HOLLYWOOD, CA (September 22-25, 2011) – The San Gennaro Foundation kicks off October’s Italian Heritage Month, a celebration of everything it means to be Italian, with their annual street festival, The Precious® Cheese Italian Feast of San Gennaro, Los Angeles. Hosted by event co-founder Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carolla, the Feast once again took over Hawthorn Ave. (between Highland and Orange) in Hollywood.
“The Feast of San Gennaro is something my family and I look forward to every year,” Jimmy Kimmel said. “I have no doubt that our tenth year will be a great one.” Since 2002, the San Gennaro Foundation has donated over $750,000 to local charities that benefit Los Angeles shelters for children and families, food banks for the homeless, and school programs for underprivileged youth, among others.
The fun-filled weekend commenced Thursday, September 22nd with the opening night fundraising gala, “Hooray for Hollywood! Prima Notte 2011,” which paid tribute to Italian American Actors in Hollywood and Frank Mancuso Sr., former CEO of Paramount and MGM Studios. Different Italian restaurant made some of their food available to guests who had the opportunity to taste pasta, meatballs, pizza, clams, cheese, sorbet and cupckes. The evening entertainment started with Jimmy Kimmel introducing his TV show musical guest, Daryl Hall, who performed his set on the stage.
Master of Ceremonies Mark DeCarlo introduced special tributes and performances throughout the evening. He specially thanked all the Italian actors in the house: “Hollywood wouldn’t be the same without Italians”. The gala included a live auction hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carolla, a musical video presentation saluting Italian American Hollywood, and a late night performance featuring comedian Mike Marino, music with Joey Gian. Robert Davi and the Pat Longo Orchestra performed standard Italian classisc from the 50’s and 60’s, some of which were first performed by Frank Sinatra.
Additional celebrity attending the gala included: Daryl Hall, Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Andy Richter, Sofia Milos, Robert Davi (“License to Kill”, “Die Hard”), Illeana Douglas (“Ghost World”), Andy Garcia (“The Godfather: Part III”), Vinny Jones (“The Cape”), Scott Krinsky (“Chuck”), Cherish Lee (Singer/Songwriter), Joe Mantegna (“Criminal Minds”), Guillermo Rodriquez (“Jimmy Kimmel Live”), Jeff Ross (comedian), James Scott (“Days of our Lives), Vincent Spano (“Law & Order: SVU”), Lance Zeno (former Green Bay Packer), Arianne Zucker (“Days of our Lives”), and many more.
Inspired by the 80+year old New York City tradition, the Feast celebrates Italian culture, entertainment and cuisine, and featured great food, music, genealogy research, a kid’s corner, bocce, bingo, carnival rides, games and more. The cooking team demonstrated Italian recipes and a “Gravy – Sauce” competition was hosted by The Meatballs of Comedy. A Procession of St. Gennaro on Hollywood Blvd. began at noon on Saturday, September 24th and concluded with a Mass on the Main Stage presided by Monsignor Antonio Cacciapuoti.
About The San Gennaro Foundation
The San Gennaro Foundation is a 501(3)c non-profit created by talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, producer Douglas DeLuca, and some of Los Angeles’ most prominent Italian-American citizens, to benefit underprivileged children and homeless in Los Angeles, as well as to provide entertainment and cultural enrichment to the community through its non-profit, cultural outreach program. The Foundation’s mission is to uphold the principles established by St. Gennaro, patron saint of Naples who worked tirelessly to help people in need. In addition to fundraising, the group seeks to perpetuate cultural identity and solidarity within the Italian American community. All events are intended to embody the attributes of generosity and goodwill that define the Italian spirit. While some efforts celebrate Italian culture, the Foundation and its programs are not limited to Italian Americans and are supported by diverse individuals.
For more information please visit www.feastofla.org
Photo credits: Luigi Scorcia.