Museum

The Children’s Museum at the Paso Robles Volunteer Firehouse is a nonprofit 501(c) organization that serves children and families in the general public. The museum engages children in a joyful learn-through-play environment to inspire educational curiosity while honoring the heritage of our volunteer firefighters. The museum provides membership opportunities, birthday parties, and school and youth group programming. The Children’s Museum partners with other youth-based organizations and provides these Community Partners with free admissions and programs to the children and families they serve.

The Museum is located at 623 13th Street in the heart of downtown Paso Robles. For more information, visit