Celebrity pasta dinner to benefit North Hills Community Outreach

| Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Local entertainers, athletes and politicians will be serving dinner and mingling with guests at North Hills Community Outreach's Celebrity Pasta Dinner on April 6.

The event will be from 4 to 7 p.m. at Sieb's Banquet Facility in Ross Township.

Proceeds benefit North Hills Community Outreach, or NCHO, an interfaith organization addressing the needs of people in crisis, hardship and poverty throughout the North Hills.

The dinner will include pasta, sauce, bread, salad, a beverage and dessert served buffet style by celebrities such as former Pittsburgh Steelers Dwayne Woodruff and Eric Ravotti, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, singer Slim Forsythe and comedian Jim Krenn.

“I know the work (NHCO) does and, unfortunately, that work is sorely needed. Volunteering for this event is a way of helping and giving back,” said Woodruff, 57, of McCandless. A former cornerback who played 12 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers and helped the team win the Super Bowl in 1979, Woodruff is a judge in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas and a former NHCO board member.

He said he is looking forward to serving guests at the dinner and helping NHCO raise money.

“I plan on buying a few meals myself,” he said. “It's ironic that people will come to eat so that others may eat.”

The event also features a silent auction. A hockey stick autographed by former Pittsburgh Penguin Mark “The Recchin' Ball” Recchi, passes for Phipps Conservatory and Botantical Gardens and a discount package for Birdsfoot Golf Club in Armstrong County are some of the items available.

Reservations are required by March 28 and can be made by calling NHCO at 412-408-3830 or downloading a reservation form at www.nhco.org and returning it by mail with payment. The cost is $17 per person.

NHCO has sponsored an annual pasta dinner for the past 10 years, but organizers decided to expand the event this year.

“We wanted to partner with an appropriate space and experience serving a large group,” explained Maria Christina, outreach manager at the Millvale satellite office of NHCO.

“We also wanted to focus more on fundraising and less on tracking down people to donate meatballs and sauce.”

Judy Siebert, owner of Sieb's Pub and Restaurant, was more than receptive to the idea of hosting the event in her banquet hall, which seats about 200 people, said Christina, 55, of Franklin Park.

The idea to add celebrities sprang from last year's event, in which Forsythe entertained guests.

Forsythe, 58, lives in a 12-foot-by-20-foot room on the third floor above the Nied's Hotel bar in Pittsburgh's Lawrenceville neighborhood, where he plays the guitar and sings music from a variety of genres. He said he is eager to help NHCO again this year.

“I'm always happy to help out the nice folks at NHCO in their good work,” he said. “People should come because there will be great food, prizes and fun. It all raises money to continue the good work at NHCO.”

Laurie Rees is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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