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$84,000, tons of pasta at KFI event for kids


‘Radiothon’ is raising money at Anaheim White House for nonprofit that serves 300 children nightly.

bruno serato

When KFI-AM's Bill Handel hit the airwaves Friday morning, the White House lawn soon flooded with pasta sauce.

The talk radio host, and friend of Anaheim White House restaurant owner Bruno Serato, kicked off a daylong "Radiothon" to collect pasta, sauce and cash to help Serato's charity, Caterina's Club.

The nonprofit group, named after Serato's mother, feeds around 300 needy children every night through the Anaheim Boys & Girls Club. Many of the children live in rundown apartments and motels near Serato's restaurant, an upscale Italian bistro inside an historic two-story home.

Handel began his show at 6 a.m. Other KFI personalities, including John and Ken, were to broadcast – and collect food and cash – until 10 p.m. at the restaurant, 887 S. Anaheim Blvd.

Handel did a live broadcast from the White House last year. He had a goal of raising $20,000 in three hours; he raised $100,000 for Caterina's Club.

"I schedule one remote broadcast a year and this is it. This is the charity I want to support," Handel said. "And now it's become a focus for the station."nike outlet store north bend

This year, KFI's program director suggested making it an all-day event.

Handel first met Serato when the restaurant owner did a promotion poking fun at President Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. Later, when Serato was hit by a backlash from conservatives for naming a room in his restaurant after President Barack Obama, Handel jumped to his defense on the air, reminding listeners of what he did to feed kids.new balance 2000

That sparked Handel's interest in doing more to help Caterina's Club.

On air Friday, he urged listeners to do what they could. Some business donated large checks, including one for $15,000, which Handel and his wife matched. An owner of the 99 Cents Only stores donated a check for $9,999. Others came to donate one bag or a wad of cash.

The lawn outside the West Wing dining hall quickly began to fill with stacks of spaghetti boxes and pasta-sauce jars. Other donors brought what they had: canned corn, pumpkin-bread mix, soccer balls.

Serato said it will all get to the children.

By the time Handel ended his broadcast at 9 a.m., the effort had collected almost $70,000, three tons of pasta and one ton of pasta sauce. That didn't include the money coming in online, which had yet to be tallied.

"It's horrible," Handel joked off-air. "It means they are actually listening to me."

By 2:30 p.m., the donations had climbed to $84,000, 7,000 pounds of pasta and 2,500 pounds of sauce. That pasta and sauce could feed the 300 children for a year.nike outlet online

(When the final numbers are available, the Register will run a follow-up story.)

Serato said he also hopes to expand his program.

"It's overwhelming to see the response," he said. "People come to my restaurant (to eat) just because they say they want to support what I'm doing."

Later in the day, Handel's fans continued to stop by. Mark Davis, 55, a salesman from Huntington Beach, drove 25 miles to donate $10 and one bag of pasta.

"I was just thinking about kids going hungry, and it grabbed my heart strings," Davis said. "I had to help how I could."

Source: www.ocregister.com

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