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Out & About: Big Brothers Big Sisters Rice-tini night a big hit

Shirley McMarlin
| Monday, July 30, 2018, 8:03 a.m.
Volunteer Kayleigh Ventrone (left) and her mother, Sheri Ventrone, both of Delmont
Volunteer Kayleigh Ventrone (left) and her mother, Sheri Ventrone, both of Delmont
From left: Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Laurel Region CEO Kelli Belanger with Big Brother Kevin Visbisky of Harrison City, Robokyo owner Natty Bodnar and Robokyo bartender Madison Petro
From left: Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Laurel Region CEO Kelli Belanger with Big Brother Kevin Visbisky of Harrison City, Robokyo owner Natty Bodnar and Robokyo bartender Madison Petro
Tom Smail (left) of Greensburg, Darren Bonson of Penn Township and Ty Amey of Rostraver gather for a photo while attending the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Laurel Region annual Guest Bartender and Rice-tini Night held Thursday at the Robokyo Japanese Steakhouse in Greensburg, Thursday evening, July 26, 2018.
Tom Smail (left) of Greensburg, Darren Bonson of Penn Township and Ty Amey of Rostraver gather for a photo while attending the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Laurel Region annual Guest Bartender and Rice-tini Night held Thursday at the Robokyo Japanese Steakhouse in Greensburg, Thursday evening, July 26, 2018.
Katrianna Iezzi, 6, of Hempfield Township distributes campaign brochures to guests during the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Laurel Region annual Guest Bartender and Rice-tini Night held Thursday at the Robokyo Japanese Steakhouse in Greensburg, Thursday evening, July 26, 2018.
Katrianna Iezzi, 6, of Hempfield Township distributes campaign brochures to guests during the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Laurel Region annual Guest Bartender and Rice-tini Night held Thursday at the Robokyo Japanese Steakhouse in Greensburg, Thursday evening, July 26, 2018.
Big Sister and Big Brother Pat and 
Jim McRickard of Murrysville
Big Sister and Big Brother Pat and Jim McRickard of Murrysville
Carol and Michael Black of Greensburg enjoy a few shrimp Rice-tinis during the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Laurel Region annual Guest Bartender and Rice-tini Night held Thursday at the Robokyo Japanese Steakhouse in Greensburg, Thursday evening, July 26, 2018.
Carol and Michael Black of Greensburg enjoy a few shrimp Rice-tinis during the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Laurel Region annual Guest Bartender and Rice-tini Night held Thursday at the Robokyo Japanese Steakhouse in Greensburg, Thursday evening, July 26, 2018.
Big Sister Kristen Robinson (center) of Greensburg and friends Holly Gray (left) and Marianne Crosby, both of Greensburg
Big Sister Kristen Robinson (center) of Greensburg and friends Holly Gray (left) and Marianne Crosby, both of Greensburg
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Laurel Region special events co-ordinator Ali Iezzi enlists daughters Gabriella Iezzi, 13, and Katrianna Iezzi, 6, for some volunteer work.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Laurel Region special events co-ordinator Ali Iezzi enlists daughters Gabriella Iezzi, 13, and Katrianna Iezzi, 6, for some volunteer work.
Guest bartenders Janeen Moffa and Len Kowalski of S&T Bank serve guests during the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Laurel Region annual Guest Bartender and Rice-tini Night held Thursday at the Robokyo Japanese Steakhouse in Greensburg, Thursday evening, July 26, 2018.
Guest bartenders Janeen Moffa and Len Kowalski of S&T Bank serve guests during the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Laurel Region annual Guest Bartender and Rice-tini Night held Thursday at the Robokyo Japanese Steakhouse in Greensburg, Thursday evening, July 26, 2018.
Guest bartender James Redding (left) of the Elliott Group serves guests during the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Laurel Region annual Guest Bartender and Rice-tini Night.
Guest bartender James Redding (left) of the Elliott Group serves guests during the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Laurel Region annual Guest Bartender and Rice-tini Night.
Miranda Claar of Greensburg enjoys a steak ‘Rice-tini’ during the event.
Miranda Claar of Greensburg enjoys a steak ‘Rice-tini’ during the event.

Kevin Visbisky doesn’t think there’s anything heroic about volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Laurel Region.

At the organization’s Guest Bartender and Rice-tini Event , held July 26 at Robokyo Japanese Steakhouse in Greensburg, Visbisky said he and his wife, Sherry, just do normal, everyday things with the boys they’ve been paired with in 15 or 20 (“I don’t remember exactly”) years of volunteering.

But spending time on board games, cookouts, movies, fishing and baseball probably makes them heroes in the eyes of those kids who haven’t had a dad at home.

Bartender’s tips at the annual event go to supporting BBBSLR programs, including the current 100 Bigs in 100 Days volunteer recruitment drive running through Oct. 20.

Guests also could partake of the evening’s exclusive, namesake treat, a martini glass filled with white or fried rice topped with a choice of meats, vegetables and sauces, served by Robokyo owner Natalie Bodnar .

Bartenders were James Redding of the Elliott Group, Len Kowalski and Janeen Moffa of S&T Bank, Dr. Patrick Kelly of Wellness on the Point and Kris Smith representing Seton Hill University.

Seton Hill sophomore Kayleigh Ventrone was on hand with parents Mike and Sheri Ventrone , grandma Betty Cianciotto and family friend Laura Mauser .

Ventrone designed the brochure and other promotional materials for the 100 Bigs campaign, which special events coordinator Ali Iezzi distributed with help from daughters Gabriella and Katrianna .

Executive director Kelli Belanger and program director Becky Coccia welcomed guests, including Gary and Kathy Walton, Kristen Robinson, Holly Gray, Ty Amey, Darren Bonson, Tom Smail, Nathan Stone, Mindy Goodlin, Debbie Huey, Regis Lazor and Pat and Jim Rickard .

Information on 100 Bigs and other programs is available at 724-837-6198 or bbbslr.org.

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, smcmarlin@tribweb.com or via Twitter @shirley_trib.

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