By Jann Wiswall
More than 170 people attended last Saturday’s Tuscan Moon fundraising dinner and auction to benefit the charitable programs of the Ellicottville Rotary.
Local residents and visitors alike reveled in an evening of delicious food prepared by Ellicottville’s best restaurants, excellent live music from Michael Nugent who owns the microphone, and the comedy of Ellicottville’s own Brian Dunkleman who performed and served as official auctioneer.
The menu was delectable. Local restaurants and chefs put their all into their dishes, which most agreed was the best food in the history of the event. Rotary president Greg Cappelli expressed special thanks to guest chefs Jack Atkinson, Eileen McClure, Ryan Monroe and Tom Kneeland who” all volunteered their time and worked very hard making the food great.” He also thanked Holiday Valley and Centerplate for their outstanding service, and the many students from Ellicottville Central School who volunteered as waitstaff for the event.
The event was dedicated to Bob McCarthy, a beloved community advocate and the person known as the “voice of Ellicottville” who passed away in June. McCarthy, who had always served as auctioneer of the Tuscan Moon event, also was the heart of the Rotary’s Irish Christmas celebration. Cappelli announced that the 2016 event will be renamed for Bob and will go on as the man would expect.
Nearly 50 silent auction items were sold during the event, as were eight live auction items ranging from Cutco knife sets to golf packages to sports tickets. The most popular item of the night, however, was a drawing of Bob McCarthy by area artist Shad Nowicki. The framed drawing won the top bid of the night, selling to the Cornelius family of Ellicottville’s Weed Ross Agency for $550. The drawing now hangs in the bedroom of young Harrison Cornelius who adored Bob and their tractor rides together.
Fortunately for the losing bidders and others in attendance, Nowicki made signed prints of the drawing available after the auction.
Cappelli thanked event sponsors M&T Bank, Sysco, US Foods, the Weed Ross Agency and Travis and Darlene Baugh for their generous support of this year’s event, as well as all of the participating restaurants:
Balloons Restaurant &
The Birdwalk Restaurant
The Gin Mill
Ilio DiPaolo’s Restaurant &
John Harvard’s Brew House
Katy’s Café & Catering
Monroe Street Brick & Brew
Myer’s Steak House & Inn
The Silver Fox Steakhouse
Tom’s Mom’s Cookies