Itasca Lions Club to host annual Italian Feast charity buffet on Sept. 26
The Itasca Lions Club will host its annual Italian Feast charity dinner this weekend to help raise money for several local organizations.
The event is scheduled for noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 26, at the Itasca Recreation Center, 350 E. Irving Park Road.
Several Italian food staples will be served, including multiple varieties of pasta, sausage and meatballs, seafood, salads, and desserts.
Tickets will be available at the door. The cost is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $5 for children.
Donations will help four groups: Marklund, Leader Dogs for the Blind, the Itasca Food Pantry, and the Itasca Walk-In Ministry.
Professional singer Tony Spavone will be performing at the event, along with an accordion musician.
The main cook, Bob Conidi, is a private chef who has been cooking for the event for the past decade. He said the variety of foods available rival chain restaurants in terms of the quantity of food for the price.
"You can't even go to Olive Garden and get a plate of linguine with marinara and garlic for anything less than $17, and here you have those options as much as you want to eat them," Conidi said. "It's a full-blown buffet with a wide variety of food."
Conidi said that while attendance can vary for various reasons -- the weather, proper marketing, a Bears game on the day of the event -- organizers can still expect roughly 300 people per year.
The event was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Conidi is confident that there will be a big crowd with enough to donate this year.
"Everyone knows the Lions and what we do and appreciate the effort. Hopefully, this year we can come back, and we do this with open arms."