“I don’t think anyone will have a beef about this Meat Raffle,” said Tony Zompa, who serves as executive director of the Johnston Senior Center (JSC), Sunday afternoon. “I’m ecstatic; I can’t believe the crowd!”
Soon thereafter, Zompa was shaking hands with a few attendees and thanking them for their support.
“We have twice as many people here as last year; many people who bought tickets in advance didn’t even show up,” he said.
Even Little Red Riding Hood was among the people filling the senior center’s multi-purpose room.
“And Little Red Riding Hood’s mother was here, too,” Zompa said, while talking about yet another interesting program the JSC will present on Sunday, Dec. 22 beginning at 1 p.m.
That’s when the award-winning and longstanding Kaleidoscope Theatre will present “Little Red Riding Hood’s Christmas,” an intergenerational performance for which tickets are now on sale at only $5 per person.
“If that performance is anything like that little girl’s voice, the entire performance should be both exciting and extraordinary,” Zompa said.
The JSC director was speaking about Haley Pine, 11, a Barrington resident who Sunday sang a song from the Dec. 22 show along with Jamie Dellorco, who helped make the Meat Raffle a success and who plays Little Red Riding Hood’s mother in the play.
“They’re wonderful!” Zompa said while chatting with David Payton, the Kaleidoscope Theatre’s co-founder and executive director, and co-founder Bob Zannini. “What great voices!”
While Pine sings metzo soprano, Dellorco sings soprano.
“This pushed today’s Meat Raffle over the top,” Zompa said. “It’s great that we had twice as many people as last year; hopefully, they’ll all come to the Dec. 22 show.”
Payton described the performance as “Kaleidoscope‘s adaptation of Little Red Riding Hood’s Christmas, [which] has a Granny that’s a dilly, a Wolfy who’s quite silly, a loving mother who shares, a fearless Huntsman who cares and a little girl all dressed in Christmas Red who’s loved by one and all.”
During the Meat Raffle, attendees purchased one raffle ticket for $20 and had 40 chances to win. Ticket holders did not have to be present to win.
Twenty people took home certificates for their turkeys while another 20 received certificates for 10-pound packages of meat.
There were free refreshments that JSC events and trips coordinator Marie Venditti helped serve, along with Johnston Police Captain Tom Dolan and Katherine Rocha and Justin Cummisky of the Explorers Post 405.
Iannotti, Galipeau and Quinn also donated coffee and pastry for the event, as well as additional gift certificates.
Once the tickets had been sold, they were placed in a barrel-like container that sat on a table in center of the multi-purpose room. Millie Santilli, the JSC’s assistant director and the day’s emcee, then cranked up and spun the barrel before each drawing. Ron Galipeau, Cindy Galipeau's husband, was part of every drawing as he made his way to winning ticket holders and presented them with a certificate on a stick for either a turkey or meat package.
The real winner of Sunday’s Meat Raffle, thanks to the JSC’s dedicated staff and numerous volunteers, was the Senior Center, which is located at 1291 Hartford Avenue. Proceeds from the event will help Zompa and company continue implementing many programs that are not part of the annual budget, and which helped lead to the JSC being named to an elite list of nationally accredited senior centers and a five-year title of “Center of Excellence.”