Atherton: 500 guests expected at Super Bowl-related fundraiser Saturday


There's a big party coming to Atherton on Saturday night, but the town is working to make sure the "Big Game Give," an annual fundraiser that often brings in as much as $1 million for charities, won't disturb the neighbors.

The party, which is expected to have 500 guests including numerous celebrities, has also triggered Atherton's special permit process, town officials say. That means that the hosts will have to repay the town for any special services needed, including police and traffic direction.

The party is at the Atherton home of venture capitalist Jillian Manus, who has hosted a number of large charity events in the past. Organizers say among the attendees will be former 49er Joe Montana, former Giant Matt Williams and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (all honorary co-chairs), and former talk show host Jay Leno as emcee.

An acoustic performance by Michael Franti, a rapper, poet and musician who often speaks out on peace and social justice issues, will be featured entertainment.

Atherton Police Chief Ed Flint said that the property owners are working closely with the town "to ensure that the neighbors are not inconvenienced by traffic, parking or excessive noise." He said Atherton police officers will be nearby "with a decibel meter to monitor the noise level," and that the event organizers are paying three Atherton police officers to attend as well as providing private security.

A press release about the event said Ms. Manus plans to empty out her home to set up nine separate parties within. "Robert Fountain will be producing this exclusive event, building unique and extravagant sets to fit the "California" theme," the statement says.

Guests will pass through a giant football helmet to the Laguna Seca Raceway, aka the Manus driveway. Outside the door, a "Seal Rock" will have live seals "to add to the San Francisco element."

Themes of the parties will be California landmarks, paired with California food and wine. Left Bank chef Roland Passot will lead a team of eight Bay Area chefs.

"It will be an over-the-top evening, to say the least," the statement says.

The announced guest list includes: David Beckham, Aaron Paul, Marshawn Lynch, Michael Crabtree, Steve Bono, Keena Turner, Kristi Yamaguchi, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, Jim and Sarah Harbaugh, Thomas DeCoud, Warrick Dunn, Larry Fitzgerald, Ezekiel Elliott, Arian Foster, Scott Fujita, DeMarco Murray, Trent Green, Carlos Hyde, Greg Jennings, Marvin Jones and Justin Tuck.

The host committee includes Melissa Badger, Rob Chesnut, Jeff and Suzette Clarke, Nobuko Cleary, Ron Conway, Leland and Susan Faust, Mary Gullixson, Elizabeth Holmes, JT Holmes, Naveen and Anu Jain, Damir Jandricek, Martin and Kelly Katz, Chris Kelly, Andrew and Kira Kosove, Jeff and Missy Morris, Alan Salzman, Stephan Silver, Trevor Traina, Andy Won, Elaine Wynn, and Brad and Sarah Yonover.

Tickets are available online. If you neglected to get your Super Bowl tickets, for $32,000 you can buy a VIP package for two to the event that includes game tickets.

The event will benefit the Stanford Cancer Institute, the Four Rings Montana Family Foundation and the Giving Back Fund, a national nonprofit umbrella organization.

Atherton's special events ordinance, updated by the council in July 2015, requires a permit for any special event "that requires the assistance of the town for traffic control, public safety services, extraordinary parking control measures, waiver of any local, state, or federal ordinance, or other mitigation measures arising from the special event."

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47 people like this
Posted by A Member of the Community
a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 4, 2016 at 1:53 pm

"Outside the door, a 'Seal Rock' will have live seals 'to add to the San Francisco element.'"

Exploiting wild animals for human entertainment is not OK. Please discontinue doing so and please include the welfare of wild animals, along with others, in your philanthropic endeavors.

At the time of Ringling Bros. retiring their performing elephants and discontinuing using such performances in their circus program, due to public pressure of the suffering of these elephants, and at the time of animal testing being of the verge of being illegal, due to the public's awareness of the needless suffering of these animals when other testing methods are available, it is not acceptable to turn your cheek and use wild animals for entertainment purposes. Please stop.

20 people like this
Posted by really?
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 4, 2016 at 2:53 pm

For $32,000 I would expect to be able to eat the seals as well.

23 people like this
Posted by Thorstein
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 4, 2016 at 3:26 pm

Can't these people afford their own vanity press? Or does it thrill them to know that the unwashed masses are reading about their excessive displays of materialism?

24 people like this
Posted by Huron
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Feb 4, 2016 at 3:35 pm

I sure hope they have decided to use a parking service off site and bus or limo the guests in. I can't imagine the traffic nightmare. I agree with the poster about the seals, some sculptures would have been fine for a display, not he real thing. How hoity toity and disrespectful of our wildlife. I'm not impressed with this kind of waste of police resources either.

24 people like this
Posted by Ethana
a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 4, 2016 at 3:36 pm

Just donate directly to the cancer fund, no need for this outrageous excessive flaunt of one's home.

21 people like this
Posted by Stop the Trolls
a resident of another community
on Feb 4, 2016 at 3:43 pm

Atherton being Atherton!!!

12 people like this
Posted by Nobody
a resident of another community
on Feb 4, 2016 at 4:03 pm

Just think, if they took the money it takes to pull off one of these ego-driven celeb-events and donated it directly to the cause to which they purport to support? Would that not be more prudent? Oh, wait, nobody would know how "generous" these glam-a-zons are, there would be no photos in Gentry or the Nob Hill Gazette,the couture departments at Neiman-Marcus and Nordstrom would lose a lot of sales and social standings from the City to Los Altos Hills would plummet. Please, all this Super Bowl hype is so obnoxious and this "fundraiser" is a prime example.

5 people like this
Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 4, 2016 at 4:08 pm

Jillian Manus is a literary agent. Her husband Alan Salzman is the venture capitalist. They are major philanthropist. She enjoys a party and so do her guests. They will be raising quite a sum of money for some great causes (though Stanford doesn't need any more).

As to the live seals, perhaps some of the guests can perform for the seals, especially the politicians.

3 people like this
Posted by Barbara Wood
Almanac staff writer
on Feb 4, 2016 at 4:19 pm

Barbara Wood is a registered user.

According to her LinkedIn profile Web Link Manus is: "presently a Managing Partner of Structure VC, a Silicon Valley early stage venture fund providing capital and marketing strategy to companies exploiting under-utilized assets and excess capacity," but she does appear to have a number of other interests.

15 people like this
Posted by Don't sweat it
a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 4, 2016 at 5:03 pm

Because Jillian Manus and her husband Alan Salzman have been staunch supporters of the Atherton police department and their very outsized pay packages, I predict no issues with this lavish party and its impact on the neighbors. Remember, Atherton is a pay to go neighborhood.

1 person likes this
Posted by maria
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Feb 4, 2016 at 6:59 pm

people like to see and be seen. and jillian knows that. she always loves to throw lavish parties. kudos to her for organizing this. i just hope the cars don't clog my neighborhood. i'm down the street from her, received an invite, but would prefer to watch the superbowl from my big screen TV vs hobnobbing with guests whose only focus is to dress to the nines (for superbowl?), be seen with celebs or pretend to be one, and hopefully land a photo at gentry or the chronicle.

Note: The party is on Saturday. Super Bowl is on Sunday.

5 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Feb 4, 2016 at 7:18 pm

Maria - since you're nearby and blowing off the party, would you do us all a favor and check on those poor seals during half time? If they aren't faring well, please call
Animal control at: 650-340-7022. I'm happy to have a pizza delivered to you in gratitude. Thanks!

3 people like this
Posted by Charles
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Feb 4, 2016 at 9:56 pm

Jillian Manus and Alan Salzman were divorced 4 years ago.

2 people like this
Posted by whatever
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 4, 2016 at 11:34 pm

Better make that an anchovies pizza in case the seals are hungry.

1 person likes this
Posted by not a football fan
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Feb 5, 2016 at 6:23 am

where is this party going to be - I want to stay far away from those streets

14 people like this
Posted by Curious
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Feb 5, 2016 at 7:49 am

Why the hate? So the woman likes to throw a lavish party for charity? If it bothers you, don't go. I agree the live seals thing is questionable, but other than that it sounds like the organizers have gone to great lengths to make sure they have abided by town laws and hired private security.

I am disheartened by the vitriol directed at someone just because she throws an over-the-top party. She's raising money for charity. Unless you live on her block and are inconvenienced by the traffic, who cares?

45 people like this
Posted by dinner with SEALS
a resident of Atherton: Lloyden Park
on Feb 5, 2016 at 8:56 am

taste a lot like chicken?

3 people like this
Posted by RW
a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 5, 2016 at 3:09 pm

Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

-Matthew 6:2

Need more be said about the pompous silicon valley affluent?

7 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Feb 5, 2016 at 3:50 pm

People dress up, have some fun, and cancer research gets a million bucks,

You're all a bunch of jealous whiners.

1 person likes this
Posted by confucious
a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 5, 2016 at 3:59 pm


If you received an invite was it for the party on Sat. or the Super Bowl on Sunday. Are you watching the party on your big screen, I'm confused.

23 people like this
Posted by really?
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 5, 2016 at 4:10 pm


I'm not sure who Matthew is or why his 6' 2" height is relevant, but he does seem to know what he's talking about.

4 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Feb 5, 2016 at 4:15 pm

Curious - I don't hate these people, but I detest the unnecessary exploitation of animals for events such as these. I also don't think a lot of the commenters are jealous. If they're like me, they're not fans of big shindigs and are cynical about those who have to be courted and feted in order to donate to a worthy cause. We all have to play the game at various levels in our lives but some of these events induce collective eye rolls and then yawns.

11 people like this
Posted by Dubbies
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Feb 5, 2016 at 5:53 pm

That Mathew, at 6.2, would fit in well with the Dubs smallball lineup (SBDS).

Of course, he just missed the WH visit, where potus trashed thedubs in favor of his 95 Bulls. Dude knows hoop and has a great sense of humor.


11 people like this
Posted by Thorstein
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 5, 2016 at 10:29 pm

Maybe next year they will skip the party -- sounds dreadful to me, but I'm not into posturing and namedropping -- and ask everyone on the guest list to donate an amount equivalent to 10% of their annual plastic surgery budget. They'll have no problem reaching the fundraising goal, and the seals will be able to take the night off.

6 people like this
Posted by Neighbor2
a resident of Atherton: other
on Feb 6, 2016 at 11:54 am

... Like her purchase of naming rights for a tiger cub at san francisco zoo for $48k.
Guess what name ? Jillian, of course!

5 people like this
Posted by MarkC
a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Hills
on Feb 6, 2016 at 8:32 pm

MarkC is a registered user.

While this seems pretty impressive or extravagant, if well-to-do, successful and celebrity attendees generate funds for important philanthropy, like curing diseases, I am just fine with this. Take for example, M.E., Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (aka CFS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), that is more common than AIDS in USA, is a worse disease, with no great diagnostics, treatments or cures. ME/CFS is a neuroimmune disease that affects 20,000,000 worldwide, esp women, including celebrities like Laura Hillenbrand, (Author of books/movies Unbroken, & Seabiscuit), and Cher, and sports heroes etc. Perhaps 15,000 have this disease in Bay Area, incl many in Palo Alto including Stanford Students, Alums, Genetics Professor Ron Davis's (of human genome fame!) whose son is near death from this disease, and likely others in Atherton (approx 30 afflicted), Bay Area etc. This disease puts everyone at risk, esp Women, incl host Jillian Manus and every attendee, since no good predictors of who this might affect. Hope innovative attendees or other leaders, innovators like Zuckerbegs, Gates, Sean Parker, Larry Ellison, Meg Whitman might contribute to top R&D occurring right now in Palo Alto, Mountain View, to cure this scourge that has been grossly neglected by CDC that does not track this, and NIH that has had Pathetic funding to Cure M.E. of about $5M per year vs $3B per year for HIV/AIDS, even though AIDS less common and less debilitating. Hope the successful can take the lead and correct for Federal neglect, pour significant philanthropy into the research

One comments said Stanford has enough money, but that is not true since they do not have adequate funds for R&D to Cure M.E. See:
Web Link

The public and MD's need to get education on this, by watching first ever CDC Grand Rounds Feb 16th: Web Link

3 people like this
Posted by Concerned
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Feb 6, 2016 at 9:56 pm

Concerned is a registered user.

We just walked by with our dogs. We did not see any seals out front (but I did look for you "hmmmm." Just guests waiting for their car/UBER. Our dogs didn't seem to smell anything either. Maybe they changed their mind on the live seals?

Although I can hear the music two blocks away, it is music I enjoy. The intersection is well fortified with police but they seem very nice.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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