Save the date - Pasta Extravaganza is back!
Our popular “Pasta Extravaganza and Nite at the Races” event returns this year to Together We Cope’s fundraising schedule. The pasta dinner is set for Wednesday, Oct. 1 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Orland Chateau, 14500 S. LaGrange Road in Orland Park. Tickets are $25 for adults and $5 for children age 3 to 12. The dinner features a wide variety of delicious food donated by dozens of south suburban restaurants that support TWC’s work in the region, and gives diners lots of choices for their meal as they peruse the buffet.
Adding to the fun are the horse races featured in this event. Videotaped horse races are shown during the evening, giving diners the chance to place wagers with “fun money” they purchase at the door. The horse races begin at 7 p.m.
Winnings are paid in tickets that diners can drop into baskets for drawings on many prizes to be given away that night. The annual fundraising event was not on last year’s schedule because the date conflicted with two other special fundraisers conducted by two local restaurants having grand openings that benefitted Together We Cope. “We had a wonderful time at the restaurant grand openings, and were grateful for those generous donations,” said Karen Moran, TWC’s fundraising coordinator. “At the same time, many of our longtime supporters missed the pasta dinner and so we’re happy to bring this event back.”
Further information on the dinner and ticket purchase is with Karen Moran at 708-633-5040.
Summer food drives a big help
With shelves growing empty at the food pantry, summer food donations are hugely important at Together We Cope.
“So many people want to help those in need, and one of the easiest ways to do it is to hold a summer food drive,” said Gordon Collins, manager of pantry services.
One Girl Scout worked with her troop to collect 1,800 pounds of food, he said. “She’s 10 years old and it made her feel important because she’s really doing something to help. And she’s getting others to pitch in, too.”
Others clip coupons, purchasing food they donate to Together We Cope. “I’ve had people pull up with a trunk full of food they bought for less, just so they could share it with us,” Collins said.
Still others call to find out what items are most needed, then host a drive at their work place or church to replenish pantry shelves. Groceries on the list today include canned vegetables, particularly corn, green beans, peas and mixed vegetables; snacks like peanut butter-filled crackers; all canned tomato products, from sauce to paste to diced; items like Beefaroni and Spaghettios; and canned fruit including applesauce.
Typical-sized cans of 15 ounces are easiest to distribute to the nearly 85 families the food pantry serves each day, he added. “We save larger cans for big families, but many clients live in smaller households, so the basic-sized cans are great,” Collins said.
TWC staff is happy to provide boxes and also to pick up collections of donated food.
Collins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 708-633-5040.