Forand tenants celebrate Italian Night

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The setting inside the Aime J. Forand Housing Complex community room was special.

For starters, red, white and green star-shaped balloons were floating in the air but tied to different colored ribbons which were anchored to the white linen covered table tops that also featured a bottle of red and white wine.

The musical duo of Donna Manzi and Lou, who sing under the name of New Connection, sang songs of yesteryear like the Four Seasons December, 1963 “Oh What a Night” that could have easily been used for the night’s theme.

As Rhode Island State Sen. Frank Lombardo, who was accompanied by his wife Patty, said: “This is vintage Bev Williams; she does such a great, great job for the tenants here.”

Lombardo was speaking about Beverly Williams, president of the Aime J. Forand Tenants Association, who along with her committee – and a valuable assist with the food from Ralph’s Catering – put together what everyone called “a super, duper Italian Night.”

Williams is known for her many creative ways when it comes to theme parties for the Forand Tenants Association.

“Everyone loves a party,” Williams mused while enjoying the night and greeting guests who sat at long banquet tables listing to the music and enjoying the fantastic food served during the 2018 Italian Night. “It’s fun for everyone …”

Ralph’s Catering and Kitchen made the night much more special, serving a full course dinner that began with Italian soup and included antipasto with sliced meats, penne with pink vodka sauce, chicken parmesan with red bliss mashed potatoes, peas and mushrooms and two special desserts.

Johnston State Rep. Deb Fellela, who is a regular at all Forand Tenants events, maintained her tradition of bringing large packages of freshly made wandis while Ralph’s completed its meal with ice cream.

“Deb does this every year,” Williams said of Fellela’s donation of wandis. “She’s a true friend of the Forand Tenants Association.”

Earlier this year, Fellela hand carried to the Forand Complex and presented an envelope that contained a Rhode Island State Legislative Grant Check that the non-profit can use to purchase necessary items for the community center.

At Saturday night’s Italian party, Lombardo also presented Williams with a RI Legislative Grant Check for $1,000.

“We’re going to use some of this money to purchase new chairs for the community room,” Williams explained. “We’re not sure what we will do with the remainder of the grant, but it will be put to good and it will benefit all our residents at the Forand Complex.”

As many of the attendees said while leaving Saturday’s Italian Night, during which a lucky lady won $90 for her half of the 50/50 raffle, “This was indeed oh what a night – for sure.”

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