The 10th annual "Kids of the Kingdom" fundraiser, to support the summer youth programs at St. Luke's Mission of Mercy, will be held from 4-8 p.m. Saturday at the Lake Erie Italian Club, 3200 South Park Ave., Lackawanna. This year's event will feature an old-fashioned Italian picnic and will be hosted by Gino Grasso and former Buffalo Sabres star Danny Gare.
Tickets are $25 per person and are available pre-sale at www.stlukesmissionofmercy.org
or at the door. There will also be a chicken barbecue by Tom Chiavetta from 4-7 p.m., with drive-thru service available for the public. The picnic will feature an Italian food buffet, along with a live auction and theme baskets, including Buffalo Sabres, Bills and Bisons memorabilia.
Musical entertainment will be provided by Gary Syracuse and Dolly Dee with the Hernandez Band; the St. Luke's Summer Music Review; and Italian songs sung by Gary Quatrani.
The "Kids of the Kingdom" summer program at the St. John Kanty Church grounds, led by Grasso of St. Luke's Mission, serves 150 inner-city youth daily for three weeks each July at no cost to the kids. The participants receive breakfast, lunch, snacks, a T-shirt, field trips, transportation and more during the camp.
"We are blessed to have volunteers from area high schools and colleges to assist us daily to help us to make this an enjoyable experience for these young boys and girls who truly look forward to camp each year," Grasso said. "The summer camp is held on the grounds of St. Luke's on Walden Avenue on the deep East Side. 'Kings of the Kingdom' gives these children a fun, positive learning experience they really enjoy and talk about for so long afterwards."