Area residents will have the opportunity to celebrate Italian cuisine and support a local cause this month.
"An Evening in Italy," hosted each year by Family Service of the Chautauqua Region, will be held on Friday, Jan. 25, from 6:30-9 p.m. at St. James Church, 27 Allen St. in Jamestown. Tickets, which are limited, are $35 per person.
According to Donna Vanstrom, executive director for Family Service of the Chautauqua Region, the event will feature Italian dishes such as bruschetta, minestrone, Italian wedding soup, cold bean salad, Italian olives, panzerotti, pasta salad, chicken parmesan, eggplant parmesan, field salad with pancetta and walnut, sausage, aranchini, pizza bianca, Italian cookies, biscotti, cannoli, and more. The event will also feature a variety of fine wines to complement the Italian cuisine. Family Service of the Chautauqua Region volunteers and patrons donated food and wine for the event.
“An Evening in Italy,” hosted each year by Family Service of the Chautauqua Region, will be held on Friday, Jan. 25, from 6:30-9 p.m. at St. James Church, 27 Allen St. in Jamestown. Tickets, which are limited, are $35 per person.
Barney Johnston and Kathy Benson, who together organized the first and subsequent “Evening in Italy” events, are shown. Johnston passed away Nov. 29.
Area residents are shown enjoying a previous “Evening in Italy” event.
"All of the food is made by volunteers, and we use recipes from a variety of Italian Chautauqua County families," said Vanstrom. "We're very particular about sauce, so we're using a homemade spaghetti sauce. And, our menu has developed since the first event so that it now includes minestrone soup as a vegetarian option. We do a tasting with our board of directors in November, and they help us decide what dishes we may want to modify or replace. The meal ticket includes wine, and we have some very generous donors who have provided us with a wide variety of wine for everyone's pleasure."
In addition to dinner and drinks, the event will also feature basket prize drawings. Tickets are $5 each, and the grand prize will be a $500 "design your own vacation" at Glenora Inn and Winery on Seneca Lake, which is about 150 miles east of Jamestown. For more information about the Glenora Inn and Winery, visit www.glenora.com.
"This year we decided to add a basket drawing, which is new for us," said Vanstrom. "The drawing includes a variety of baskets and items including the grand prize 'design your own vacation' trip to Glenora Inn and Winery on Seneca Lake."
"An Evening in Italy" is Family Service of the Chautauqua Region's major annual fundraiser.
"Proceeds from this event will support Family Service of the Chautauqua Region's programs and services, including providing services to those in our community who are uninsured or under-insured and in need of mental health services," said Vanstrom. "We get people who come to us who don't have any insurance, but they need services, and money from this event will help pay for those services. Or, they have insurance but cannot afford the high deductible, so we can subsidize that cost with the proceeds from this event. There are people out there who have mental health issues and are not getting the treatment that they need, for a variety of reasons, but I'm sure one of them is inability to pay. And, we remove that obstacle with this event and through our relationship with the United Way."
Family Service of the Chautauqua Region is a family-focused mental health counseling agency providing services at home, at school, at work and in the community. Its mission is to strengthen the mental health and well-being of individuals, families and our communities. Services are provided by licensed psychologists, social workers and counselors. A variety of appointment hours are available to accommodate the needs of the clients. Family Service of the Chautauqua Region is a United Way member agency.
To order tickets for "An Evening in Italy" call 488-1971. The event is family friendly and available to all ages, but wine will only be served to those 21 and older.
Parking for "An Evening in Italy" is available at the St. James Church lot, and the facility is handicapped accessible. Those who cannot attend the event, but wish to make a contribution to Family Service of the Chautauqua Region, can email Kathy Benson at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a donation to 332 E. Fourth St., Jamestown, NY,14701. For more information about the event, visit www.familyservicecr.com.