Annual ‘Taste of Italy’ Auction and Wine Tasting Event ‘Best Ever’ as Assumption Church Hall Becomes ‘Una Trattoria’ for a Night!
Assumption School’s Home-School Association hosted its 18th annual auction and wine tasting event on April 5 in the church hall of Assumption Church and School on South Adams Street in Manchester. Transformed for this occasion into a virtual ‘trattoria,’ its kitchen served as ‘la cucina’ for a dining salon where round tables covered in traditional red-and-white-checked cloths glowed under Chianti-bottle candlelight.
Arriving guests were seated and offered their first delicacies of the night by two Assumption School eighth-graders sporting black-ties and tails in their roles as wait staff for the evening. They enjoyed the reaction of guests who exclaimed over the delicacy and design of the edible centerpieces of fruits, meats, and cheeses that graced each table.
Featuring a ‘Taste of Italy’ theme in cuisine, vino, décor, and music, and celebrating record-breaking attendance and fundraising, this year’s event is being hailed as the ‘best ever’ by committee members and was summed up in a guest’s remark that it was ‘all very classy.’
In this intimate atmosphere, a capacity crowd of over 100 enjoyed amazingly creative and tasty Italian appetizers, select wines, and dessert specialties while enjoying silent and live auctions, inventive games, and fun with friends. Among the crowd were Father John E. Pahl, Assumption Parish Administrator, and Marguerite Ouellette, Assumption School Principal, and many teachers and staff.
Reporting a record fundraising total for this year of over $12,000 to benefit Assumption School, committee members encourage continued patronage of this year’s donors and supporters for their incredible generosity. Descriptions of biddable goods and services filled many pages of the evening’s auction program. One item, identified in the program as L-27, and donated by the grade 4 class, echoed the night’s theme – “Mangia, mangia, il io amico! Everything needed to create a wonderful Italian experience without the long plane ride to Italy.”
The program offered special thanks to Mark Pierce, of Pierce and Sons Auction Service, who once again donated his services to benefit Assumption School. By all accounts, his engaging interaction with the crowd made for some very lively bidding. The back cover of the program, sporting the green-white-and red Italian flag, served as the bidding card.
While the silent auction was underway, greeters continued to welcome more guests than had been expected. While some tables of 10 became tables of 12 or more, the dining room resounded with the familiar croon of Dean Martin on an Italian music soundtrack that added to the ambiance. Everyone seemed to enjoy being part of the crowd as they savored appetizers, anticipated the live auction, and shared camaraderie and spirits at the wine table.
Regulars returning for this year’s event enjoyed once again the popular Sisters’-sponsored ‘Pop-a-Balloon,’ an event at which everyone’s a winner! A new feature this year, sure to be repeated next year, was a game of ‘heads-and-tails’ featuring Mardi Gras-style beads. It was a huge hit with the crowd who waited to see who would be the last man or woman standing!
Asked to describe what had unfolded there for one who had not attended, committee member and Assumption parent Bonnie Miller was eager to revisit the night. “As soon as we arrived we knew it was going to be special because of the wonderful aroma even in the parking lot. It smelled delicious. The hall had a feeling of fun and excitement, with the tables and candlelight, the lines of auction items festively displayed, and the Italian music and candlelight that made it feel like a different place.”
The small but amazingly creative and enthusiastic committee who made this night possible met recently to start making plans for next year. They remarked that even after the gavel fell on the last item, this year’s guests lingered in conversation around the chocolate fountain with coffee and the last of the cookies, while talking about what to expect next year.
Though they have some ideas for a theme, members would say only, ‘Many thanks on behalf of Assumption School for this year, and ciao!’ Watch for details of this and other special events throughout the year at the Assumption School website at www.assumptionschoolct.com. Assumption School provides pre-kindergarten through grade eight students with a quality Catholic education based on Gospel values. Assumption School is located at 27 S. Adams Street, Manchester, Ct.
!!! OPEN HOUSE AT ASSUMPTION SCHOOL, SUNDAY, APRIL 27!!!