Drs. Gordon Kraus and Robert Kraus, along with Frank Grisanti, Sr., to be honored at Italian Winterfest slated for Jan. 19


Event, filled with fine Italian cuisine, wine, to benefit Catholic Education Scholarship Fund and Ave Maria

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Jan. 13, 2020 – The 9th annual Italian Winterfest will be held Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020 at St. Benedict at Auburndale, Dining Room, 8250 Varnavas Dr., Cordova, beginning at 5 p.m. A benefit for the Ave Maria Home, Wings of Ave Maria, the Catholic Education Scholarship Fund, and UNICO, the event will feature fine Italian cuisine and signature dishes from 15 fine Memphis restaurants and Italian wines.  D.J. Michael Spano will be spinning tunes by all the Italian greats for dancing entertainment.

The restaurants to be featured are Celtic Crossing Irish Pub & Restaurant, Coletta’s, Dino’s Grill, The Cupboard Restaurant, Dinstuhl’s Fine Candy Company, Inc., Garibaldi’s, Huey’s, La Baguette, Lea Buring’s Desserts, Lucchesi’s Pasta & Ravioli Co., One & Only BBQ, Pete & Sam’s, Ronnie Grisanti’s, The Italian Rebel, and Vanelli’s Deli.

Wine and beverages will be supplied by John and Wanda Barzizza; Bill Lucchesi, Empire Distributors; Catholic Schools of Memphis; Italian Winterfest Committee; Jimmy Cross, Jumping Jimmy’s; and Wings of Ave Maria. Sponsors of the event include Agri Industrial, Cordova Automotive, Mike and Norma Montesi, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School and Vescovo’s Arlington Wine and Liquors.

Italian Winterfest is pleased to announce well-known physicians and brothers Drs. Gordon Kraus and Robert Kraus, internal medicine, of Methodist Medical Group, as Honored Guests of Winterfest.      Also being honored is Frank Grisanti, Sr., longtime Memphis Italian restauranteur, as the UNICO Italian American of the Year.


Live auction items will be auctioned off by emcee and auctioneer Joe Birch, WMC-Action News 5 anchor. Also, donors will be able to contribute to the Gift of Hope, benefitting both charities, Ave Maria Home and the Catholic Education Scholarship Fund.

Italian Winterfest will be dedicated to the memory of Angelo A. Lucchesi and Sam Bomarito, and in honor of Tony Barrasso, co-founders, whose vision for Italian Winterfest – to raise money for the Catholic Schools of Memphis and Ave Maria Home – continues to live on.

Ave Maria, located in Bartlett, Tenn., is a Catholic, long-term care community founded in 1956 that offers a faith-based continuum of care including assisted living, skilled nursing, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, and an adult daycare center. Monies will assist those residents who have outlived their financial resources, but wish to remain at Ave Maria.

The Catholic Education Scholarship Fund was established through the Catholic Diocese of Memphis to assist families who desire a Catholic education for their children, yet require supplemental funding for tuition.

UNICO provides college scholarships to young men and women of Italian-American heritage.

Wings of Ave Maria raises funds to support programs and activities at Ave Maria.

Tickets are $40 per person and $320 per table of 8. They may be purchased online at www.avemariahome.org by contacting Lisa Bell, Ave Maria Home, 901.405.3791 or Janet Donato, Catholic Schools Office, 901.373.1219. Sponsorships are still available. To inquire, contact Lisa Bell, 901.405.3791.

For information about the Catholic Education Fund, contact Janet M. Donato at 901.373.1219. For information about the Ave Maria Home, contact Frank Gattuso, Jr., executive director, 901.386.3211.

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