Our Fabulous Italian Fundraiser


by Nicola Cleary


A brilliant evening raising lots of money for our Community Kitchen Project! The food was exceptional and the team worked so hard to make sure the evening was an amazing success.

Thanks to everyone for coming along. All money raised will go towards making Sunday’s a friend filled day once a month for lots of older people on their own. 

On Saturday 7th September 2019, the Community Kitchen team put on a fantastic fundraising supper for around 60 people. The evening had been in the planning for nearly six months, with the team agreeing on an Italian theme of food and drink. The menu consisted of three courses and a complimentary glass of Prosecco on arrival for our guests. 

The first course was antipasto served on platters to each table and was beautifully presented. There were various cured meats, mozzarella balls, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, sweet peppadew peppers and juicy fresh figs (from Wokingham’s market stall) as well as a selection of breads donated by Gail’s Bakery.

Delicious homemade lasagne with salad was served as the main course and the meal rounded off with a tasty authentic tiramisu, made by Gillian F, Julia D, Julie B and Marjie W.

Finally, our guests were offered complimentary tea, coffee and dark chocolate mints with the option to purchase shots of either Limoncello or Baileys.

 Apart from preparing the fab food, in the afternoon the team assembled at King’s Place to set up the tables and chairs and give the venue an Italian makeover. This was achieved by decorating with bunting and pom-poms in the colours of the Italian flag. These were home-made by one of our volunteers, Gillian F. The PA system was also connected providing a great asset to those making speeches or running games during the evening. The tables looked beautiful with crisp white tablecloths, fresh flowers and tealights. Thank you to everyone who ironed the tablecloths in preparation for the event. A special mention to Clare R’s mum, Judith, who took them all home to wash and iron afterwards.


The guests started arriving at 7pm and after finding their tables, John M organised us in a fun game of Play Your Cards Right using questions with an Italian twist. Following starters, Doug C had many of our guests up on their feet rolling £1 coins along the floor to try and win a magnum of Prosecco. After the main course, Adrian M gave a speech from the heart about his involvement as a volunteer with the Community Kitchen. John M then got us all participating in another fundraising game: Heads or Tails.

 Tim and Tara R compiled a tabletop quiz, with a picture round showing various beautiful Italian locations plus questions on Italian cars, football teams and a true or false round. Additionally, Italian music played in the background during the evening adding to the ambience, courtesy of John M.

 We also held a raffle which was supported by various local businesses who donated the prizes including two tickets to the races, magnums of white and red wine, a bottle of pink gin, afternoon tea at Henry Street garden centre, plus a complimentary cut and finish at Zappas. Thank you to Ascot Racecourse, Laithwaites, Majestic Wines, Sip and Sit and Stefan’s the Butcher for supporting our event, and to King’s Place for providing the venue.

 The evening raised a profit of around £1,500 which is a magnificent sum. Apart from that, our guests genuinely had a good time and were really impressed with the quality of the food. Interestingly, young people in their 20’s particularly enjoyed the old-fashioned games and entertainment which made it different from other meals/fundraisers that they have been to.

I would like to thank all the Community Kitchen volunteers (some could not make the event itself but supported it in different ways either at the planning stage, asking for donations or preparing and cooking food).

The kitchen team did an amazing job of making sure each course was appetising, hot (if applicable) and served quickly and on time. The lasagne cooks were Clare R, Clare M, Gillian F, Julia D, Marjie W, Mandi E and Tara R.

Thanks also to Mark for running the bar and Stefan for helping set up. 

 Our volunteers are all very special people and we appreciate the time they give and the talents they share to support the Link through their involvement in the Community Kitchen Project. 

 A special mention to Hannah, Alice and Madi, the young people who were servers on the night and did an absolutely sterling job.

Finally, thank you to all the paying guests who attended and entered into the spirit of the evening and were very generous.