A moveable feast


A Moveable Feast

A loving pair of restaurateurs use their culinary prowess for St. Jude kids.

Kathleen and Louis Rezzonico’s dedication to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital parallels the incredible devotion of St. Jude founder, Danny Thomas, to St. Jude Thaddeus—the patron saint of hopeless causes.

As a happy and loving couple, the Rezzonicos longed to start their own family. After years of setbacks and disappointments, they were still childless. Kathleen, desperately looking for help, spotted a Catholic church one day on her drive home from her New York hospital job. Upon entering, she immediately found a shrine to St. Jude Thaddeus. She prayed to the patron saint, asking for his help and guidance in starting a family. Just as Thomas’ prayers were answered, the Rezzonicos were blessed with three beautiful children. And, just as Thomas vowed to build a shrine to honor St. Jude Thaddeus, Kathleen promised her support and dedication to the patron saint.

To honor that promise, the Rezzonicos began making annual stock gifts to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Through the years they learned more about the hospital and decided they wanted to extend their generosity. Using the resources of their three Seaport Village, California restaurants, connections with local distributors and vendors, and the help of a St. Jude Gift Planning representative, the Rezzonicos created A Taste of Seaport Village, a unique dining experience to raise funds for St. Jude.

The first such event was a success and inspired an even more adventurous event the following year. 'A Night in Italy' featured a singing chef, flaming desserts, opera singers, an American Airlines vacation and a visit from a St. Jude patient from Monroe, Louisiana.

The Night in Italy event was more successful than its predecessor and has since become the model for their annual fund-raising dinners. From the success of the event grew the creation of the San Diego Chapter of St. Jude, a group of local, loyal and dedicated St. Jude supporters.

The Rezzonicos recently marked the 10th anniversary of their annual dinner events with A Stroll Through Brussels. Every event has included visits from St. Jude patients and families from across the country and has helped fund research and treatment at St. Jude.

“We are thrilled with the way things have gone the last two years,” Kathleen says. “If we can send a nice, fat check to St. Jude and let St. Jude’s mission be known more in the community of San Diego, I think we’ve accomplished our goals.”

“It’s all we care about,” adds Louis. “Children are our life. The more we can do to help St. Jude, the better.”

To learn more about making a stock gift to St. Jude or other planned giving opportunities, please call ALSAC Gift Planning at (800) 395-1087 or e-mail giftplanning@stjude.org.

 

August 2006

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