A five-course dinner with hand-selected wine pairings in Payson is quite an anomaly.
Last Sunday, the staff at Gerardo’s Firewood Café treated 40 Rim Country residents to an elegant dining experience more aptly found in Italy, but all for a good cause.
Owner Gerardo Moceri laid out the white tablecloths and whipped up a feast of fresh ribbon pasta in wild boar sauce and wood-burning oven slow-roasted stuffed pork loin with lobster all for Payson Community Kids’ (PCK) annual fund-raiser.
Suzy Tubbs, with PCK, said money raised during the event is ”very much needed” with rising enrollment in the twice-a-week, after-school program.
Since 2010, enrollment has increased from 70 children to 142.
It costs $200 to run each day of the program, which offers at-risk children a place for homework help, a meal, free clothing and sometimes, medical assistance.
The non-profit has only one part-time employee, a graduate of the program. It relies almost completely on volunteers and donations, Tubbs told the crowd at Gerardo’s Sunday, who paid $75 a seat.
For dessert, Tubbs handed out coupons good for a free smile at PCK, 409 S. Tonto Street, upon volunteering.
For more information, visit www.paysoncommunitykids.org or call (928) 478-7160.