UNICO dinner draws hundreds for charity

By JEN CARDINES

STAFF WRITER

Southington UNICO held one of its two annual Italian dinners on Monday evening at Testa’s banquet hall. Each March and November, the organization holds the event to uphold the Italian culture and raise money to benefit the initiatives that UNICO sponsors.

Dawn Miceli and Dave Zoni are co-chairs of the Italian Dinner Committee and coordinated the event.

“The event really embraces two of UNICO’s core principles,” Miceli said. “Service to fellow man and community as well as fostering and promoting Italian heritage.”

Mike Fasulo, right, pulls a winning ticket during the raffle at the UNICO Italian dinner at Testa’s banquet hall.

An authentic five-course meal included pasta fagioli, antipasto platters, pasta with meatballs, soffritto, stuffed porchetta, and of course, wine. Just before people took their first bites, Angelo Coppola, a Deacon at Saint Thomas church, said grace. As everyone bowed their heads, he shared his thanks for the local community and all its blessings, despite the challenges that today’s world faces.

Over 200 people filled the hall to enjoy the food and company, and four lucky winners went home with a prize. Throughout the evening, attendees purchased raffle tickets in hopes of winning a cash prize from the 50/50 raffle or a flat screen TV, which was donated by Wal-Mart.

Zoni spun the ticket drum as anticipation built throughout the room. Democratic Town Committee chair Bob Berkmoes won the first cash prize up for grabs. Victoria Triano was the second winner, but as UNICO president, she let the drum keep spinning so that someone else could win.

Mary Fasulo and Joann Pappaceno were successful in their ticket purchase and received the last two cash prizes. Pappaceno and her sister Harriet Roman pooled their money together when buying the tickets, and directly after the cash prize was announced, Roman was deemed the winner of the TV.

“Now we have to decide who keeps it,” Roman said with a laugh.

The money generated from the raffle sales goes directly to the UNICO fund, which supports programs such as Southington High School’s Unified Theatre and Unified Sports, the SHS Top 25 Dinner – which honors the top 25 students in each class and National Honor Society – and people afflicted with Cooley’s Anemia.

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