Catholics plan annual fundraiser

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 24, 2019

What started out 20 years ago as a fundraiser for one trip to Italy turned into one of Christ the King Catholic Church’s biggest fundraisers.

The 20th Annual Italian Dinner is scheduled for Saturday, February 9.

“When my kids were high school age, the whole idea was to go in 2,000 to the big youth day in Italy,” Organizer Kathy Frye said. “We knew that we were going to have to raise money, so that’s how the Italian Dinner got started. We actually did end up going to Italy, but it was a couple of years after the original Italian Dinner.”

Frye said that it was such a big hit with the community that they kept on doing it.

“What happened is, people in the community started asking when we were going to do it again,” Frye said. “Well the whole reason we started it was to go to Italy that year, so we didn’t think about doing it again. Then we started it back up again and thought, ‘Well gosh, even though we aren’t going to Italy, we can still use it for the youth for them to go on any kind of a mission trip or a retreat.’”

The Italian Dinner each year raises money for the church’s youth program.

“Each year they go to the Archdiocesan Catholic Youth Conference,” Frye said. “There are also other retreats that they go on during the summer and if some kids want to go on a mission trip we can use the money raised for that as well.”

There will be one thing different to the Italian Dinner this year, a new priest. Father Bien Nguyen started at Christ the Catholic Church in August of 2018 and Frye said that he is very excited about his first Italian Dinner.

“He has been gone for the past two weeks,” Frye said. “But he is back now and very excited for his first Italian Dinner. I think he is a pretty involved kind of guy, not only with the church community, but with the city community as well.”

Frye said that the best part of the Italian Dinner is the tradition and camaraderie.

“The camaraderie of our whole parish pulling together to pull this off is amazing,” Frye said. “And just the tradition of breaking bread with the community is the best part. We enjoy serving some ethnic food with the community.”

Since the fundraiser is for the youth, Frye said that the youth participate in every aspect of the fundraiser.

“They are the servers, waiters and waitresses at the dinner,” Frye said. “They also help with preparations for the dinner like rolling silverware, filling up drinks and putting up decorations in the hall. They also sell tickets along with the parish, so they work pretty hard during this fundraiser.”

The 20th Annual Italian Dinner will be Sat., Feb. 9, from 4 p.m., until 8:30 p.m. A child’s plate will cost $5 and an adult plate will cost $10. Both plates can be dine-in or carry out.

The menu includes homemade spaghetti and meatballs or lasagna, salad, Italian bread and a Pizzele cookie. Italian desserts and a cappuccino bar are available at the church as well.

For tickets or more information, call Randy Kuhn at 334-488-5304, or Frye at 334-488-5983.