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St. Joseph's Mardi Gras fundraiser to have good food

Bob Vidoni, former restaurant owner to prepare Casino night fare

Bob Vidoni, former restaurant owner to prepare Casino night fare

January 29, 2008|By JANET HEIM

HALFWAY -- Bob Vidoni knows his way around the kitchen. He and his wife, Dolores, were the previous owners of the Venice Hotel and Avellino's Restaurant.

Bob Vidoni, 77, of Hagerstown, keeps his culinary skills honed by helping a former chef of his who now works in Frederick, Md., and by preparing the food for the main fundraiser at his church, St. Joseph Catholic Church.

"I have to say, your food has always been excellent," Dolores Vidoni said to her husband.

This is the sixth year for St. Joseph's Mardi Gras Casino Nite & Auction. The event includes a gourmet cocktail buffet, carving table and hot food table, along with a Bavarian table of homemade desserts.

Games include bingo, poker, trivial pursuit and blackjack.

The event will be Saturday, from 7 to 11 p.m. in the Parish Center.

Tickets cost $25 per person, which includes the food, $50 in "house money," a 50/50 cash raffle, games, and a silent and live auction of items donated by local businesses and parishioners.

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Items to be auctioned range from a two-week stay in a condo in Oahu, Hawaii, to tickets for Yankees, Mariners and Pirates games to gift certificates for restaurants, hotels and more. Up to one-half of the price of the items bought during the live auction can be paid for with "house money."

We always put a lot of emphasis on food

"It's a nice package. We always put a lot of emphasis on the food. If you didn't win at the games, you couldn't say you didn't get nice food," Vidoni said.

Vidoni said he gets volunteers from the parish and recruits his brother to help at the meat-carving station.

The event is held in conjunction with the Hagerstown Exchange Club, which runs the games. The proceeds of the fundraiser go to The Parent-Child Center and St. Joseph's Parish Building and Expansion Fund.

Each year, the event draws more people, but Vidoni is concerned because there are several other big events in the community on the same night this year.

Dolores Vidoni is in charge of tickets, which can be purchased ahead of time at the parish office on weekdays or at the door the night of the event.

"It helps the church and helps the community," Dolores Vidoni said.

Bob Vidoni said it takes the work of many committees to make the annual fundraiser a success.

"It's a nice evening for people to go out to," Bob Vidoni said.

For more information, call Angie at the parish office at 301-797-9445.

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