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An Italian Christmas at Rizzo's in Crabtree raises funds for Excela Health Hospice

| Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, 8:54 p.m.
(from left), Jim Joyce, Manager, Hospice and Palliative Care, Excela Health, joins Chef Rizzi DeFabo, Rizzo's Malabar Inn, Erica Shaffer, Home Care and Hospice community liaison, and Darlene Kubas, Director of Home Care and Hospice, at the Excela Health Home Care and Hospice 'Italian Christmas' event, held at Rizzo's Reception and Banquet Facility in Crabtree on December 6, 2012. Kim Stepinsky | For The Tribune-Review

More than 200 people attended the Rizzo's of Crabtree Italian Christmas celebration.

The event, held Thursday at the new Rizzo's Reception and Banquet Center, benefited Excela Health Hospice, which provides care to patients with terminal illness and support for their families.

Jennifer Miele, Excela's vice president of marketing and communication, conducted an auction of a private dinner prepared by Rizzi DeFabo, a member of the family that has operated Rizzo's Malabar Inn for four generations.

Highest bidders were Jack and MaryAnn Cherubini.

Miele thanked supporters and volunteers, and said the event wasn't just about raising money.

“It's about raising awareness of the great service we provide the residents of Westmoreland County,” she said. “Once you're touched by hospice, you're forever loyal to the kind of quality care we give.”

For $50, attendees received a selection of Italian cuisine, a glass of wine, a “Cooking with Rizzi” cookbook and a chance to visit with old friends.

Seen: Darlene Kubas, Dr.Rachel Shipley, Dr.Carol Fox, Patricia Buhl, Jim Joyce, Erica Shaffer, Dr. George andLinda Austin, Chuck and Nancy Anderson, Tyler Courtney, Kelly Sparrow and Wendy Anton, Bill and Becky Thorne, Dr. Geoff and Margie Joseph, Terry Graft, Karl and Carmen Eisaman,Mike and Karen Stewart, Dr. Matthew D'Onofrio,Dr. Primo and HennaBautista, David Volpe, Mary Catherine Motchar, Joan Roth, Tim and Laura Fedele, Dr. Helen Burns, Dr. Tracy Gemmell, Kay Rowe, Dr. Rupam and Rachel Sharan and MaryAnn Singley.

— Dawn Law

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