The public will have the opportunity to sample maple leaf duck nime chow, pulled pork sandwiches, stuffed mushrooms, cupcakes, lobster macaroni and cheese, salmon mousse and countless other tasty treats from nearly 20 local businesses at the Warwick Rotary Club’s second annual Gourmet Gala March 7.
Dean Scanlon, owner of L’Attitude Modern Eatery at 2190 Broad Street in Cranston, is participating in the gala as a business but also as a Rotarian and one of the co-chairs of the event.
While he is looking forward to giving guests a sample of his restaurant’s fare, he is more excited about raising funds for the club as a team effort.
“It’s so important to give to people who are less fortunate,” he said. “That really is the purpose of Rotary. One hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit Warwick Rotary charities.”
Each year, the Rotary supports non-profit organizations and offers scholarships to groups in need. Last year, said Scanlon, the club gave more than $14,000 for charities, a third of which was funded by the gala.
Rotarian Janis Constantine, who has been a member of the club for five years and is a travel consultant at Global Excellence, is also gearing up for the event.
“We get restaurants, cafés and eateries from the area all under one roof and people who purchase tickets can taste the offerings they make,” said Constantine. “It’s a really nice night.”
In addition to the gala, Constantine said their holiday celebration, in which members donate Christmas gifts and hold a holiday party complete with musical entertainment and pizza for local elementary school children, as well as their annual drive to donate dictionaries to school children, are her favorite events.
“Seeing the kids face-to-face is great,” she said. “I don’t care who you are, you can’t leave that event in December without a smile on your face.”
Constantine also said the events allow the club the opportunity to let others know what Rotary is all about.
“People hear about Rotary but they say, ‘What is that? It’s a thing in the middle of the road?’” she said. “But, this gives us a platform and a venue that we can introduce people to what we do. It’s a great organization.”
According to their Facebook page at facebook.com/warwickrotary, Rotary is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million businesses, as well as professional and community leaders. Rotarians provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build goodwill and peace in the world.
Further, there are 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries. Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races and creeds. Their motto is, “Service Above Self.”
In 2011, a handful of organizations the club made contributions to included the Warwick Boys and Girls Club; the Rhode Island Family Shelter; the Trudeau Center; the Rhode Island Academic Decathlon; the Elizabeth Buffum Chase Center; House of Hope; and CHILD Inc.
Tickets for the gala are available in advance for $35 at L’Attitude Modern Eatery, Global Excellence at 20 Veteran’s Memorial Drive, as well as the Warwick Beacon at 1944 Warwick Avenue.
Constantine said while tickets are also available at the door for $40, the club is encouraging people to purchase tickets before the event so businesses can better prepare for guests.
“It’s a fun night for good reason,” said Constantine.
The gala begins at 6 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel’s University Ballroom at 2081 Post Road.
Along with L’Attitude, participating businesses include Carousel Grille; Gregg’s Restaurant; The Capital Grille; Oak Hill Tavern; The Water’s Edge Café; Pizzeria Uno; Iron Works Tavern; Z Bar & Grille; Pinelli’s; Sophia’s Tuscan Grille; Pomegranates Bistro to Go; Besos Tea House; The Dorrance; The Chocolate Delicacy; Elizabeth of Portofino; as well as others that are yet to sign on.