It’s time to pasta hat–a London banquet hall is stepping up to help those displaced by the recent earthquake in Italy.
The Marconi Club, heralded as a cultural epicentre for Italian-Canadians in the community, is hosting a weeks-long campaign to raise money for the Red Cross’ relief efforts as the organization aids those impacted by the magnitude 6.2 earthquake and aftershocks that hit last Wednesday, killing 291.
The Marconi Club hosted a day-long drop-in pasta sale Monday, which will continue from 11:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, where a donation of any value earns visitors a plate of the club’s famous pasta and meatballs.
Monday brought a “very good turnout,” according to general manager Carmen Cannella, himself an immigrant from Italy. Cannella said he’s hoping the fundraiser–which will also include a banquet and silent auction within a couple of weeks–will raise at least $50,000.
“Londoners have a big, big heart,” he told AM980. “They’ve showed that to us today. We have had Londoners that come in and donate $50, $100, (or) whatever they could. Not that I’m surprised. Londoners…put their heart on the table for those poor people in Italy.”
Cannella said the events in Italy strike a particularly somber chord for him, given his familiarity with the region.
“I know those towns very well,” he said. “Unfortunately, the economy is so poor right now. Not only there, as we know, but all over the world. It’s very important to help people, because more or less they are all old people and students who lost their houses. This is very important, and that’s why we’re doing this.”
Money donated will be directed towards efforts by Red Cross, which has been on the ground coordinating relief and aid since last week.
“We want to be transparent,” Cannella said. “(Red Cross) will know what to do with the money, and how to bring the money (to) Italy. I encourage everybody who has not come yet to come to help those families…who lost their parents. We can help a lot.”