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Giving back

Sons of Italy rewards local healthcare workers with ‘famous’ spaghetti dinner

LANA MUTHLER / THE EXPRESS At top, Dan Vilello hands out spaghetti dinners to healthcare workers at Susque-View. Above, from left, Vilello, Larry McNerney, and Tom Walker prepare spaghetti to be used in the dinners.

LOCK HAVEN — Recent complications due to the coronavirus have ultimately led the Lock Haven Sons of Italy Club to get creative with their monthly spaghetti dinner event.

On Monday and Tuesday, club members worked together to produce and package dinners for local healthcare workers. They made 700 homemade meatballs, cooked 80 pounds of spaghetti and 30 gallons of sauce and a slice of fresh Italian bread.

And on Wednesday, around 300 dinner packages were distributed to healthcare workers from Heartland Retirement Personal Care Home, the Lock Haven Extended Care Unit, Nightingale’s Personal Care Home, Fulmer’s Personal Care Home, Eagle Ridge Personal Care Home, and Susque-View Home Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

Receiving these packages helped validate all of the hard and immensely challenging work they have put in the past few months in dealing with COVID-19.

These dinners were distributed to healthcare workers during their shift change. Workers ending their shift were able to eat their dinners when they got home, and workers just now beginning their shift were able to save their dinner for their break time.

Heartland Retirement Personal Care Home received 12 dinner packages, the Lock Haven Extended Care Unit received 100 dinner packages, Nightingale’s Personal Care Home received 10 dinner packages, Fulmer’s Personal Care Home received 30 dinner packages, Eagle Ridge Personal Care Home received 16 dinner packages, and Susque-View Home Nursing and Rehabilitation Center received 120 meal packages.

As the employees at Susque-View were handed a spaghetti dinner by Sons of Italy President Dan Vilello, they offered thanks. And Vilello made it a point to thank them for what they do for the community.

“Thank you so much,” “I am so excited,” and “This is so awesome!” are some of the expressions of appreciation heard from the healthcare workers.

Jamie Aurand, Susque-View’s Nursing Home Administrator, thanked the Sons of Italy Club for their gracious contribution to healthcare workers and the community.

“I appreciate what they are doing for us. They are a big part of the community.” Aurand said of the Sons. He said said his staff works hard and he is appreciative of the organization providing the dinners for them to enjoy.

The Lock Haven Sons of Italy Club is adamant in its message.

“Joining our club is like joining a community organization.” Sixty percent and more of the profit that the Sons makes gets returned to the community. Non-profit organizations such as the Ross Library, the SPCA, local Boy Scouts, and Horses for Hope, to name just a few, have all benefited from this club,” Vilello said. He said the club’s famous spaghetti dinners are served free of charge monthly to a community group.

Vilello commented on a job well done by the Sons club members. “I have never, since I was president, had such a helpful and hardworking crew.”

The Sons of Italy Club wants to remind the public that a club membership is only $10. With this membership fee, you are granted access to a clean non-smoking facility with inexpensive drinks and a good community relationship.

“When you join the Sons, you’re joining a community organization,” Vilello said.

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