New Film Proves Successful Fundraiser While Changing Public Perception of Mysterious Sicily

 

Sicily: Land of Love and Strife
This and images to follow were lifted from “Sicily: Land of Love and Strife”

When The Italian Cultural Center of Buffalo, New York (ICCB), the Federation of Italian-American Societies of Western New York (FASWNY), and the Per Niente Club of Buffalo sponsored a special screening of the new feature-length documentary “Sicily: Land of Love and Strife” as a fundraiser, they didn’t know what to expect in return.

Would a film devoted solely to Sicily be compelling to Buffalo’s Italian-American community?

Would the general public accept the contention that there’s more to the mysterious three-sided island than its much-publicized relationship to organized crime?

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When advance tickets sold out and the tally hit $11,000, the Buffalo sponsors knew they’d made the right decision.

So did Sicilia Canta, the Cinema Insieme film club, the Italian Contemporary Film Festival (ICFF), and  Festitalia, all in Hamilton, Ontario, whose special screening also sold out and brought in $10,000.

In Kansas City, Missouri, where writer/producer/director Mark Spano held the U.S. premiere, the small theatre there also sold out.  A native of Kansas City whose parents were first-generation Sicilian immigrants, Spano was thrilled.

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“Holding the premiere in my hometown not only allowed me to see friends and family I hadn’t seen in years, but it also gave me the opportunity to present my film to a very diverse Middle-American audience,” he said. “Their responses were both informative and heartwarming. I could not have asked for more. The theater was sold out, and the crowd loved the film. I was truly humbled by their responses.”

Spano’s film celebrates the island nation’s natural beauty, its passionate people and epic human struggles, the depth and diversity of its culture, the philosophic insights that originated in Sicily, and its wealth of historic sites – all facets of Sicily that have been obscured by the mysterious country’s association with organized crime. He hopes the documentary he worked on for three years will change public perception of his family’s homeland.

Frank Cherrito, former president of UNICO’s Kansas City chapter (2009-2011), remembers when the enthusiastic filmmaker first told him about the documentary he wanted to make.

Film Header

“Mark came to us with an idea,” Cherrito recalled. “Although it wasn’t really clear to us, the vision he had for this wonderful film was crystal clear to him. And it proved to be an incredible fundraiser for our organization. Many people came out to support the film primarily, I think, because it highlights the Italian-American culture in a positive way.”

Sam Cino and Joe Baiardo of Sicilia Canta and Charles Criminisi of Cinema Insieme sent the filmmaker the following statement: “The film was beautifully created with breathtaking images and a captivating soundtrack. Diverse perspectives on the history, culture and norms of Sicilian life were presented by international scholars and authorities who introduced facts that were unknown to many about this beautiful three-sided island. Feedback from many of the 300 viewers was very favorable. Funds from the screening will be used to promote future community initiatives and events of particular interest to the local Sicilian community.”

To date, two more special screenings of “Sicily: Land of Love and Strife” are scheduled:

  • The New York City premiere will be held in the Bernie Wohl Center on Columbus Avenue on Wednesday, September 12.
  • The Triangle Sons and Daughters of Italy, Lodge 2817, in Cary, North Carolina, will present the film as a fundraiser on Sunday, November 11.

Also, Westdale Theater, a soon-to-open art house in Hamilton, and North Park Theatre in Buffalo are planning theatrical runs. No dates have been announced yet.

For more information on “Sicily: Land of Love and Strife” and filmmaker Mark Spano, visit https://markspano.wordpress.com/.


Communities interested in hosting special screenings should

contact Spano at mark@markspano.com.


 

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The Raleigh Architecture Co. Raises Funds, Food For Urban Ministries of Wake Co.

The Raleigh Architecture Co.
Sunday Supper in the city: RACo helps raise $1500 and 200 pounds of food. Photo © Juli Leonard.

The downtown Raleigh firm hosts Capital Club 16’s Sunday Supper On The Road.

The Raleigh Architecture Company (RACo), a design-build firm in the city’s downtown Warehouse District, helped raise $1500 and 200 pounds of food for Urban Ministries of Wake County when partners Craig Kerins, AIA, and Robby Johnson, AIA, hosted Capital Club 16’s “Sunday Supper On The Road” event in their offices on Sunday, November 9.

Shannon and Jake Wolf own and operate Capital Club 16, an American-German restaurant in downtown Raleigh. Several times annually they collaborate with other local businesses, artists, farmers, and friends to host “Sunday Suppers On The Road,” family-style dinners featuring all-local food and beverages. Open to the public but with limited seating, these suppers raise funds for various non-profit organizations. All proceeds are donated to the designated non-profit.

“We’re great friends with Shannon and Jake and we wanted to host an event that allowed us to celebrate the season, friendship, local purveyors, and to raise awareness for a community organization [Urban Ministries] that’s providing a critical service,” said Johnston. “Holding the November Sunday Supper in our office was an opportunity to give something back to the city that gives so much to us.”

Actually, the Sunday Supper took place in RACo’s workshop, which is under the same roof as the office on South West Street. Fifty-five people sat at white linen-draped tables to enjoy food and drink from Laurel Branch Gardens, Locals Seafood, Boulted Bread, and Trophy Brewing — all Raleigh-based businesses. Capital Club 16’s pastry chef Carrie Gephart prepared the desserts.

Besides purchasing tickets to the supper, which raised the $1500, attendees also donated food for Urban Ministries mission – 200 pounds of it.

Urban Ministries of Wake County is a private, non-profit organization that engages the community to serve and advocate on behalf of those affected by poverty by providing nutrition and promoting health and wellness. For more information: www.urbanmin.org.

For more information on Capital Club 16, go to www.capitalclub16.com.

For more information on The Raleigh Architecture Company, visit www.raleigh-architecture.com.

About The Raleigh Architecture Company:

The Raleigh Architecture Company is an award-winning design/build firm specializing in Modern sustainable architecture, and craftsman-quality construction. As licensed architects and general contractors, we consider designing and building to be one integrated process. This streamlined approach empowers us to meet our clients’ economic expectations and to seamlessly execute high quality details, both small and large. Our office and shop are located under one roof in downtown Raleigh’s Warehouse District at 502 S. West Street. For more information visit www.raleigh-architecture.com, call 919-831-2995, or email: info@raleigh-architecture.com.

 

“Eat For Broad Street” Fundraiser To Be Held in Carteret County

Participating restaurants help raise funds for the county’s free health clinic.

On Friday, October 21, 40 restaurants in Carteret County will participate in “Eat For Broad Street,” a day-long fundraiser to support Broad Street Clinic, a free health clinic in Morehead City that has served the coastal county for 18 years.

The restaurants will donate 10 percent of their profits that day to the clinic to help it provide medications to patients who are indigent, uninsured, suffer from chronic illness conditions, and can’t afford the cost of doctor’s visits or medications.

Carteret County physicians and other citizens founded the Broad Street Clinic in 1993 as a private, non-profit, free health clinic serving the adult residents of Carteret County and surrounding areas.

Originally located in Beaufort, the clinic is now located at North 35th Street in Morehead City, near Carteret General Hospital.

To see the list of restaurants participating in “Eat For Broad Street,” visit www.broadstreetclinic.org and click on “future events.”

For more information on the clinic, contact Dr. Mary Katherine Lawrence at 252-241-4154, or email: freeclinic@bizec.rr.com.

RHA Howell To Host “Put It On The Table” Design Competition, Fundraiser

To benefit children and adults with disabilities in the Tar River and Greenville group homes.

July 26, 2011 (Greenville, NC) – Creative holiday table settings and table top design are the themes for a special fundraiser to benefit RHA Howell’s Tar River and Greenville Group Homes this year entitled, “Put It On The Table.”

On Thursday, November 3, from 4-7 p.m., local businesses — interior designers, florists, gift shops and jewelry stores, restaurants, and other entrants — will use tables, chairs, linens, dinnerware, center pieces and other elements to capture the spirit of the holidays. The event will promote their brands and work, while raising funds for children and adults with disabilities. Professional designers will serve as judges to select the “Best in Show” winner, while the attending public will determine the “People’s Choice Award.”

Businesses that enter the “Put It on the Table” competition and fundraiser will pay a $100 entry fee and provide a raffle or silent auction donation valued at $100. All items may also be priced for sale. RHA Howell will provide each entrant a 48-inch unadorned table and any number of chairs.

“We can’t wait to see how creative the table top designers will be,” said RHA Howell marketing director and events planner Debbie Valentine. “And we hope those who come to see the results will be inspired to get creative with their own table tops back home for the holidays.”

For their entry fee, participating designers and businesses will receive advertisements in the “Put It on the Table” program, two tickets to the event, their companies’ names in RHA Howell press releases, and a link to their businesses on the RHA Howell website. The event will also have its own Facebook page and Twitter account. The deadline for entering the competition is September 15.

“Put it on the Table” will be held at St. Peters Catholic Church at 2700 East 4th Street in Greenville, NC. Tickets to the event are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Limited advance tickets will be available from the website at www.rhahowell.org.

Event sponsorships are also available from $250 (“Friends” level) to $2500 (VIP). Benefits for each level of sponsorship will be available soon on the RHA Howell website.

RHA Howell is a non-profit, statewide organization that has been serving children and adults with disabilities for nearly 40 years. Tar River is home to 30 children with complex medical needs who require round-the-clock medical care. The Greenville Group Homes provide care for12 adolescents with special needs.

For more information about RHA Howell Tar River contact Crystal Garman at 252-758-1101 or cgarman@rhanet.org.

For more information about Greenville Group Homes contact Jill Liles at 252-327-2063 or jliles@rhanet.org.

About RHA Howell, Inc.

RHA Howell is a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization that has been helping people with disabilities and special needs, and their families, make choices to live more independently for nearly 40 years. Integrity, high standards for quality and hard work are at the core of every RHA Howell disability assistance program. Proven leaders in caring for people, RHA Howell, Inc. is a pioneering force in the field of human services, particularly supporting infants and children. For more information, go to www.rhahowell.org.

RHA Howell Hosts 2nd Annual Clear Creek Center Golf Classic

May 9, 2011 (Albemarle, NC) – The second Annual Clear Creek Center Golf Classic will

Tillery Traditional Country Club, the site for the golf classic.

be held at the Tillery Traditional Country Club in Albemarle, NC, on Friday, May 20th, hosted by RHA Howell, Inc.

Proceeds will directly benefit children and adults with disabilities in the Charlotte, NC, area.

The second annual Clear Creek Center Golf Classic will be a Captain’s Choice style of play with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. The entry fee is $100 per player and includes: greens fees, use of a golf cart, lunch, the awards reception after the tournament, and one entry into the Putting Contest. Each player will be eligible to win hole-in-one and tee gifts.

The Vulcan Materials Company is the organizing sponsor for the event. Other sponsorship levels are available from $25 to $1000 at www.rhahowell.org by clicking on the Clear Creek Golf Classic icon.

RHA Howell is a non-profit, state-wide organization that has been serving children and adults with disabilities, and their families, across North Carolina for nearly 40 years. RHA Howell operates group homes in the Charlotte area as well as the Clear Creek Center, a 120-bed residential facility with an on-site school. Money raised through the golf tournament will directly benefit the children and adults with disabilities in these facilities.

To sign up for the second annual Clear Creek Golf Classic or for more information, call Teresa Bishop at 704-545-7200, ext. 1164, or email her at tbishop@rhanet.org.

For more information on RHA Howell, Inc., visit www.rhahowell.org.

About RHA Howell, Inc.

RHA Howell is a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization that has been helping people with disabilities and special needs, and their families, make choices to live more independently for more than 35 years. Integrity, high standards for quality, and hard work are at the core of every RHA Howell disability assistance program. Proven leaders in caring for people, RHA Howell, Inc. is a pioneering force in the field of human services, particularly supporting infants and children. For more information, please go to www.rhahowell.org.

Cary Jeweler Donates Amethyst Earrings to Epicurious Vino Challenge Auction

The auction will help raise funds for children and adults with disabilities.

May 3, 2011 (Raleigh, NC) — J. M. Edwards Jewelry in Cary, NC, has agreed to donate a pair of earrings, worth $750, to the auction portion of the 2011 Epicurious Vino

Earrings donated by Cary jeweler.

Challenge that will be held Saturday, June 4, from 6:30-10 p.m. at the Hinnant Family Vineyards in Pine Level, NC, to benefit children and adults with disabilities.

Now in its third year, the Epicurious Vino Challenge features professional chefs from Raleigh to Greenville who use Hinnant Family Vineyards wines to create signature dishes for everyone in attendance to sample. After enjoying the food, music, and Hinnant’s award-winning wines in the vineyard’s tank room, guests will then participate in both a silent and live auction in the “barrel gallery.”

Among the items auctioned this year will be the pair of sterling silver, 14-karat yellow gold, and Amethyst drop earrings donated by J. M. Edwards Jewelry to show the company’s support for the fundraiser.

Hosted by RHA Howell, Inc, and benefactors US Foodservice, Hinnant Family Vineyards, and Southern Pharmacy Services, proceeds from the Epicurious Vino Challenge tickets sales and auction will directly benefit children and adults with disabilities across North Carolina.

“We are tremendously grateful to James Carl Edwards of J. M. Edwards Jewelry for this very generous donation,” said RHA Howell, Inc.’s events director Debbie Valentine. “The earrings are gorgeous and one lucky person who attends the event is going to leave with them!”

Valentine anticipates this year’s event selling out quickly. To reserve single tickets ($50 each) or to reserve a table for 10 ($400), go to http://www.rhahowell.org/NewsEvents/Epicurious/tabid/737/Default.aspx. Payment by PayPal is available. Questions about tickets and sponsorships may be directed to dvalentine@rhanet.org or by calling 919-803-2960.

Other sponsor for this year’s event include Southern Pharmacy, Van Products, L&M, Fallon Benefit Group, Marcom Medical Consultants, and Wake Stone Corporation. Print Enterprise, Inc., is providing all printed materials.

For more information on the event, including the list of participating chefs, visit www.rhahowell.org and click on “EVC 2011,” and visit the event’s Facebook page.

About RHA Howell, Inc.:

RHA Howell is a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization that has been helping people with disabilities and special needs, and their families, make choices to live more independently for more than 35 years. Integrity, high standards for quality, and hard work are at the core of every RHA Howell disability assistance program. Proven leaders in caring for people, RHA Howell, Inc. is a pioneering force in the field of human services, particularly supporting infants and children. For more information, please go to www.rhahowell.org.

Winning Chefs Return For Third Annual Epicurious Vino Challenge

The popular event combines chefs, wine and charity.  

March 22, 2011 (Raleigh, NC) — Celebrated chefs from Raleigh to the coast once again will compete to create trademark dishes using Hinnant Family Vineyard’s award-winning wines when US Foodservice Raleigh and RHA Howell present the third annual Epicurious Vino Challenge on Saturday, June 4, 2011, at the vineyard in Pine Level, NC. All proceeds will benefit a child or an adult with a disability.

RHA Howell, a non-profit, state-wide organization serving people with disabilities for nearly 40 years, is especially pleased that the award-winning chefs from last year’s Epicurious Vino Challenge have already signed on to compete again.

The 2010 Chef’s Choice Winner, Chef Brian Batistella of Batistella’s New Orleans Kitchen in Raleigh, has agreed to defend his title.

Chef Tom Armstrong with Vinnie’s Steakhouse & Tavern in Raleigh will return for the challenge for the third straight year. Chef Armstrong placed second in the Chef’s Choice category in last year and has been a great friend of RHA Howell’s programs.

Chef Pat Walston of House-Autry Mills in Four Oaks won third place in both the Chef’s Choice and People’s Choice categories last year and will be back, along with Chef Joyce Jenkins of The Serving Spoon Catering Company in Pine Level.  Also returning is Sergeant Kimberly Hall of the “Flying Fork” at Seymour Johnston Air Force Base.

For the “challenge,” these and other professional chefs will vie to see who can come up with the most delicious dish using a Hinnant Family Vineyard wines as a key ingredient. The chef’s pull the name of a wine out of a hat.

The crowd in attendance will enjoy the chef’s creations then choose a People’s Choice Award winner. Executive chefs from US Food Services will name the Chef’s Choice winner through a blind judging.

RHA Howell logo

Presented by RHA Howell, the event is sponsored by US Foodservice of Raleigh and Hinnant Family Vineyards & Winery in Pine Level, along with Print Enterprise and Wake Stone Corporation.

Hinnant is the largest muscadine vineyard in North Carolina, sprawling over 80 acres. Its international award-winning wines range from dry whites and reds to traditional sweet scuppernongs. The Epicurious Vino Challenge will take place inside vineyard’s wedding/banquet facility known as “The Barrell Gallery.”

For more information about signing up to compete, reserving a table, or ticket sales, contact Debbie Valentine dvalentine@rhanet.org or call 919-803-2960.  Tickets will go on sale in April. To learn more about RHA Howell, visit www.rhahowell.org.

About RHA Howell, Inc.

RHA Howell is a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization that has been helping people with disabilities and special needs, and their families, make choices to live more independently for nearly 40 years. Integrity, high standards for quality, and hard work are at the core of every RHA Howell program. RHA Howell is a pioneering force in the field of human services for children and adults across North Carolina with the mission “Opening the world for people with disabilities and in turn, enriching the lives of everyone they touch.” For more information, go to www.rhahowell.org.

New Bern To Host First “Blue Tie Casino Night” To Benefit Children and Adults with Disabilities

February 17, 2010 (NEW BERN, NC) — The first Blue Tie Casino Night – complete with music, fine food, signature drinks, and a host of casino-style games – will be held in the main ballroom of the Hilton River Front Hotel, 100 Middle Street, New Bern, NC, on April 17th, starting at 6:30 p.m. Proceeds will benefit children and adults with disabilities.

RHA Howell, Inc., a not-for-profit organization that has been helping people with disabilities and special needs and their families for more than 35 years, is presenting Blue Tie Casino Night as a fundraiser benefiting children and adults at its Tar River, Greenville Group Homes, and River Bend Centers.

Blue Tie Casino Night will offer a host of non-cash prize casino games such as Poker, Blackjack, and Roulette as well as a full-service food buffet, catered by the Hilton, and an open bar.

The night will also feature a silent and live auction. The live auction will give party-goers a chance to bid on five major packages: the Jimmy Buffett Las Vegas Concert for two in October of 2010, valued at $2050; the 2011 Daytona 500 Package worth $1500; a Girlfriends Shopping Getaway in New York City worth $2400; a 2010 Halloween Weekend in New Orleans valued at $1450; and the Fighter Pilot for a Day Experience (choice of 40 locations) worth $1150.

This event is a production of All-in Entertainment, Inc., which produces similar events for NC State University’s Red & White Ball, the Carolina Hurricanes Casino Night Fundraiser for the Kids ‘n Community Foundation, Glaxo Smith Klein’s Casino Night, and the Marine Corp Ball.

Tickets to the Blue Tie Casino Night are $50 each with tables of 10 available for $400. Seating is limited. To purchase advance tickets, go to www.rhahowell.org/BlueTie.aspx or call RHA event coordinator Debbie Valentine at 919-803-2690. Preferred attire is “dressy cocktail” with an emphasis on blue rather than black tie.

Partnership opportunities are also for individuals and companies, ranging from the $500 Friends Circle to the $5000 Platinum Circle. “Blue Tie Buddy” packages are also available, including a $200 Budget Buddy designation, in-kind sponsorship and game table sponsorship, or by reserving a table for 10. For details on partnerships and Blue Tie Buddy packages, call Debbie Valentine at 919-803-2690 or email her at dvalentine@rhanet.org.

The RHA Howell Tar River Center in Greenville is a pediatric unit supporting 30 medically fragile infants and children with disabilities. The Greenville Group Homes provide quality care for children and teenagers with developmental delays and special needs. The RHA Howell River Bend Center in New Bern is home to 125 children and young adults with developmental disabilities. Proceeds from the Blue Tie Casino Night will directly benefit each person served by these programs.

For more information on RHA Howell, Inc., visit www.rhahowell.org.

About RHA Howell, Inc.:

RHA Howell is a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization that has been helping people with disabilities and special needs, and their families, make choices to live more independently for more than 35 years. Integrity, high standards for quality, hard work are at the core of every RHA Howell disability assistance program. Proven leaders in caring for people, RHA Howell, Inc. is a pioneering force in the field of human services, particularly supporting infants and children. For more information, go to www.rhahowell.org.