Celebrating a Taste of Italy

Roseann Himes and Rotarian Kathy Benson preparing for An Evening In Italy, Rotary Club of Jamestown fundraiser.
Roseann Himes and Rotarian Kathy Benson preparing for an Evening In Italy, Rotary Club of Jamestown fundraiser.

Article Contributed by
Walt Pickut

“An Italian kitchen is a place of love and passion,” said Kathy Benson, one of the organizers for this year’s “An Evening in Italy” dinner. Buon cibo e buoni amici! Good food and good friends!

The Rotary Club of Jamestown is inviting all of Jamestown to come to the beautifully redecorated and restored St. James Church Hall at 27 Allen Street from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. on Friday, September 29 for a traditional and authentic Evening in Italy.

Candle-lit tables, the music of Italy, fine wines, great food and good company will grace this evening for all who attend. “Chi mangia bene, viva bene,” is the promise of a fine Italian kitchen… “Those who eat well, live well.”

“We have prepared this wonderful dinner many times before,” said Kathy Benson, one of Jamestown’s Rotary members planning the event, “and it’s always for a full house. This year, we’re doing it for the Rotary Club to support their amazing work for the community and around the world.”

Authentic and Homemade
“Every region of Italy will be represented in the menu and the wines,” Benson promised, “from the classic Italian wedding soup to the frozen dessert tortoni, rich handmade cannoli and much, much more.” The main courses will feature a wide selection, including homemade lasagna, aranchini, frittata, chicken parmesan, fine sausage and more. “Come and get fed like at your grandmother’s house!” Benson added with a welcoming smile.

Skilled Italian American family cooks and seasoned home chefs from Italy have worked their authentic Italian kitchen magic together for many years to prepare these feasts for Jamestown, and they are pleased to repeat the performance this year for the community and guests of the Jamestown (noon) Rotary Club.

The Rotary Club of Jamestown is deeply involved in their local and international communities, donating time and effort to a variety of community service projects and to many grants in support of local and international projects.

Service Above Self
The Jamestown Rotary Club is proud to serve the community along with the many other outstanding service organizations in Jamestown. Projects specifically supported by this Year’s “Evening in Italy” and Rotary’s other annual fundraisers include both local and international commitments.

Literacy and Vocational Projects in cooperation with the Jamestown Public Schools, along with the Annual Book Drive, and the St. Luke’s and Prendergast Summer Reading Programs, and various scholarships, rate high on Rotary’s list of ongoing commitments to serve the youth of Jamestown. In past years, the club has also contributed to the Jamestown Boys and Girls Club renovations, continuing the support that began by founding the Boy’s Club in 1939.

Other Rotary projects have supported WCA Emergency Department construction, Chautauqua Lake ecology projects, the Center for Comedy, and the annual Highway Clean-Up of I-86. International work includes a yearly international student exchange program, support for a Nepal Women’s Weaving (microbusiness) Cooperative, a Cambodia Private School improvement mission and emergency aid to earthquake stricken communities in Haiti, water well drilling, and providing aid to victims of many other natural disasters.

Perhaps the best known project in which the Jamestown Rotary Club partners with Rotary International is in the permanent, final eradication of polio from Planet Earth. Rotarians have now helped immunize more than 2.5 billion children against polio in 122 countries and helped reduced polio cases by 99.9 percent worldwide. The end of polio forever… it is very close.

Fine Dining to Save Lives
A Taste of Italy is being staged this year to offer Jamestown a great time for fine dining, good fellowship and an opportunity to personally contribute the work that is continually building our community and changing the world in service to humankind.

To purchase tickets (limited to 200) by a suggested contribution $35, and to take part in the 50/50 and special basket raffle, contact Kathy Benson at 716-489-7308, Misty Johnson at 716-665-9606 or any Jamestown Rotary member. Donations made to the Rotary Club of Jamestown’s Community Service Fund, a 501(c)3 are tax deductible.

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Walt Pickut
Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.