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Knights have fundraising dinner
Saturday marked the seventh annual John Paul II Council of Knights of Columbus' Cioppino — or Tri-tip Dinner — in Arbuckle, once again featuring the famous Italian dish as prepared by Jack Pesola.
John Paul II Council No. 14112 is a Catholic fraternal organization that emphasizes church, family and community, said Grand Knight Merced Corona. The council encompasses almost the entire west side of Colusa County and has about 37 active members.
"We've got a lot of good knights, good families. I'm just happy to be a part of it," Corona said, adding the council is always seeking new members.
The "Taste of Italy" dinner, the group's largest fundraiser, relies on members of the organization and their families to make the dinner happen. This year, about 30 volunteers were a part of it.
"The children and families (of members) do a lot, too. They do a good job," said Knights of Columbus member Frank Norbriga, whose wife was taking tickets at the front door.
The event featured a raffle and a silent auction — all of the proceeds from which will go back into the community in a number of capacities, including funding scholarships for local youths and generally helping out the "less fortunate brothers and sisters in our community," Norbriga said.
In past years, the event has packed the Arbuckle Fire House with around 300 people.
While pre-sale numbers were down because of a couple of crab feeds on Saturday — one in Colusa and the other in Arbuckle — Corona still expected 250 to 300 people to drop by at the Arbuckle Fire House for a meal when all was said and done. Corona said Jack Pesola — who he described as modest and quick to deflect praise — has been key to the success of both the dinner and the council in general, and not just because of his prowess in the kitchen.
"I think a large portion of our success has been Jack. He was Grand Knight before me. He is the one that initiated this council. He is the glue that keeps us together," Corona said.