It is with great pride and feelings of gratitude that I share with you the huge success of the recent Westerly Rotary Club and Westerly Lions Club annual pasta dinner to support the Jonnycake Center Emergency Fuel Fund. This year’s no-sit-down, drive-thru event resulted in record-setting profits to be forwarded to the Fund, a donation of approximately $6,000. The funds will be allocated to individuals and families within the Jonnycake Center catchment area who are in need of financial assistance to help heat their homes during the winter months.
Without question, the success of the dinner was the direct result of everyone who participated in any way, and the two sponsoring clubs are thankful to all who purchased tickets. However, a huge debt of gratitude goes to Chef Chris Cozzolino and Assistant Chef Jamie Silvestri. During this year’s dinner, as well as during the dinners for each of the past several years, these two volunteers shopped for and prepared all of the foods served. An outstanding job once again.
Others who deserve special recognition include Peter Chiaradio of the Calabrese Club, who arranged for the use of the facility for the event. Nick Stahl, executive director at Westerly Hospital, who once again handled the printing and distribution of tickets. Dan Marantz of the Westerly Lions Club and the co-coordinator of the event, arranged for and supervised the participation of the Lions Club membership throughout the evening. Finally, Dr. Doug Rayner, a member of the Westerly Rotary Club, designed and supervised the traffic-flow pattern for the outside delivery/pickup system, as well as the inside food serving and packaging system. Both plans were conducted efficiently by the coordinated efforts of the Lions and the Rotary memberships.
Both service clubs have already agreed to conduct the event once again in 2022. Hopefully by that time the threat of the COVID virus will have been reduced to the point where the pasta dinner can once again be conducted as an inside, sit-down event at the Calabrese Club. Be on the lookout for a November 2022 event date, and please plan to attend.
The writer is the co-chairman of the Westerly Rotary Club.